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Penguins 2, Hurricanes 1 - (SO)

Canes again fail to score in shootout loss

Kris Letang wins the game in the shootout for the Pittsburgh Penguins
Kris Letang wins the game in the shootout for the Pittsburgh Penguins
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It was an old fashioned goaltender dual at the PNC Arena on Friday night as both Cam Ward and Marc-Andre Fleury made several quality saves until the Pittsburgh Penguins finally prevailed with a 2-1 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

After an extremely exciting scoreless overtime period, the game went to a shootout and once again, none of the Carolina shooters were able to light the lamp.  The Canes have now gone 0-8 shooting in their last two shootouts and have yet to win a shootout this season.  They have only scored one goal in a shootout all season and rank 29th in the league with that stat.

After a scoreless first period, Phil Kessel was able to beat Cam Ward on the short side, something that has been a weakness for Ward this season.  The goalie was snug to the post up high, but Kessel saw an opening near the hip area and zipped in the shot to make it 1-0.

The score stayed that way until late in the third period when Andrej Nestrasil buried a shot to tie the game with just 5:18 left in the game.  The goal was Nestrasil's eighth of the season.

The Hurricanes had some nice momentum at this point and almost scored again when Noah Hanifin made a beautiful skating move behind the net but was stopped on the wrap-around chance.  Neither team could get any closer in regulation.

The overtime was an exciting one as both teams skated up and down the ice in the 3-on-3 format.  The Canes alternated between playing two defensemen and two forwards at a time.

In the shootout, the Canes went with Chris Terry, Phillip Di Giuseppe, and Elias Lindholm.  Terry was stopped on his patented backhand move and Lidholm and PDG missed the net with their tries.

Sidney Crosby missed the net, Ward then stopped Chris Kunitz, but Kris Letang won it with the final try of the night.

The loss puts the Hurricanes five points behind the eighth place Penguins while also giving up a game in hand.

They will try again against the New York Islanders with another Cup celebration game on Saturday night.

Game Notes:

  • The team played without leading scorer Justin Faulk who got hurt in a practice this week.  Faulk was a game time decision and will be again tomorrow night. 
  • Faulk usually leads the team with time on ice.  Tonight it was Jaccob Slavin with 24:25 of ice time.
  • The Canes went 0-3 on the powerplay this night without a shot on goal. 
  • Kris Versteeg had a team high five shots on goal.  The team outshot the Pens, 30-26 for the game.  The Canes also missed the net 27 times in this one. 
  • Hanifin led the team with four takeaways. Brett Pesce had a team high four blocked shots.