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Battle for the Metro: Penguins Survive for Point, Carolina Surges for 3-2 OT Win



Pittsburgh Penguins game, lose 3-2 in OT to Carolina Hurricanes

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a chance to move within one point of the Metro Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes and raced to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The lead was gone midway through the third period, and a Penguins bench penalty for too many men on the ice gave Carolina a power play with 2:09 remaining.

The Penguins PK killed the penalty to force overtime and each team earned a point. However, Pittsburgh-native Vincent Trocheck baited Kris Letang into a penalty late in overtime for a 4v3 Carolina power play. Andrei Svechnikov (23) flipped a rebound into the net for the 3-2 Carolina win.

Letang, head coach Mike Sullivan, and captain Sidney Crosby had a few words for the officials after the game.

The Penguins three-game winning streak became a four-game points streak, and they trail Carolina by four points in the Metro Division. Carolina also has two games in hand.

Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman and Trocheck fought late in the third period, too.

Everything looked good for the Penguins until the start of the second period. The Penguins’ pressure and control immediately vanished and Carolina pressured the Penguins for nearly 40 minutes. Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith was stellar, if not great. He stopped 15 of 16 shots in the second period, and 26 of the first 27 shots.

DeSmith stopped 36 of 38 shots before overtime. Antti Raanta stopped 21 of 23 in regulation.

However, Jordan Staal scored a pair of goals, including a deflection midway through the third period to erase the Penguins’ lead.

Carolina flipped the script on the Penguins for the second and most of the third period. After early Penguins domination, Carolina blitzed the Penguins, scooped turnovers with an industrial-sized ladle, and did everything but fill the net.

In many ways, the game was the opposite of the Carolina 4-3 win at PPG Paints Arena nearly two weeks ago. In that game, Carolina had an early lead and held on as the Penguins surged through the last two periods. Friday night, it was the Penguins that claimed the multi-goal lead then held on for the last 40.

Carolina was blanked by the Washington Capitals, 4-0 on Thursday, while the Penguins steamrolled the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-1. Both teams picked up where they left off.

The Pittsburgh Penguins scored a pair of goals and had eight high-danger chances. They allowed one high-danger chance and no goals.

In the first five minutes, the Penguins converted their momentum to a lead. Dominik Simon outraced defenders to nullify an icing. The Penguins forecheck created a turnover and the Penguins’ top line was able to get on the ice in the offensive zone.

Marcus Pettersson grabbed a turnover inside the offensive blue line and immediately snapped the puck to Jake Guentzel at the side of the net. Guentzel (27) neatly deflected the puck behind goalie Antti Raanta.

Carolina slightly outshot the Penguins, 11-10 in the first period but the good looks were the Penguins, including their second goal which was first-line magic. Three passes and about 150 feet, Sidney Crosby (18) finished the Penguins tic-tac-toe speed rush from the slot. Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust assisted.

Crosby had two points (1-1-2) in the first period.

Carolina dominated the second period. Absolutely dominated. The Penguins helplessly flailed, just as Carolina did in the first period. However, Carolina’s 14 scoring chances weren’t enough to get more than one marker.

Nino Niederreiter intercepted Chad Ruhwedel’s D-to-D pass behind the Penguins net and the Penguins scrambled to regroup. Before they could, former Penguins Stanley Cup winner Jordan Staal (7) knocked the loose puck into the net.

Not even a power play later in the third period could reverse the Penguins’ fortunes and the Carolina momentum.

Kris Letang played his 916th NHL game, passing Mario Lemieux for third place on the Pittsburgh Penguins all-time list behind Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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SD Pens Fan
SD Pens Fan
2 months ago

Those officials should be ashamed of themselves. Officials should never decide a game and tonight they did.
Hopefully Sullivan is smart enough to realize Jon Cooper publicly criticizing the officials cost the Penguins the game and does something similar to what Cooper did so next game the whistles are a little more even.

2 months ago
Reply to  SD Pens Fan

Powerplays we’re 2-2 in regulation…and the second pens penalty was bonehead on their part.

2 months ago

A little known rule is the NHL won’t allow the Norris Trophy to be awarded to someone legally brain dead

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
2 months ago

Yes bad call although the Canes are a lucky team Penguins current roster would loose to them in a 7 game series just my opinion we all know the regular season means very little i ask is this a better team than last year Jarry is playing good it is still a one line scoring team make that change by the deadline do something for Gods sake its sad to watch they have a couple of weeks to decide I hope they will make some moves all the other teams will.

2 months ago

The famous Letang temper blew it. Everyone knows the last person to hit someone will get the call…..dumb,dumb,dumb.
Poor Casey played his ass off, oh well Pens got a point

2 months ago

No criticism or Tanger allowed? Right


[…] The Pittsburgh Penguins got burned by one of their former 2009 Stanley Cup winning cohorts. Centre Jordan Staal scored two of the Carolina Hurricanes three unanswered goals as they beat the Penguins 3-2 in Raleigh. Andrei Svechnikov tallied the game winner on the power play in overtime. This, after Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby lit the lamp to give Pittsburgh a two-nothing lead after one period. […]

2 months ago

Bad penalty by Tanger. He should know better. Game on the line, don’t do anything stupid. Should have exaggerated his head bobble after getting punched in the back of the head, and then skate off. Maybe he draws a penalty on Trochek. Just careless when crucial points are on the line….

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