Dec 27, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby (87) and the Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal (11) chase after the loose puck during the 1st period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes Earn Point Against Pittsburgh Penguins

The Carolina Hurricanes made a comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but fell to the Pens in overtime, 4-3, tonight, earning a point in the tight Metropolitan Division race.

Scoring Summary

It looked like the first period would end scoreless, but Andrej Sekera had other ideas as he scored with 1.3 seconds left. Jordan Staal fed him a pass from behind the net, that hit Sekera’s backhand in the circle. The Slovakian defenseman then backhanded the puck over Marc-Andre Fleury‘s glove.

The scoring continued in the second period as Sidney Crosby got the Penguins on the board 16 seconds in. The NHL’s leading scorer put the puck in after a shot deflected off James Neal in front of the net right to Crosby’s stick. Crosby then backhanded to the right side of the net on a shot Justin Peters would like back.

But the tie wouldn’t last as Nathan Gerbe scored 14 seconds later when he put in a rebound off of a hard Alexander Semin slapshot.

Chris Connor tied the game at two when he took a pass from Jussi Jokinen, made a nice move between Ryan Murphy‘s stick and body to get around the defenseman then put a weak shot under Peters’ pad that miraculously beat the goalie.

With more than two minutes left in the game, the third line put together a strong shift that resulted in a wraparound goal from Drayson Bowman to tie the game at three.

With just under seven minutes left in the game, defenseman Deryk Engelland took a shot from the point that beat Peters with Murphy and Penguins’ Joe Vitale screening him.

1:03 into overtime, James Neal scored the game-winner when he took a pass from Jussi Jokinen, and beat Peters on another weak shot.

Analysis

The Hurricanes looked like the better team for the first period and most of the second, but the third period was a different story as the Penguins were able to score twice and erase a Canes lead.

As has been a problem for the team, the Hurricanes need to play a full 60-minute game to earn wins. Simply getting a one-goal lead and holding on for 20 minutes is not going to work.

Having said that, the team showed a lot of fight battling back once the Penguins took a one-goal lead, especially on the tying-goal shift from Riley Nash, Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman.

Jordan Staal and his linemates had a strong game, controlling the play against Sidney Crosby and creating two of the Hurricanes’ goals.

This was a weak game for Justin Peters. He made a few strong saves, but should have had three of the four goals. Unfortunately for him, this is the worst time for the goalie to have a bad game as Anton Khudobin is coming back from injury and a trade will have to be coming in the near future.

Ryan Murphy had a tough time in the defensive zone. Chris Connor walked around him to score the Pens’ second goal, then couldn’t move Joe Vitale for the third goal, but these are regular growing pains for a young defenseman.

The Hurricanes next play on Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Jordan Staal Justin Peters Ryan Murphy

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