Defenseman Jamie McBain, who was listed on the official game roster as a healthy scratch, scored twice, but that was not enough for the Carolina Hurricanes as they dropped their sixth straight game, 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the RBC on Saturday night.
The Canes have now lost 13 of their last 16 games.
Coach Kirk Muller decided to go with seven defensemen in this game and captain Eric Staal was double shifted a bit of the time. Staal finished with a team high, 26:57 of ice time and finished with three hits, three shots, and three takeaways, but zero points for his efforts.
The home team came out fired up and put a lot of pressure on in the Pittsburgh zone in the first period, but they were unable to light the lamp.
Carolina tied it up later in the period when McBain fired one in from the point during a delayed call on the powerplay. It was the blueliner's first goal of the season.
But another fourth line player, Arron Asham would give the Pens the lead about eight minutes into the third. Then just a minute and change after that goal, the Canes would be burned again when Pascal Dupuis earned a hard working goal in front of the Carolina net.
With the score 3-1, the Canes were benefits of some powerplay opportunities and they were able to take advantage when McBain knocked in his second, later in the third period.
But the home team was unable to beat Brent Johnson again, even as they turned a two man advantage into a three man, after they took Boucher out of net in the last minute of the game. Jussi Jokinen had a great chance with seconds left, but hit the post. The puck skittered along the goal line, but Johnson covered it up before a Cane was able to knock it home.
The Canes will hit the road for their next four games.
- After outshooting the Pens the first period, 12-8, the Canes were outshot the next two, 13-6, and 19-14. For the game, the disadvantage was 40-32.
- While they could not score with the two man and three man advantage near the end, the Canes did score a rare powerplay tally and officially went 1 for 4 for the game.
- Jeff Skinner had a game high four shots on goal.
- The team blocked 24 shots led by Kaberle, Allen, Gleason, and Sutter with three each.
- They won 56% of their faceoffs. (Staal 56%, Sutter 45%, Jokinen 67%).
- Tim Brent was the last minute healthy scratch, to make room for McBain. Muller said that he told Staal to let it all go for this one, knowing that they would double shift the center. The coach was not concerned about wearing down his captain, knowing that they had a couple of days off before the next game.
- Of the seven defensemen, Justin Faulk led them all with 21:37 of ice time. Derek Joslin had a low of 10:16.
- Fourth liners Stewart and Nodl played a bit over five minutes each. The lowest time on ice for Pittsburgh was Asham with 8:07. Top forward time was Evgeni Malkin with 19:34 and Sidney Crosby with 19:27.