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Recap: Penguins deal critical blow to Hurricanes’ playoff chances in 3-2 win

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The Canes are at the point of needing a miracle.

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

With the Boston Bruins winning on Sunday, the Hurricanes did little to help their quest for a playoff spot as they dropped a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canes’ tragic number now sits at 1, and the team could be eliminated by the time they take the ice on Tuesday night in Minnesota if either the Maple Leafs or Senators win tomorrow night.

The Penguins scored first midway through the first period as Jake Guentzel struck on the power play to give the Penguins the lead. Chad Ruhwedel and Guentzel’s speed helped them to get past a tired Hurricanes defense and Guentzel was able to tap in a great setup pass from Ruhwedel. After a great individual effort by Elias Lindholm, the Hurricanes tied the game at one after Jeff Skinner tipped in Lindholm’s shot. Skinner’s goal was his 33rd of the season, tying his career high that he scored during the course of the 2013-14 season.

Canes Country’s own Brett Finger summed up Jeff Skinner’s first period goal:

The Penguins took the lead again after Scott Wilson scored at the 7:50 mark of the second period. Wilson’s goal was his eighth of the season and his first in his last 15 games. Pittsburgh held a 22-21 shot advantage over the Hurricanes in a tight game through two periods.

The Penguins extended their lead to two goals as Conor Sheary scored just five minutes into the third period. Canes defenseman Justin Faulk struck on the power play for his 17th goal of the season to pull the Hurricanes within one, setting a franchise record for goals by a defenseman in the process. And it was a rather remarkable goal, bouncing off the glass and Matt Murray’s backside into the net:

The Hurricanes had another opportunity on the power play to tie the game but could not capitalize. They fell to 0-4 this season against the Penguins, their first season sweep at the hands of Pittsburgh since the 1997-98 season. Matt Murray earned the win stopping 33 of 35 shots, and Eddie Lack took the loss in his return from a neck injury on Monday, seeing 26 shots and making 23 saves.

The Hurricanes will take on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at 8 pm.


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