The Carolina Hurricanes were so desperate to move out Jussi Jokinen last season that Jim Rutherford eventually agreed with Ray Shero to pay a large portion of his $3 million salary as part of a trade, ($900,000 according to Cap Geek), but the Finn showed that he still has plenty of zip in his stick as he scored a hat trick against his former team while leading the Penguins to a 5-2 win on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
After a somewhat slow first period as well as an even slower start to the second, and while falling behind 2-0, the Canes battled back later in the second period and tied the game up early in the third.
But after the score was tied, the wheels fell off for Carolina and Jokinen and the home team took over.
The Pens outshot the Canes 12-8 in the first, but the shots were pretty even the rest of the way and ended up 37-34 Pittsburgh, for the game.
Cam Ward made several tough stops to keep his team in the game, but Jokinen beat him high blocker side on one shot and high glove side on another, on two goals he seemed upset about afterward and probably wanted to have back.
Carolina's special teams took a step back on this night and allowed two powerplay goals on three attempts while going 0-2 on their powerplay.
Jokinen scored the game's first goal when a loose puck came to him in the crease. He kicked the puck nicely to his stick and backhanded it in the net at 14:17 into the period.
Paul Martin scored his first of the season when he knocked in a rebound off the back boards, just 1:04 into the second.
But to their credit, the Canes came roaring back. Eric Staal scored his first of the season as he somehow managed to get a stick on a shot by Justin Faulk while down on the ice. The assist was Faulk's third of the season.
Then at 3:13 into the third period, Nathan Gerbe made a sweet move in front of the net to tie the score. The Canes were battling hard at this point in the game and might have had the edge. But Jokinen would take a nice pass from Evgeni Malkin and gave the Pens the lead for good just two minutes later.
After that it was all Penguins as Ward made save after save in one sequence, one of them a spectacular sweeping stick save on a puck that got past him and almost reached the goal line, only to have Tanner Glass put in an open rebound attempt a few seconds later.
Then Jokinen closed things out as he skated in over the blueline alone and beat Ward from far out with a beauty of a shot.
The Canes will try to regroup before their next game against the Caps in Washington on Thursday night.
- Kirk Muller mixed and matched the lines later in the game. One change was to put Drayson Bowman on the first line and move down Jiri Tlusty. The exchange seemed to spark things. We will see if Ruutu is ready on Thursday and if Muller changes things up again.
- The team allowed another goal seemingly because of a bad line change, (this happened also against Detroit). They appeared to do this too many times last season as well and it needs to be addressed.
- They also allowed a score off of a faceoff, (they might have actually won that one for a brief time). This was a horrible night in the circle for the team as they only won 38% for the game.
- One Pittsburgh goal was taken off the board in the first period because Pascal Dupuis kicked in the puck. After a video review, the refs corrected themselves and made the proper call.
- Plus and Minus? Brett Bellemore and Ron Hainsey each finished with a -2. Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk had solid games and both finished with +2. Faulk had a team high 23:12 of ice time. Sekera was at 22:14 and earned two assists.
- To listen to post game interviews, check the following link. Canes PR