FINAL
NYI
5
WPG
2
FINAL
TBL
5
BUF
1
FINAL
NYR
5
FLA
2
FINAL SO
TOR
4
BOS
3
FINAL
CAR
1
PIT
2
FINAL
MIN
1
CBJ
3
FINAL
NJD
1
DET
3
FINAL
SJS
3
ANA
0
FINAL
ARI
0
DAL
6
FINAL OT
PHI
3
COL
4
FINAL OT
EDM
3
CGY
4

Penguins top Hurricanes on Sutter's late goal

Wes Crosby  - NHL.com Correspondent | Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 10:40 PM

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins lost four consecutive games. Brandon Sutter made sure the slide did not reach five.

Sutter's third-period goal lifted the Penguins to a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday. Sutter placed a wrist shot past Carolina goalie Cam Ward's stick with 1:42 remaining.

It was Sutter's second goal in his past 17 games and his first against his former team.

"It's always fun playing against your old team," Sutter said. "I have some pretty good friends over there, so it's always a fun competition, especially when you can beat them. So, fortunately it went that way tonight, and those ones always feel good."

Pittsburgh (23-9-5) won its first game since a 3-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 20.

Carolina (10-23-4), which has lost three straight, was outshot 13-12 in the third, but seemed to have the better scoring opportunities through the first half of the period.

Jay McClement had a chance to give Carolina a 2-1 lead after a turnover by Pittsburgh forward Beau Bennett at center ice. McClement took a pass from Chris Terry on a 2-on-1, but he could not get all of a wrist shot that Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was able to absorb in his chest after sliding to his left at 3:08.

Fleury made a sprawling glove save on Elias Lindholm 3:45 later with the Hurricanes on a power play to keep the game tied 1-1.

"We had three [Carolina chances] that we felt we gave up when we didn't have to on turnovers," Johnston said. "Those are the big-time saves that [Fleury] made. I thought both goaltenders were really good. There were some great saves at both ends of the ice."

Fleury made 24 saves to earn his 20th win, tied for second in the NHL behind Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne's 24. Ward was equally impressive, making 37 saves on 39 shots.

Carolina opened the scoring and seemed poised to take a one-goal lead into the first intermission, but Chris Kunitz scored a late goal to end the first period tied.

Bennett dug the puck out of the corner and backhanded a pass to Kunitz at the edge of the right faceoff circle. Kunitz placed a wrist shot over Ward's glove and under the crossbar for his 14th goal, tying the game 1-1 with 21.9 seconds remaining.

Bennett had two assists in his return to the Penguins lineup after missing 16 games because of a knee injury and the mumps. He has five points in eight games this season, 26 in 55 career NHL games.

"It was a good win for the team," Bennett said. "We don't really go through too many slumps during the year. … I thought our line did well tonight and we created a lot. I thought we could've had a couple more."

Eric Staal gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Lindholm sent a pass to Staal, gliding to his right, as Fleury slid in the opposite direction in the crease. Staal put a wrist shot past Fleury's outstretched glove at 9:12.

"I thought we started better," Staal said. "In the second, obviously we took too many penalties. That one at the end of the first was tough, and I don't think we got back on the attack enough as the game went on."

The Penguins dominated the second period, outshooting the Hurricanes 17-7, but Ward denied each of those 17 opportunities to preserve the 1-1 tie.

Evgeni Malkin had three consecutive shots in a 33-second span, including a slap shot that hit Ward's stick handle, but could not score his second goal in 10 games.

Pittsburgh's power play, which topped the NHL by converting more than 40 percent of its chances earlier this season, had two second-period opportunities, but its recent struggles continued. The Penguins have scored on three of their past 51 power plays after failing to score on three chances against the Hurricanes.

Carolina managed few chances in the second, but could have taken the lead just before the end of the period when Jiri Tlusty had a clear shot on goal with Fleury scrambling in his crease, but the Pittsburgh goalie lunged to make a glove save with 12 seconds remaining.

The Hurricanes' Jordan Staal did not play. Carolina coach Bill Peters said Staal was held out for precautionary reasons after he did not feel well following the morning skate.

The former Pittsburgh center earned an assist on Carolina's lone goal Monday against the Montreal Canadiens, scored by brother Eric Staal, in his season debut.

Peters said if the Hurricanes are to have any success, they must generate more scoring.

"You have to get beyond one (goal), right?" Peters said. "You get a little wiggle room. You have a breakaway when it's 1-1. You have some chances. You have two power plays in the third. You have to get more than one."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
09:12CAR Eric Staal (9) ASST: Elias Lindholm (8), Jiri Tlusty (5) 1 - 0 CAR
19:38PIT Chris Kunitz (11) ASST: Beau Bennett (3), Andrew Ebbett (3) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
18:18PIT Brandon Sutter (8) ASST: Beau Bennett (4), Chris Kunitz (13) 2 - 1 PIT
Three Stars of the Game
Marc-Andre Fleury
1st
SA: 25TOI: 59:40
GA: 1EV: 21-22
PIM: 0PP: 1-1
SV%: .960SH: 2-2
Brandon Sutter
2nd
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 18:46
Cam Ward
3rd
SA: 39TOI: 58:59
GA: 2EV: 33-35
PIM: 0PP: 4-4
SV%: .949SH: 0-0
Penalty Summary
1st Period
04:35CAR Eric Staal  Interference against  Sidney Crosby
16:45PIT Bryan Rust  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
03:31PIT Jayson Megna  Holding the stick against  Elias Lindholm
03:31CAR Elias Lindholm  Hooking against  Jayson Megna
07:16CAR Jay McClement  Hooking against  Brandon Sutter
13:56CAR Brad Malone  Hooking against  Bobby Farnham
3rd Period
00:51PIT Christian Ehrhoff  Boarding against  Eric Staal
06:33PIT Chris Kunitz  Slashing against  Michal Jordan
shots by period
PeriodCARPIT
1st69
2nd717
3rd1213
Total2539
Team Stats
CategoryCARPIT
Power Plays0/30/3
Hits2827
Faceoff Wins2522
Giveaways18
Takeaways117
Blocked Shots2215
Penalty Minutes88
  • CAROLINA
  • PITTSBURGH
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4A. SekeraD0000026:16
7R. MurphyD0001013:32
12E. StaalC1013220:42
14N. GerbeL0003017:35
16E. LindholmC0105218:22
18J. McClementC0003210:48
19J. TlustyC0112019:22
20R. NashC00-11016:42
22Z. BoychukL000005:13
24B. MaloneC000027:15
25C. TerryL00-10010:30
27J. FaulkD00-11028:34
39P. DwyerR00-11014:27
47M. JordanD0000012:07
49V. RaskC00-11017:35
53J. SkinnerL00-12016:53
65R. HainseyD00-10021:30
73B. BellemoreD0002015:15
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30C. Ward3739.94958:59
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4R. ScuderiD0020018:53
10C. EhrhoffD0006224:59
13N. SpalingC0002017:34
14C. KunitzL1122216:12
16B. SutterC1003018:46
19B. BennettR0224017:29
25A. EbbettC011005:46
27C. AdamsR0002013:49
34B. FarnhamR000005:06
36B. RustR00-16014:40
41R. BortuzzoD0000016:32
47S. DespresD0012018:00
51D. PouliotD0000014:58
57M. GocC0004014:44
58K. LetangD00-12026:44
59J. MegnaC000227:07
71E. MalkinC00-13021:20
87S. CrosbyC0001019:47
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
29M. Fleury2425.96059:40