It’s usual for a player to do well against an ex-team, but Jussi Jokinen took it to a whole other level tonight, scoring a hat trick and leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Jokinen got his first goal off a nifty move on the power-play when he played an incoming pass from Sidney Crosby off his right skate to his stick in the slot. It was the first time the Canes let up a power-play goal this season.
In the third period, Nathan Gerbe scored to tie the game, but the tie would not last as less than two minutes later Jokinen scored his second to retake the lead for Pittsburgh.
Tanner Glass scored the fourth goal before Jokinen completed the hat trick to solidify the win for the Penguins with seven minutes left.
It was not the best game for the Hurricanes defense in this one. They couldn’t handle the transition game and the speed of the Pens forwards and it paid costly as the game moved along.
However, the offense improved as the game progressed. In the first period, the team had trouble generating chances. In the second and third periods those chances came much easier, but Marc-Andre Fleury played a strong game in net and held off the Canes.
There was also a decent amount of line-juggling by Kirk Muller that worked at first, but may have caused some problems later in the game with defensive lapses.
It was nice to see the Hurricanes make a semi-comeback in the game, given how little that happened last season, but if they could complete a come-fr0m-behind win in the near future, it would be huge for the team.
The Canes play the Washington Capitals next on Thursday.