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Slavin, Hurricanes win yet another close game against the Pens

When the world needed him most, he answered, as some late game heroics helped push the Carolina Hurricanes to a seventh-straight win and extend their point streak to 13 games.

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Every meeting between the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins this season have been one-goal games and tonight was no different, as for the second time in their three meetings, it went to overtime.

However, yet again, it was Carolina coming out ahead, as Jaccob Slavin was the OT hero.

The win propels the Hurricanes further up the Metropolitan Division standings with a seventh-straight win and points in 13 straight.

The Penguins jumped out to the initial lead late in the first period as Sidney Crosby popped in a loose rebound on the power play, but the Hurricanes used that to fuel a quick push back.

First, Martin Necas happened to be in just the right place at the right time as a Calvin de Haan shot ricocheted off the end board right to Necas with an open look just 15 seconds after the Crosby goal.

And then 17 seconds after that, Jesperi Kotkaniemi — who picked up his 100th career point with the assist — won an offensive faceoff back to Jalen Chatfeld who fired it through a crowd for his first career NHL goal.

So the Canes managed to flip a potentially deflating late goal into a lead after one period of play.

However, once again, the inability of the Hurricanes’ power play to do damage hurt them. The Hurricanes went 0-for-5 on the power play with four of those coming in the second period.

It’s beyond bizarre that Carolina is so potent and strong at 5-on-5 play, but yet look so disconnected when on the power play. That was none more evident when they surrendered a shorthanded goal to the Penguins in the last minute of the second period.

A lackadaisical special teams unit showed little effort as the Penguins managed to get down the ice and get off a shot and then also beat everyone out to the second chance too as former Hurricane Brock McGinn got on the score sheet yet again.

After the referee fest that was the second period, nothing was called in the third period. Even a blatant trip on Seth Jarvis that led to an injury.

Then not long after that play, Bryan Rust managed to break off for a one-on-one against Jordan Martinook and the Penguin proceeded to walk Martinook for a highlight-reel goal and the lead.

But just like McGinn and Jeff Skinner love scoring against their old club, so to does Jordan Staal. The Canes’ captain always seems to have an extra pep to his step against Pittsburgh and tonight was no different.

In the waning minutes of the third period, Staal barreled down low to the puck, glided around the back of the net and tucked in the wrap-around to tie the game back up.

And it didn’t take long to decide a winner in overtime as Seth Jarvis found Jaccob Slavin at the net front and the defensemen effortlessly deked around Tristan Jarry for the win.

Also picking up an assist on the play was Brent Burns who registered his 800th career point, becoming just the 17th defenseman in NHL history to reach that milestone.

The Carolina Hurricanes will be back in action against the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow, Friday, December 22, at PNC Arena for their last game before the holiday break.