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Aftermath: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2 OT

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Photos: Canes 3, Pens 2 (OT)

Video: Game Highlights
Video: Bylsma | Crosby 
Video: Fedotenko | Fleury
Aftermath: Canes 3, Pens 2 (OT)
Blog: Pens vs. Canes Game Blog
The Penguins struggled at the start of the contest and couldn’t find their game in the opening 20 minutes, but slowly got better as the game went on. Pittsburgh made enough plays to take a 2-1 lead late in the third period.

However, the scrappy Hurricanes fought back and tied the game with four minutes left to force overtime. The Penguins carried the play in the extra session, but Jamie McBain won the game for Carolina when his slap shot from the midpoint was deflected into the net with 0.9 seconds left.

Despite the setback, Pittsburgh still earned a crucial point in the Atlantic Division standings to take a two-point lead over New Jersey. The Devils have two games in hand on Pittsburgh, and play later this evening against St. Louis.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jamie McBain scored his first NHL goal on a slap shot from above the circles with less than a second remaining in overtime, and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a late deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Saturday.

The crowd reacts to Evgeni Malkin's third-period goal
(photo by Getty)
What Went Well: Special Teams
Special teams are a big part of any game. The Penguins came out on the plus side of the special teams battle against Carolina as their power play secured a goal and their penalty killers held the Hurricanes off the scoreboard.

What Could Have Gone Better: Slow Start
Pittsburgh had a sloppy to start to the game. The team registered only four shots in the opening period and struggled to find its rhythm. The Penguins got better as the game wore on, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the victory.
The difference maker in this game wasn’t any individual but the Penguins’ penalty killers as a group. The PK was silly big in the third period when they killed consecutive penalties, including 22 seconds worth of a 5-on-3 disadvantage, and a late penalty in the final minutes to salvage a point for Pittsburgh. In all, Pittsburgh has now killed 20 straight penalties.
The Carolina Hurricanes netted the game’s opening goal with 13:12 to play in the first period. Zach Boychuk chipped the puck into the near corner of the Penguins zone and drove to the net. Mark Eaton, who was covering Boychuk, lost his skate edge and fell to the ice. Joni Pitkanen retrieved the puck and made a centering pass to the unchecked Boychuk. Boychuk re-directed the puck into the goal for the score. Carolina 1, Pittsburgh 0.

The Penguins tied the game with 17.5 seconds left in the second period with a power-play goal. Sidney Crosby found Alexei Ponikarovsky above the near circle. Ponikarovsky made a power move to get around Eric Staal, and then rifled a pass through two Hurricanes to Jordan Staal at the lower far circle. Staal one-timed a shot into the cage for his 20th goal of the year. Pittsburgh 1, Carolina 1.

The Penguins took the lead with seven minutes left in the third period. Ruslan Fedotenko had the puck in the far circle and dropped it to Evgeni Malkin. Fedotenko and linemate Ponikarovsky drove to the net, pulling in both Hurricanes defenders and creating a soft spot in the high slot. Malkin, who played for the first time since missing two contests with an undisclosed injury, sneaked into the open ice and ripped a shot into the netting. Pittsburgh 2, Carolina 1.

Carolina tied the game on Pitkanen’s slap shot from the left circle with four minutes remaining in the third period. Pittsburgh 2, Carolina 2.

The Hurricanes won the game with an overtime goal from Jamie McBain with just 0.9 seconds left before a possible shootout. McBain unleashed a slap shot from the midpoint. The puck was deflected in front and found its way into the net for the winner, and McBain’s first career NHL goal. Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 2.
Evgeni Malkin was back in the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. He showed good energy and didn’t appear tentative or slowed by his injury. Malkin scored his 24th goal of the year and recorded a game-high seven shots.

The Hurricanes started goaltender Manny Legace in the game. Legace made eight saves but left the game in the second period after suffering a lower body injury when Tyler Kennedy collided with him while trying to find a loose puck. Justin Peters made 15 saves in a relief appearance, and picked up the win.
> Pittsburgh is now 42-24-6 on the season with a 21-10-4 mark at Mellon Arena. The Penguins are two points ahead of New Jersey for the Atlantic Division lead, pending the outcome of the Devils’ contest tonight against St. Louis.

> Pittsburgh is 6-2-2 since the Olympic break.

> Scoring Summary:
CAR, Z.Boychuk (3), 6:48 1st period: Hurricanes 1, Penguins 0
PIT, J.Staal PP (20), 19:42 2nd period: Penguins 1, Hurricanes 1
PIT, E.Malkin (24), 13:05 3rd period: Penguins 2, Hurricanes 1
CAR, J.Pitkanen (6), 16:00 3rd period: Penguins 2, Hurricanes 2
CAR, J.McBain (1), 4:59 OT: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2

> The Penguins penalty killers have killed off 20 straight penalties, and 29 of the last 31 (93.6 percent) shorthanded situations.

> Evgeni Malkin scored a goal in his first game back from missing two games with an undisclosed injury.

> Jordan Staal scored his 20th goal of the season. Staal has hit the 20-goal mark for the third time in his four-year career.

> Sidney Crosby posted an assist, and has points in 18 of his last 22 games for a total of 31 (15G-16A) over that span.

> Alexei Ponikarovsky had two assists, and has points in three of his last four games with a goal and three assists. 
1. J. McBain
2. J. Staal
3.J. Pitkanen
"I felt good. My foot felt stronger and I
played a stronger game. It wasn’t
sore until the last minute
(of overtime)."
- Evgeni Malkin


Author: Sam Kasan

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