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game recap

McElhinney makes 23 saves, Hurricanes shut out Penguins

Helps Carolina to 11th win in past 16 games in return from lower-body injury

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

McElhinney's sprawling save

CAR@PIT: McElhinney lays out to rob McCann's chance

Curtis McElhinney dives forward and extends to stop a strong scoring opportunity from Jared McCann in the 1st period

  • 00:19 •

PITTSBURGH -- Curtis McElhinney made 23 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes won for the 11th time in 16 games, 4-0 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

The shutout was McElhinney's first this season and ninth in 205 NHL games (154 starts). He had three with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, the most recent coming when he made 33 saves against the Montreal Canadiens on March 17, 2018.

McElhinney, returning from a lower-body injury, made his first start since Jan. 15, a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers.

 

[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Penguins highlights]

 

"No complaints. I'll never complain about a shutout," McElhinney said. "So it's nice to get a lead on the road, especially against a good team like Pittsburgh. ... I probably should've taken the extra week. I was originally hurt around Christmas time. So this worked out pretty well. It was nice to get two weeks. Body feels great. It was nice to get a few practices in before this game."

Jordan Martinook, Brett Pesce, Micheal Ferland and Andrei Svechnikov scored for the Hurricanes (26-21-6), who are 11-4-1 in their past 16 games.

Matt Murray made 28 saves for the Penguins (28-19-6), who have lost six of their past nine games (3-6-0) after winning 10 of their previous 11. They were shut out for the second time this season, the first coming in a 5-0 home loss to the Maple Leafs on Nov. 3.

Video: McElhinney earns Tuesday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"When we're at our best in the offensive zone, we stay close and support one another in the battles and on the 50-50s," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "When there's 50-50 pucks or there's not a lot of ice to play on, you need a third stick. You've got to stay close. ... I didn't think, tonight, there was a circumstance where we were under siege. There wasn't an exorbitant amount of shots being taken.

"We've got to find a way to score. We've got to find a way to make it hard on their team defense by having more offensive zone time."

In his 300th NHL game, Martinook gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the first period. After Brock McGinn dropped the puck to him at the top of the left circle, Martinook took a snap shot off Murray's glove and in for his NHL career-high 12th goal this season.

Video: CAR@PIT: Martinook buries opening goal

"To come out and kind of play the exact style we need to play to be successful is definitely nice to see," Martinook said. "For [McElhinney] to come back in and play phenomenal just adds to our confidence of our goaltenders. That was a complete win and I think everybody should be pretty happy about that."

Pesce extended the lead to 2-0 at 12:58 of the second period with his NHL career-high fifth goal this season, and second goal in three games. He sent a snap shot from above the left circle past a screen from Nino Niederreiter glove side.

Ferland made it 3-0 on an empty-net goal with 1:31 remaining in the third period before Svechnikov pushed it to 4-0 on a wrist shot with 42 seconds left.

The Penguins were held without a shot in the third period until Kris Letang tipped one on with 8:53 remaining.

"We have to play 60 minutes," Letang said. "We have to be invested with 20 guys. ... We had good shifts, and after that, they had good shifts. So it's just a question of sustaining the attack, sustaining our momentum."

Video: CAR@PIT: Svechnikov dekes, slides puck past Murray

 

They said it

"We know how we have to play as a group. That's what's nice. We don't always do it, but the guys know how we have to play to be effective. Part of it is certainly not letting off the gas, and just go play. Not worry about the score. I think we did that for the most part tonight and got rewarded." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour

 

"We didn't capitalize. We had a couple [chances] go through the legs and out the other way, hit the post and things like that. It was a tight game, and you've got to capitalize when you get your chances in a game like that. We didn't, and they did." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

 

Need to know

Forward Justin Williams had one assist in his 400th game with the Hurricanes. He has 283 points (110 goals, 173 assists) in seven seasons with Carolina. ... Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin missed a third straight game with an upper-body injury that has him listed as day to day. He skated before practice Monday and the morning skate Tuesday. ... The Penguins lost to the Hurricanes for the fifth time under Sullivan. They are 10-4-1 against Carolina since hiring Sullivan on Dec. 12, 2015. ... Referee Brian Pochmara left the game with a lower-body injury. The third period was played with three officials.

 

What's next

Hurricanes: At the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-SE, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, FS-F, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: McElhinney records shutout in 4-0 win vs. Penguins

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