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game recap

Penguins score seven, defeat Hurricanes

Conor Sheary gets two goals, Matt Murray makes 27 saves

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins scored four times in the second period, and Matt Murray made 27 saves in a 7-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Friday.

Conor Sheary scored twice, and Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (29-11-5), who have scored 19 goals during a three-game winning streak.

"I get to watch this group from the back end each night," Murray said. "We know we have a good group in here and we have a good team. When we play the way we can, we can take over a game like we did today."

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Hurricanes highlights 

 

Carolina (21-17-7) has lost two in a row following a four-game winning streak. 

Carolina came out attacking, fueled by a Pittsburgh penalty on the first shift. Sebastian Aho and Joakim Nordstrom had good looks, but Murray held off the Hurricanes, who dominated the first seven minutes.

"We had to buckle down," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Murray had to make some saves when they came out pretty hard. It forced us to collapse and play the [defensive] zone a little bit. Being able to hold off that early speed from them got us in the right mindset, and we were able to generate some offense after that."

Video: PIT@CAR: Murray makes a nice pair of saves

The Penguins made it 1-0 on Trevor Daley's fourth of the season at 12:31 of the first period. After a long shift in the offensive zone, Daley gloved Teuvo Teravainen's clearing attempt, moved to the middle of the ice above the circles and shot past Cam Ward.

Pittsburgh went ahead 2-0 when Carl Hagelin scored on a rebound at 6:59 of the second. Ward stopped Cameron Gaunce's shot from the blue line, but the puck fell in front of Ward and Hagelin had an easy finish.

The Penguins scored two goals in 18 seconds to push the lead to 4-0. Sheary scored his 14th from the slot on the long rebound of Brian Rust's shot from the right point at 12:28.

One the following shift, the Penguins' strong forecheck resulted in Chris Kunitz scoring his fifth at 12:46. After Eric Fehr put the puck on net from the hash marks, Kunitz found the rebound between Ward's legs and poked it in. It was Fehr's 200th NHL point.

"We always want to have a guy net-front, and when the puck is laying there we want to find them," Sheary said. "Obviously, tonight we got a few that went our way."

Kessel's power-play goal extended the lead to 5-0 at 17:29. With Jeff Skinner in the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, Kessel made a long cross-ice pass to Malkin before pinching in for the return pass, where he finished from a sharp angle.

Malkin extended the lead to 6-0 at 6:37 on a wraparound that appeared trapped at the post by Ward's skate before trickling in.

Hurricanes forward Viktor Stalberg snapped a 20-game goalless drought when he scored shorthanded at 7:09, winning a race to a loose puck and beating Murray below the glove to make it 6-1.

Sheary's second of the game put the Penguins up 7-1. He went to one knee to score on a behind-the-back pass from Crosby at 9:05.

 

Goal of the game

Sheary was on the receiving end of a setup from Crosby.

"I didn't even see him see me, but then when the pass came to me right on my tape I just had the whole net to shoot at," Sheary said. "It was a pretty incredible pass."

Video: PIT@CAR: Sheary strikes on beautiful feed from Crosby

 

Save of the game&

Ward needed his glove and shoulder to fend off Crosby on a breakaway at 8:23 of the second period.

Video: PIT@CAR: Ward gloves Crosby's quick breakaway

 

Highlight of the game

Stalberg won a race at center ice then went to the back-side post with his forehand.

Video: PIT@CAR: Stalberg nets SHG on nice individual effort

 

Unsung performance of the game

Pittsburgh's forecheck limited Carolina's opportunities by winning puck battles and sustaining long shifts in the offensive zone.

 

They said it

"Our execution hurt us tonight. There were a lot of passes that were either off, or if they were on the tape we didn't pick them up. So we're squeezing it now, right? Confidence is an issue. We're going to have to change quite a few things. We're probably going to have to give some guys different looks and try to freshen it up." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters

 

"[Sheary] really has a nose for the net. He's an elusive guy. He's an undersized guy (5-foot-8, 175 pounds), but he plays with a ton of courage. He goes to the battle areas and he's in the traffic. He's not afraid to go there." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

Need to know

Kunitz tied Martin Straka for ninth place on Pittsburgh's goal-scoring list with 165. ... Thirteen Pittsburgh players scored at least one point and 16 had a positive plus-minus. ... Ward made his 21st straight start.

 

What's next

Penguins: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NHL, SN, NESN, ROOT, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (5 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Penguins rout Hurricanes with big 7-1 victory

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