Brian Pothier scores his first goal as a Hurricane after taking a pass from Whitney below the goal line and sending a one-timer over the glove of Johnson. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 3.
Pittsburgh is 11-4 in overtime games this season while the Hurricanes are 5-8.
Despite a strong effort by the Penguins down the stretch this game will head to overtime with the game tied, 3-3.
Malkin just rang a shot off the far post skating down the right wing.
I don't know how but somehow Peters kept Dupuis' shot from getting into the net.
This game is starting to have the feel of the first matchup between these two teams at RBC Center back on Oct. 14. Pittsburgh went ahead 2-0 that night and then had to go to a shootout before picking up a 3-2 victory. Tonight again it was 2-0 Pittsburgh early and now the score is 3-3 as the clock winds down.
It's tough to play the Hurricanes and not think of former Penguins and Hurricanes center Ron Francis, who is one of the top players of all-time for both franchises. Francis is an associate head coach/director of player personnel for Carolina.
The Penguins continue to buzz around Peters, who is doing a great job of standing on his head as Pittsburgh keeps firing away on him. Also, the Malkin-Ponikarovsky-Fedotenko trio keeps getting better with each passing shift.
I feel like they still have something up there sleeve before the night is over.
I don't know how he did it but Peters just made a spectacular save with his glove on a one-timer by Fedotenko from eight feet away. Malkin made a great pass to Fedotenko from behind the net. The Penguins are outshooting the Hurricanes 9-5 in the third period.
Cole keeps getting chances here in the third period. He had not one but two chances from the bottom of the near circle but Johnson held his ground on both.
Kunitz just fired the rebound of Staal's shot off the post as the Penguins nearly re-take the lead.
Another player who deserves praise for his recent play is Alex Goligoski. The second-year blueliner is winning battles at both ends of the rink, putting passes right on the tape and getting his shot through. The Penguins will need him to continue his strong play in all of these areas into the postseason.
Johnson is back up and will stay in the game.
Hopefully Brent Johnson
is alright. Tuomo Ruutu just drilled Eaton into Johnson, removing the mask from the Penguins goaltender and sending his glove, which Johnson had just used to make a save, into the net. Ruutu gets a penalty for goaltender interference on the play.
The Pitt Panthers dropped their second decision to Notre Dame this season and have been bounced from the Big East Tournament.
Erik Cole got behind the Penguins defense on breakaway with a chance to give the Canes the lead. Johnson stayed with Cole and made a game-saving stop with his right arm.
Nice kick save by Johnson on a shot by Whitney from the side of the cage. That guy always seems to be in position to score against the Penguins.
As I flip to and from the Pitt game, I ask myself: Why are there so many timeouts at the end of a basketball game?
The Penguins have come out firing here in the third period. If they keep this up they should find themselves in good shape.
Hopefully the Penguins can use the momentum generated from killing that two-man disadvantage and begin this road trip with a victory.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- We have to give credit to the players who helped kill off the 1:39 two-man advantage for the Penguins: Matt Cooke
, Craig Adams
, Maxime Talbot, Alex Goligoski, Jordan Staal
and Brooks Orpik
- Mike Rupp leads the Penguins with four hits.
- Pittsburgh went 14-3 on draws in the middle frame after going just 5-16 in the first period.
Just like the end of the opening period, we have a tied hockey game after two periods at RBC Center (3-3). Pittsburgh continues to outshoot the Canes, 24-13.
Gonchar is back, too. The Penguins kill off both penalties. Mark my words: The Penguins will use this momentum to take this game.
Eaton is back and the Penguins kill off the first minor.
Carolina now has a great opportunity to take the lead with Gonchar sent to the box for clearing the puck into the stands. The Hurricanes will have 1:39 to work with a two-man advantage.
Eaton is penalized for interference following a collision with Cole in the neutral zone.
Head coach Dan Bylsma has skated Guerin with Staal and Cooke the past two shifts while Dupuis has taken the right side with Crosby and Kunitz. Nice job by Coach Bylsma of rewarding Dupuis for his strong play.
A great job by Books Orpik to step up and join the rush. He came over the blue line and used a Carolina defenseman as a screen and nearly sneaked a shot in from the near circle.
Peters had to be alert to make a save on Kunitz in the slot. The puck bounced on the icce on its way in and nearly jumped over Peters' pad.
The Penguins just came within inches of taking the lead back from the Canes. Guerin took a pass from Staal in the right circle and unleashed a snap shot which glanced off the goal post.
The Penguins are playing very well as a team since returning from the Olympic break. Is there anybody playing better than Dupuis? He has been the best player on the ice again tonight. I don't think he has lost a battle down low all night.
Another update from MSG in New York. It's the Panthers trailing by one, 34-33, with 15:35 to go in the second half.
I'd say the Cooke-Staal-Dupuis unit is working out pretty well. Goligoski moves the puck from the right-wing boards to Dupuis behind the net. Dupuis' wraparound shot was denied by Peters but Matt Cooke
backhanded the rebounded just over the goal line to tie the score. Penguins 3, Hurricanes 3.
