Skip to main content
game recap

Penguins climb to second place in Metro

Defeat Hurricanes, who fell further behind for wild card from East

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

Pittsburgh (48-19-11) is one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and five points behind the Washington Capitals in the division. The Capitals defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2 on Sunday.

The Penguins won a second straight game to end their three-game home losing streak (0-2-1).

 

WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Penguins highlights

 

"I didn't think we had a great start," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said, "but I thought the second half of the first period, we started to grab a hold of the momentum a little bit. I thought there were momentum swings on both sides throughout the course of the game."

Carolina (35-29-14) is seven points behind the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. It has lost two straight in regulation since earning a point in 13 straight games (9-0-4), which was a Hurricanes record.

The Hurricanes lost 3-0 to the Dallas Stars on Saturday and have four games remaining.

"It was a pretty good effort by the guys," Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk said. "We didn't really sit back too much and we were still trying to play our game, which is huge. You don't want to let last night's loss linger too long and I don't think we did that."

Video: CAR@PIT: Guentzel converts perfect pass for a PPG

Jake Guentzel gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead with his 13th goal, and first power-play goal in 37 games this season, at 11:28 of the first period. Chad Ruhwedel carried the puck down the near wall before passing above the crease to Guentzel, who tapped it into an open net backdoor.

Ron Hainsey thought he scored a few minutes earlier, when he shot through Eddie Lack. The puck trickled over the goal line but not before a whistle blew to freeze it at 8:07.

Jeff Skinner tied it 1-1 at 13:21.

After Matt Murray stopped Elias Lindholm's wrist shot, Lindholm dove at his rebound before drifting below the goal line to tap a shot toward an open net. The shot deflected off Skinner's stick and in for his 33rd goal of the season.

Wilson put the Penguins ahead 2-1 at 7:50 of the second period. The goal was Wilson's eighth of the season.

Video: CAR@PIT: Faulk's shot caroms in off glass, Murray

Conor Sheary made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 5:07 of the third and Faulk cut it to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 9:38.

Murray made 33 saves for Pittsburgh. Lack made 23 saves for Carolina.

Murray (30-10-4) became the 13th rookie since the 1967-68 Expansion Era to win 30 games in a season.

"[The Hurricanes] were playing a playoff-type of game. They played really well, I thought," Murray said. "I'm just glad we got the two points at the end of it."

 

Goal of the game

After stopping a shot from Carter Rowney, Lack attempted to pull the puck in to freeze it. Wilson darted to the crease and whacked a backhand shot through Lack while he attempted to corral the puck.

Video: CAR@PIT: Wilson jams in loose puck past Lack

 

Save of the game

Lack temporarily kept the Penguins from taking a 2-1 lead by denying Tom Kuhnhackl early in the second period. Kuhnhackl spun off Matt Tennyson and charged to the left faceoff dot before taking a wrist shot. Lack cut off the angle to make the save at 5:01.

 

Highlight of the game

After the Hurricanes were called for too many men, Patric Hornqvist set up Sheary's goal. Hornqvist held the puck while drifting back toward the goal before slipping a pass to Sheary, who roofed a shot over Lack.

Video: CAR@PIT: Sheary nets tic-tac-toe passing play for PPG

 

Unsung performance of the game

Defenseman Ian Cole led Pittsburgh with three blocks and was one of six Penguins to have at least four hits.

 

They said it

"Points are important at this point of the year. I think we want to move up in our division and hopefully get home ice." -- Penguins forward Conor Sheary

 

"It's a quick turnaround. It can be a positive or it can be a little bit tough, but I think early on, we did a good job of everyone getting involved. All four lines were going early on and we just couldn't find that one at the end, I think. … Guys battled hard." -- Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner on playing a back-to-back games

 

Need to know

Lack made his first start since being stretchered off the ice against the Detroit Red Wings on March 27. He missed the following two games with a neck strain before backing up Cam Ward on Saturday. … Penguins forward Chris Kunitz did not play with a lower-body injury. Sullivan said the injury would be longer term. … Hainsey faced Carolina for the first time since the Hurricanes traded him to the Penguins on Feb. 23.

 

What's next

Hurricanes: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Two power-play goals lead Pens past Hurricanes, 3-2

 

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.