Penguins Explode Late in 3rd to Beat Canes 4-1

It took almost two and a half periods for the Penguins offense to prime the pump, but when they did the goals started to flow.  With their first goal coming at 8:15 of the 3rd period, the Penguins managed to add 2 more in just 3:36 to put th egame out of reach for the Carolina Hurricanes.  Evgeni Malkin’s empty net goal at 19:09 was the icing on the cake as the Penguins beat the Canes 4-1.  The win advanced their record to 5-2-1 and moved them into 2nd place in the Atlantic Division 2-points behind the Rangers whom they will face on Saturday night in New York.   

In the first period, Paul Bissonnette tried to fire his team up by taking on Dan Lacouture just a little over 2-minutes into the game.  While there were no decisive blows, Bissonnette appeared to get the upper hand and shouted “let’s go boys!” at his bench as he headed off to the box for 5.  While the fight helped get the team into the game, the Penguins were unable to solve 6’3″ goaltender Michael Leighton.  A rare mistake on a flubbed pass by Brooks Orpik midway through the period resulted in a turnover and a goal by Brandon Sutter.  Sutter’s backhanded goal at 13:07 was unassisted.  The Penguins went on to outshoot the Hurricanes 10-9 in the period, and neither team was afforded a man-advantage.

In the 2nd period, the Penguins outplayed the Hurricanes but were still unable to solve Leighton.  The Penguins outshot the Canes 13-6, and missed on their only powerplay attempt early in the period.  At 9:20, Eric Godard fought to what I would consider largely a tie in a bout with Wade Brookbank. 

Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins

In the 3rd period, the Penguins finally found their scoring touch on the powerplay as Niklas Wallin sat for a hooking penalty.  At 8:15 Evgeni Malkin came off from the wall, skated towards the net and let a rocket go that hit a Canes player and then Sidney Crosby’s stick before bouncing off from Leighton’s should and into the net.  The goal was originally awarded to Malkin, but later changed to Crosby after it was determined that it was deflected off from his stick.  Malkin was cxredited with the lone assists.  Then, just 32-seconds later, Ruslan Fedotenko scored his first goal as a Pittsburgh Penguin as he converted on a cross-ice pass from Jordan Staal.  Petr Sykora picked up the other assist on a line combination that appeared to have some decent chemistry tonight.  Next, at 11:51, Max Talbot took a lead pass from Tyler Kennedy and scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-1, Penguins. Behind by 2-goals, the Carolina Hurricanes pulled their goaltender early which gave Marc-Andre Fleury an excellent chance to score on the empty net.  He took a chance and it looked good for a moment until the puck took a sideways bounce and missed the net by a couple of feet.  Evgeni Malkin sealed the Canes’ fate at 19:09 when he was able to take an up ice pass from Sidney Crosby and deposit it into the empty net.  Rob Scuderi was also credited with an assist on the final goal.  The Penguins outshot the Hurricanes 12-10 in the final frame.

Evgeni Malkin picked up 2-points (1G, 1A) and now leads the league with 13-points.  Sidney Crosby also picked up 2-points (1G, 1A) and is second in league scoring with 11-points.  Malkin and Crosby are also 1st and 2nd in the league in assists with 10 and 9, respectively.  Sidney Crosby and Ruslan Fedotenko each had 6-shots in the game, and Malkin picked up 5-shots.  Jordan Staal (12-18) and Michael Zigomanis (4-6) were both 67% on the faceoff.  The Penguins played without defenseman Hal Gill, who sat out with an unspecified injury.  Darryl Sydor replaced Gill in the lineup.  Rob Scuderi logged the most ice time with 22:29.  Brooks Orpik was close behind with 21:15, and led the Penguins with 5 hits.  Marc-Andre Fleury was very strong in net again as he turned aside 24 of 25 shots for a 0.96 save percentage and increased his record to 4-2-1. 

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penquins

The Penguins start a 4-game road trip on Saturday that takes them to New York, San Jose, Phoenix and St Louis before returning back to Mellon Arena on November 6th.

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