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Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2 - (OT)

Jeff Skinner scores game-winner and Elias Lindholm has three assists to lead Carolina to third straight win.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes extended their winning streak to three games when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2 in overtime in front of 13,012 at the PNC Arena on Tuesday night.

Elias Lindholm had three assists and Jeff Skinner scored the game-winner at 3:02 into the extra period.

Jaccob Slavin played a career high and team high, 25:59 of ice time and also led the team with three blocked shots heading a  total team effort by the Hurricanes.

After a tightly checked scoreless first period in which each team only posted five shots on goal, the second period opened with a bang when Lindholm somehow got the puck past three Pittsburgh defenders behind the net to Kris Versteeg who found Eric Staal all alone in front of the net.  Staal made no mistake and put the home team up, 1-0 just 3:52 into the second period.

Carolina has gotten a lot of bad breaks this season but one went for them this game when Versteeg light the lamp midway through period on a shot that went up in the air and landed on Marc-Andre Fleury's back, then into the net to make it 2-0, Canes.

Less than a minute later, Kris Letang made it 2-1 on a shot from the point.

The Penguins started to crank up more pressure at this point and started to gain advantage in shots on goal and possession time but the Carolina defense held on until Sidney Crosby found Chris Kunitz in front of the net and Kunitz buried it to tie the score, six minutes and change into the third.

This was a hard fought, intense game and stayed tied until the end of regulation.

To start the overtime, Bill Peters once again started two defensemen and a forward, bucking the system a bit.  I asked him about this after the game and he mentioned that he liked the way his young defensemen skate.  The coach also thinks his defensemen give the team a better shot to stop the high powered forwards that are thrown out in the overtimes.

About midway through the extra period, Jordan Staal drew a hooking penalty against Evgeni Malkin, giving the home team a 4-on-3 advantage. They did not waste this opportunity as Justin Faulk, Victor Rask, Lindholm, and Skinner worked the puck beautifully until Lindholm found Skinner for the game-winner.

The Canes will travel to St. Louis next and will play the Blues on Thursday night.

Game Notes:

  • Eric Staal's goal was his ninth of the season.  Skinner had his 16th.  The captain also led the team with five shots on goal.  The Canes were out-shot in this game, 25-21. 
  • The team had 23 hits and they were led by Noah Hanifin with five.