RALEIGH, N.C. -- Matt Murray made 39 saves for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday.
Jake Guentzel scored twice, and Sidney Crosby set up all three goals for the Penguins (18-12-6), who have won three in a row and are 8-2-1 in the past 11 games.
"We definitely wanted this one to end it on a good note (before the holiday break)," said Murray, who is 3-0-0 since missing nine games with a lower-body injury. "This break comes at a good time for us. We've been playing a lot of hockey lately so we'll take advantage of this little break here."
[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Hurricanes highlights]
Curtis McElhinney, who missed six games with a lower-body injury, made 29 saves in his return for the Hurricanes (14-15-5). Carolina is 2-6-2 in the past 10 games.
"Our margin is so small right now that when you're down by two it feels like you're down by four," Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said. "I know every guy in this room wants to score goals. It's not going in for us right now."
Video: PIT@CAR: Guentzel pots second off another Crosby pass
Kris Letang's eighth goal of the season gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 8:41 of the first period. Crosby held off Justin Faulk as he circled the net before making a backhand feed to Letang.
Guentzel made it 2-0 at 3:00 of the second period when he pinched into the slot to convert Crosby's pass from behind the net.
"He sets you up so many times a game that you feel a little disappointed when you don't get to put it in," Guentzel said. "It's definitely nice when you can score from him."
Pittsburgh pushed the lead to 3-0 at 19:09. Crosby took a pass from Phil Kessel and fed Guentzel coming down the slot for his 15th of the season.
Video: PIT@CAR: Letang, Crosby combine to open the scoring
"The thing about [Guentzel] is he shoots the puck well but he's not afraid to go in and get those tough goals around the crease and take cross-checks," Crosby said. "What allows him to be consistent is finding different ways and using his shot when it's there."
The Hurricanes had four power plays but did not have a shot on the first three.
"It was terrible. That's our best players, and zero," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "That to me was where the momentum just shifted. In the second period we had a couple power plays and it just sucked the life out of everybody."
Video: Four Goalies earn Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout
They said it
"[Murray] is an intelligent goaltender. He anticipates and squares up and makes difficult saves and makes a lot of instances look routine. They're really not, but he makes them look that way when he's at his best. I thought he did that tonight." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan
"The bounces just aren't coming for us. We've got to just stick to the program, trust each other in this room and believe in each other. That's how we're going to get out of this." -- Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce
Need to know
Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal left with an upper-body injury after the second period. Brind'Amour said Staal, who recently missed five games with a concussion, suffered a hit to the head in the first period. … Every Carolina skater had at least one shot on goal. … The Hurricanes have scored fewer than two goals in 14 games. … Murray has two shutouts this season and eight in his NHL career. ... Guentzel has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the past six games. … Crosby has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past six games. … Penguins forward Riley Sheahan played his 400th NHL game. … The Penguins are 10-3-1 against the Hurricanes under Sullivan. … Murray improved to 7-2-0 against Carolina.
Penguins: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-PT, FS-D, NHL.TV)
Hurricanes: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-CR, NESN, NHL.TV)
Video: Murray, Guentzel help Penguins blank Hurricanes, 3-0