The Carolina Hurricanes played one of their best games of the season as they defeated one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins, by a score of 4-2 on Friday night at the CONSOL Energy Center.
The win broke up a three game losing streak for the Canes and now gives them two wins in their last eight games.
Jiri Tlusty scored two goals for the visitors and now leads Carolina with 10 goals for the season.
Tlusty lit the lamp first at 15:47 into the first period when he sent a puck toward the net which hit someone and ended up getting past Marc-Andre Fleury. The lead was short-lived though as Sidney Crosby set up camp in front of Cam Ward, blocking the goalie from stopping a Kris Letang shot, just 43 seconds later.
The Canes outshot the Pens 17-9 in the first period and ended up out-shooting them in every period, (17-9, 11-7, 7-6).
In the second period, Justin Faulk would create a turnover and Tlusty fed the puck to Patrick Dwyer, who was breaking into the clear. Dwyer made no mistake and put the Canes up 2-1, but the Pens would strike back once again.
Crosby and Patric Hornqvist crisscrossed while skating into the Carolina zone and Hornquist beat Ward to tie the game with four minutes and change left in the period.
The Hurricanes did not fade in the third period in this game though and Nathan Gerbe would score the game-winner with a pretty powerplay goal, 3:10 into the final period. Lindholm set up the open shot with a perfect pass from the opposite slot.
Tlusty would close things out with an empty-netter with just 13 seconds left. Crosby was called for a 10 minute misconduct at this time as well. (edit) The Pittsburgh captain clipped Riley Nash with a head shot, blindsiding the unsuspecting Nash just a bit earlier.
Both these teams will meet again in Raleigh at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
- This was really a complete team effort as even the much maligned Alexander Semin was cited as playing a good game. Nate Gerbe wore the fireman's helmet after the game as the team's most valuable player in this one.
- Cam Ward made 20 saves on 22 shots but none better than a sprawling stick save made in the opening period. Fleury had 31 saves on 34 shots. Staal and Gerbe each had six shots on goal for Carolina.
- Faulk played a very solid game on defense and teamed up with Andrej Sekera for over 24 minutes of ice time. Peters played seven defensemen and noted before the game that a couple of his guys were banged up and he didn't want to chance falling to five players on the blueline.
- Event summary stat sheet
- Bill Peters postgame presser