The Pittsburgh Penguins peppered Justin Peters with 52 shots on goal last night, and pulled away with 3 goals in the third period to beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the Pens’ first game since the Christmas break. The Canes started off in the first period with a beautiful pinch at the blue line by Tim Gleason, who made a nice pass to Tim Brent, who tipped it in past Marc Andre Fleury to give the Canes a 1-0 lead at 10:23, which is how the two teams entered the first intermission.
The second period was a Pens’ onslaught as they put 21 shots on Justin Peters as the Canes only put 3 shots on Fleury. James Neal was then able to break Peters as he took a puck that was whiffed on an attempted clear by Bryan Allen and slipped it past the Canes’ net minder. Even after being outshot 37-10 after two periods, Justin Peters kept the game tied at 1 entering the second intermission. Chad LaRose drew an (questionable) interference call less than a minute into the period and it didn’t take long for the Penguins to strike. Steve Sullivan took a pass from Evgeni Malkin and ripped it past Peters to make it 2-1 Penguins. It was only 1:10 later when Pascal Dupuis broke out on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Kennedy, took a pass from Kennedy and wristed one to give the Pens a 3-1 lead at 2:28. Canes’ head coach Kirk Muller decided not to take his timeout, but his team was able to respond a bit. The next goal would be huge and it would come from a Staal, just not the Staal that Canes’ fans were hoping. Jordan Staal got one past Peters as he was able to break out on another 2-on-1 (sound familiar?). Tuomo Ruutu tried to get the Canes back into it with a goal out in front 14:53, making it points in 6 straight game for the Finnish winger.
Some other notes/observances:
- Tuomo Ruutu and Chad LaRose led the way with 3 shots on goal each.
- Eric Staal, Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe, Justin Faulk and Jay Harrision were all -2 each; Jamie McBain led the team with a +2.
- Justin Faulk led the way with TOI at 23:33, Andreas Nodl with least at 8:52; Canes had 1 PP shot, PIT had 10 PP shots on 3 power plays.
- Justin Peters made 48 saves on 52 shots – a save percentage of .923. That’s not a typo.