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Canes fend off Penguins, sweep season series

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 Saturday night at PNC Arena.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes were one ill-advised paddle swipe away from shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at PNC Arena, but the team will take the 2-1 win regardless.

Frederik Andersen was stellar in net — outside of his one gaffe — turning aside 31 shots and once again goal contributions from the defense led the way for the team.

It was also the first ever regular season series sweep of the Penguins by the Hurricanes in team history — funny enough, each game was decided by just a single goal — and the win moves the Canes to 12-3-1 over the Metropolitan Division.

The two goals came off the sticks of Brady Skjei — who is now tied for fifth on the team in goals with 9 — and Jalen Chatfield — who has now scored goals in back-to-back games and has 4 in his last 11 games. The defense has long been a strength of the Canes, but scoring goals wasn’t always the emphasis of that strength.

The vibes are back on for Carolina and most likely because the goaltending has finally been able to keep up with the rest of the team now that Andersen is back.

Because honestly the Hurricanes would have had a shutout and perfect penalty kill if Andersen didn’t decide to play some casual tennis in the middle of the third period.

He looks calm and composed back there and he’s making those key saves that have eluded the Canes recently.

Onto that penalty kill, which went 5-for-6 (6-for-6 if not for the goof) on the night. They were rock solid throughout the contest, especially to close out the second period down two men with both Calvin de Haan and Jordan Staal in the box.

The Hurricanes got bodies in lanes, blocked shots and outcompeted the Penguins all over the ice while on the PK and starting the third period still down two men and having Brent Burns win a faceoff against Sidney Crosby was just... *chefs kiss*

The Canes only got two cracks at the power play, with a few decent chances, but the officials did not do them any favors overall in the contest, but they persevered through the call discrepancy.

Carolina played a solid team game and controlled the play at even strength. After a bit of panic, things seem to be falling back into place.

The team will keep the vibes rolling into tomorrow with a bit of an earlier start, 5 p.m., against the Vancouver Canucks at PNC Arena.