|After the first five minutes of the game it appeared as though the Penguins were going to run away with this contest. Jordan Staal and Bill Guerin scored within the first 5:29 to stake the Penguins to a 2-0 lead and Pittsburgh was flying through the Carolina zone and cycling the puck down low with ease. |
Carolina recovered from the early onslaught and scored the next three goals to take a 3-2 lead 2:09 into the second period. Just like some of the other contests following the Olympic break, the Penguins were not fazed with falling behind. Matt Cooke tied the game with six minutes to play in the second period and Pittsburgh took over from there.
The Penguins peppered Carolina with 30 shots over the final two periods compared to only 14 for the Hurricanes, but netminder Justin Peters was the difference with 37 saves on the night. If not for some dandy saves by Peters in the third period, especially ones on Ruslan Fedotenko and Pascal Dupuis as time wound down in regulation, the Penguins would have walked away with the two points they deserved in this contest. Instead, they leave with one as Brian Pothier scored just 23 seconds into overtime to give Carolina a 4-3 victory.
|WHAT HAPPENED |
|RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Brian Pothier scored at 23 of overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. |
Justin Peters made 37 saves - including a late gem on Pascal Dupuis - to help Carolina survive a 40-21 shot disadvantage.
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT |
Jordan Staal celebrates his 19th goal of the season in the first period.
(photo by Getty)
|What Worked Well: Generating Offense From Behind the Goal Line |
When Pittsburgh is at the top of its game they are capable of wearing teams out with their forecheck and working their offense from the goal line out. Although it didn’t result in two points in the standings, that was the case again on Thursday. Pittsburgh’s first and third goals came following excellent cycles down low and quick plays from the goal line to the slot.
What Could Have Gone Better: The Middle of the First Period
Other than a 1:26 stretch in the first period the Penguins dominated the play against Carolina. The Hurricanes tallied twice in that span to even the score, 2-2, just when it looked like this night might be a Penguins’ blowout. Those couple minutes in the middle of the opening period were the only time Carolina was able to skate with the Penguins.
|It seems like we are saying this every night here recently, but once again it is Pascal Dupuis who made the biggest difference for the Penguins. Playing on the right wing with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke, Dupuis earned the primary helper on the Penguins’ first and third goals. Dupuis has now picked up five points (3G-2A) over his past five games, including a three-game scoring streak. |
Not only was Dupuis great with the puck on his stick, he also did a bunch of good things without the puck. He was constantly the first man in on the forecheck taking the body. Dupuis also made a great play in the first period to backcheck into the defensive zone after starting the play in the far corner of the offensive end. Head coach Dan Bylsma rewarded him with shifts on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz over the second half of the game.
|SCORING SYNOPSIS |
|Pittsburgh struck first just 1:04 into the opening period. Mark Eaton held the puck in along the left-wing boards to Pascal Dupuis behind the net. Dupuis backhanded a pass onto the stick of Jordan Staal in the slot. Staal quickly turned the puck from backhand to forehand and blasted a shot into the far side of the net. Pittsburgh 1, Carolina 0. |
Pittsburgh went ahead 2-0 on a power-play goal at 5:29. Carolina goaltender Justin Peters stopped an initial shot by Sidney Crosby and a rebound attempt by Evgeni Malkin, but could not keep the third chance by Bill Guerin at the side of the cage out of the net. Pittsburgh 2, Carolina 0.
Carolina cut the Penguins’ lead in half 1:16 later thanks to a power-play goal of their own. Joni Pitkanen laid a perfect pass onto the blade of Ray Whitney at the left point. Whitney stepped into a one-timer and beat Brent Johnson to the blocker side just inside the near post. Pittsburgh 2, Carolina 1.
Carolina evened the score off a neutral-zone faceoff midway through the first period. Zach Boychuk got the puck at the top of the Penguins zone and skated through the slot before throwing a backhander over the blocker of Johnson into the upper corner of the cage. Pittsburgh 2, Carolina 2.
