The Penguins and Hurricanes battled back and forth in a seesaw affair Friday night. The contest featured eight goals, five lead changes and needed an overtime and shootout to decide a victor. When it was over, the Penguins walked away with their fourth win in the last five games (4-0-1) with a 5-4 triumph.
Pittsburgh clung to a 4-3 lead late in the third period, but Carolina’s Jussi Jokinen (who also recorded four points in the game with two goals and two assists) tied the contest with 52 seconds remaining in the third period.
After 65 minutes (and an extra few minutes following a Zamboni re-icing delay), the game came down to a shootout. Letang juked goalie Justin Peters out of his skates and lifted a backhand shot into the netting. Crosby followed that up by snapping a shot through the Peters’ five-hole. Fleury sealed the win with a split pad-save on the dangerous Jokinen.
Chris Kunitz had one of his best games of the season. He was flying around the ice like Sonic the Hedgehog, wrecking havoc and creating chances.
Let’s forget his two goals for the moment, Kunitz made plays all night long. Kunitz also made a great leaping play while the Penguins were on a power play to thwart a clearing attempt where he elevated three feet in the air to snag the puck and keep possession. Kunitz had three hits, including one that drilled Jamie McBain into the boards. He also laid out his body to block a heavy shot in his own zone.
Kunitz tallied the Penguins’ first goal with a perfectly placed wrist shot over Justin Peters’ shoulder and into the corner. He then scored a crucial power-play tally halfway through the third period when he a shot from atop the crease that slipped through Peters for the score.
Kunitz finished the game with two goals (one PP goal), four shots, four hits, a blocked shot and 21:09 minutes of ice time.
The Penguins defeated the Hurricanes in a shootout, but if it weren’t for the spectacular play by netminder Marc-Andre Fleury in the overtime period Pittsburgh might not have had that opportunity.
Fleury made five saves during the five-minute frame, all of which were quality scoring chances for Carolina. The Penguins spent the majority of the overtime session in their own zone and were under heavy attack. Fleury did his job of defending the goal by keeping the puck out of the net, and then the Penguins finished the job in the shootout.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby scored his 14th career game-winning shootout goal and the Pittsburgh Penguins came back after giving up three leads to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Friday night.
Crosby and Kris Letang each put the puck past Justin Peters in the shootout, while Jeff Skinner and Jussi Jokinen, who had two goals, failed against Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury.
• After a brief reprieve in action following overtime, the Penguins and Hurricanes were ready for the shootout. However, the CONSOL Energy Center ice was not. The referee had to fetch the Zamboni to do a couple more laps of cleaning the ice, while the players and coaches on both teams joked and laughed at the spectacle.
• The Penguins were on a power play halfway through the third period with the game tied 3-3. Chris Kunitz’s shot from above the crease appeared to be stopped by goalie Justin Peters, but it somehow sneaked its way over the goal line. The referees held a lengthy review before finally ruling, correctly, that the goal was valid.
• It was the second shootout for the Penguins this season, and first at CONSOL Energy Center. With the win, Pittsburgh is now 2-0 on the current campaign.
• Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin recorded two assists against Carolina. With his second assist, Malkin hit the 400-point mark in his career. Malkin is the 12th player in team history to record 400 points in a Penguins sweater.
• Sidney Crosby recorded a season-high four points against Carolina with one goal and three assists. Crosby had a hand in four of the Penguins’ five goals, and was his typical dominating self.