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Aftermath: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Video: Game Highlights
Video: Bylsma | Staal | Crosby
Photos: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2
Audio: Crash The Net | Pre-Game
Aftermath: Pens vs. Hurricanes
Blog: Pens vs. Canes Game Blog
The Penguins dug themselves a hole that proved too big to climb out of. The Hurricanes took a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the second period. The Penguins managed to cut into the lead with two goals 49 seconds apart to make it a close game.

However, despite Pittsburgh’s best efforts it was not able to come up with that third goal. The Penguins held the edge in the last two periods in possession time and shots, 22-10. They had two juicy opportunities in the final seconds with Hurricanes goaltender Manny Legace flopping in his crease. But Carolina defenders were able to aid their netminder by blocking Pittsburgh’s shots.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -Manny Legace stopped 30 shots, Ray Whitney had the decisive goal and an assist and the Carolina Hurricanes won on the road for the first time this season by holding off the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Monday night.

Eric Staal and Joni Pitkanen each had two assists and Andrew Alberts and Jussi Jokinen also scored as Carolina ended its 13-game road losing streak (0-10-3).

Rupp scored his career high ninth goal of the season
(photo by Getty)
What Worked Well: Charging Back
Even though they were down 3-0 early in the second period the Penguins still attacked the Carolina net relentlessly. Pittsburgh scored two goals within a 49-second span to make it a one-goal game. But….

What Could Have Gone Better: Falling Behind
Despite their best comeback attempt, the Penguins weren’t able to overcome the deficit. Heading into the game, Pittsburgh had an incredible 6-10-3 mark under Dan Bylsma when trailing after two periods. So you can’t blame the team for believing it could pull it out. But the hole they fell into was just too deep.
Pascal Dupuis put on an amazing penalty killing performance against Carolina. On one penalty kill in the second period Dupuis twice intercepted Hurricanes passes at the Pittsburgh blue line and dumped the puck. In the third period Dupuis made a diving jab to push a loose puck in the slot away from danger.

Dupuis assisted on Pittsburgh’s second goal. He finished the game with two shots, one hit and 14:22 of ice time.
The Hurricanes struck first with a goal in the first period. Andrew Alberts skated the puck down the right side, faked a centering pass, juked around goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and slipped the puck over the goal line. Carolina 1, Pittsburgh 0.

Carolina extended their lead with a power-play goal halfway through the first period. Jussi Jokinen collected a pass at the blue line, split between two Penguins defenders and lifted a shot over the shoulder of Fleury. Carolina 2, Pittsburgh 0.

The Hurricanes took a 3-0 lead early in the second period on a goal by Ray Whitney. The Penguin killer skated the puck from below the goal line towards the lower far circle. Whitney’s shot sneaked through Fleury for the score. Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 0.

The Penguins got on the board six minutes into the second frame with a goal from their captain. Kris Letang started the play with a great breakout pass from his own zone to Bill Guerin at the opposing blue line. Guerin carried the puck down the near side and sent a pass to a streaking Sidney Crosby in the high slot. Crosby got around Brandon Sutter, avoided a stick check by Tim Gleason and ripped a shot into the netting. Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 1.

The Penguins cut into the Hurricanes’ lead further with another tally 49 seconds after their first. Mike Rupp used Alberts as a screen and threw a shot between the legs of Manny Legace. Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 2.
The Penguins got a boost in the game with the addition of Sidney Crosby. The Penguins captain missed the club’s previous game with a groin injury but returned to the lineup against Carolina and notched his 20th goal of the season.

Bill Guerin sent a statement to his teammates and the Hurricanes when he dropped the gloves against Carolina’s Tim Gleason. Guerin took a few shots but was able to land a few of his own as the two wrestled to the ice.

The Penguins nearly tied the game in the final seconds with Manny Legace sprawled out in the crease. However defenseman Joni Pitkanen grabbed the puck just outside the crease (in the crease would have been an automatic penalty shot) and threw the rubber away from the net.
> Pittsburgh dropped to 20-10-1 on the season with a 10-5-1 mark at Mellon Arena. The Penguins lost in regulation for the first time in seven games (5-1-1).

> Scoring Summary:
CAR, A.Alberts (1), 4:45 1st period: Hurricanes 1, Penguins 0
CAR, J.Jokinen PP (7), 11:36 1st period: Hurricanes 2, Penguins 0
CAR, R.Whitney (8), 2:26 2nd period: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 0
PIT, S.Crosby (20), 6:00 2nd period: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 1
PIT, M.Rupp (9), 6:49 2nd period: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2

> The Penguins are now 38-13-5 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 20-6-2 at Mellon Arena.

> The Penguins are 16-3-1 when registering 30 or more shots in a game this season.

> Sidney Crosby, who returned after missing one game with a groin injury, scored his 20th goal of the year. It was the eighth time he’s scored in the last four games he’s played.

> Evgeni Malkin did not record a point but still has 15 points (4G-11A) in his last 12 games.

> Mike Rupp added to his career-high goal-scoring season with his ninth goal of the year. He has five points (4G-1A) in his last four games.
1. R.Whitney
2. E.Staal
“We’ll evaluate where we came up short
and get ready for Montreal.”
- Dan Bylsma


Author: Sam Kasan

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