Eric Staal gave the Hurricanes the lead when he took a pass from Erik Cole behind the net and stuff a shot inside the near post just 2:09 into the second period. Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 2.
Pittsburgh once again worked their offense from the goal line out to tie the score. Alex Goligoski held the puck in along the far boards to Dupuis behind the net. Dupuis’ wraparound shot by stopped by Peters, but Matt Cooke backhanded the rebound just into the net to even the score. Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 3.
Just 23 seconds into overtime, Whitney moved the puck from the near corner to Brian Pothier at the opposite faceoff dot. Pothier fired a shot across his body into the top corner of the net over the glove of Johnson. Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 3.
|INTRIGUING NOTABLES |
|Bill Guerin returned to the Penguins’ lineup against the Hurricanes after missing the previous three games due to back spasms. Guerin split time playing the right side on his usual line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz and also with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke during the second half of the game. He scored his 18th goal of the season on a power play in the first period when he jammed a shot home from the right of the net. |
One of the keys to the Penguins being able to pick up a point against the Hurricanes was the 1:39 stretch towards the end of the second period when the team killed off a two-man advantage for Carolina. Cooke sent the puck the length of the ice twice during the span while Craig Adams twice used his stick to break up passes through the box. Other players who helped during the kill were Maxime Talbot, Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik and Alex Goligoski.
|GAME NOTES |
|> Scoring Summary: |
PIT, J. Staal (19), 1:04 1st period: Penguins 1, Hurricanes 0
PIT, B. Guerin PP (18), 5:29 1st period: Penguins 2, Hurricanes 0
CAR, R. Whitney PP (20), 7:45 1st period: Penguins 2, Hurricanes 1
CAR, Z. Boychuk (2), 9:11 1st period: Penguins 2, Hurricanes 2
CAR, E. Staal (21), 2:09 2nd period: Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2
PIT, M. Cooke (13), 6:00 2nd period: Penguins 3, Hurricanes 3
CAR, B. Pothier (5), 0:23 Overtime: Hurricanes 4, Penguins 3
> Pittsburgh (40-22-5) was able to pick up a point in the overall standings to give them 85 on the season, four more than the idle New Jersey Devils, whom the Penguins will face on Friday at the Prudential Center.
> Despite the loss the Penguins still picked up a point against the Hurricanes, extending their unbeaten streak to nine games (5-0-4). Pittsburgh is now 1-1-1 this season against the Hurricanes.
> The Penguins are now 58-25-9 all-time in the regular season under head coach Dan Bylsma.
> Pittsburgh is in the midst of a season-long five-game road trip. They will be in New Jersey on Friday, Tampa Bay on Sunday, back in New Jersey on March 17 and then conclude the trek in Boston on March 18.
> Sidney Crosby picked up an assist on Bill Guerin’s first-period goal to extend his scoring streak to seven games. Crosby has picked up 11 points (5G-6A) during the streak. He has picked up points in 15 of his past 17 games for a total of 28 points (14G-14A) during the stretch.
> Evgeni Malkin also picked up an assist on the Guerin goal. Malkin has points in 17 of his last 18 games for a total of 26 points (10G-16A) during the span.
> Pascal Dupuis had two assists on the night, extending his scoring steak to three games. Dupuis has four points (2G-2A) during the streak.
> Jordan Staal scored his third goal in the past four games against the Hurricanes. He now has 19 on the same, putting him one short of notching his third career 20-goal season.
> Alex Goligoski’s assist gave him points in four of the past five games (1G-3A). It was also Goligoski’s 30th point of the season, the first time he has reached that mark.
|THREE STARS ||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT |
| || |
|1. J. Peters |
2. B. Pothier
3. E. Staal
|"I think that the team we played tonight has |
proven all year long that they are not
going to stop playing."
- Dan Bylsma