LaRose tried the same sneaky wraparound play Staal scored on but Johnson kept his left pad along the post and made the same.
Carolina takes their first lead of the night as Erik Cole and Eric Staal cycle the puck behind the net before Staal sneaks a shot into the short-side post. Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2.
Carolina's talented second-year center, Brandon Sutter, will not return with a lower-body injury.
Pittsburgh kills off the remainder of the Talbot penalty and we are back to five-on-five action.
Hopefully this second period is as entertaining as the first! Carolina begins the frame on the power play.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Bill Guerin, who scored his 18th goal on a power play, had a game-high three shots.
- Evgeni Malkin
had two takeaways in the opening period.
- At the half in New York City, the Panthers trail the Irish by three, 32-29.
An entertaining first period ends with the score all knotted, 2-2. Pittsburgh is outshooting the Hurricanes, 9-6.
Carolina goes to the power play for the second time in the period as Maxime Talbot is sent to the box for holding.
Great player by Malkin to get Peters down and out after stealing the puck at the top of the Hurricanes zone but Ponikarovsky's shot off a Malkin pass sails wide of the cage as he didn't get good wood on the shot.
Crosby nearly threads the needle to Dupuis standing in front of the cage but the puck just goes wide of his cage as the Penguins have their best scoring chance in a while.
And we finally get our first whistle in a while as Johnson catches a Chad LaRose shot with his catching glove.
Great up and down the ice action here following the Boychuk zone, although neither team is able to get much offense going on net.
All of a sudden we have a new hockey game here at RBC Center as Zach Boychuk gets to a loose puck off a neutral-zone faceoff, takes the puck right to the slot and tosses a backhander past the blocker of Johnson. Penguins 2, Hurricanes 2.
An update from Madison Square Garden and the Big East Tournament. It's Notre Dame with a 15-12 lead on Pitt midway through the first half. Following losses earlier in the day by Syracuse and West Virginia the Panthers are suddenly the favorite to take home the title. Best of luck to Jamie Dixon and the Panthers.
Ray Whitney sure likes playing against the Penguins, doesn't he?! Ten seconds into the power play he beats Johnson to the stick side on a one-timer from the left point. Penguins 2, Hurricanes 1.
The Penguins have won three straight contests in Raleigh dating back to last spring's Eastern Conference Semifinals. Pittsburgh defeated the Canes, 3-2 in a shootout, on Oct. 14 of this season:
Carolina's will have a crack on the man-advantage following the commercial break as Sergei Gonchar will head to the box.
13:33: Jordan Staal
's goal was his first career goal against older brother Eric.
Persistence translates into a 2-0 lead for the Penguins. Peters makes saves on both Crosby and Evgeni Malkin
but Guerin slams home the third chance, his 18th goal of the season, as the Penguins score a power-play goal for the sixth time in the past seven games. Penguins 2, Hurricanes 0.
Pittsburgh goes on the power play as Patrick Dwyer goes to the box for clearing the puck into the crowd.
Big hit in the corner by the Penguins Alexei Ponikarovsky. That's one area of his game that is underrated - how well he plays the body.
Peters got caught in his net on Staal's goal so he made sure to get out of his crease to deny a great chance by Bill Guerin. The Penguins are once again flying and controlling the play at the outset of a game.
As usual when a Pittsburgh sports team goes on the road, the RBC Center is loaded with Penguins fans. A loud applause accompanied the announcement of Staal's goal.
18:56: Jordan Staal
and Pascal Dupuis
continue their strong play. Dupuis takes a keep-in from Mark Eaton behind the Carolina net and feeds Staal in the slot. Staal turns the puck over from his backhand to his forehand and drills a shot far side on Justin Peters to open the scoring. Penguins 1, Hurricanes 0.
The puck is dropped and the Penguins and Hurricanes are underway at RBC Center.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Penguins are 5-0-3 in their past eight games.
7:05 PM: Brent Johnson
gets the start in goal tonight for the Penguins. He has won three straight decisions in goal. He will be opposed at the opposite end of the rink by Justin Peters, making just his fifth-career start.
Bill Guerin is in the lineup tonight after missing the past three contests with back spasms. He will take his usual spot on the right side with Sidney Crosby
and Chris Kunitz
. Pascal Dupuis
moves down to play the right wing with Jordan Staal
and Matt Cooke
. Tyler Kennedy
is a healthy scratch for the Penguins along with Jay McKee. Eric Godard, who worked on the ice this morning with strength coach Mike Kadar before practice
, is also scratched. Carolina's scratches include Oskar Osala and Cam Ward.
The Penguins hit the road for a season-long five-game road trip beginning on Thursday night when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center. Pittsburgh defeated Carolina, 3-2 in a shootout, on Oct. 14 in Raleigh. The Hurricanes avenged that loss with a 3-2 victory at Mellon Arena on Dec. 7. Pittsburgh concludes the trip with visits to New Jersey on Friday, Tampa Bay on Sunday, New Jersey (again) on Mar. 17 and Boston on Mar. 18. Overall, the Penguins will play seven of the next eight on the road.
Author: Jason Seidling