Penguins beat Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout
So much for a Stanley Cup hangover in Pittsburgh. The defending Stanley Cup Champions completed a perfect 4-0 road trip beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night at the RBC Center.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Michael Rupp (1) and Evgeni Malkin (3) but Hurricanes winger Ray Whitney scored twice in the third period to force over-time.
After a scoreless overtime, the shootout went 6 rounds and became a battle between star goaltenders Marc Andre Fleury and Cam Ward.
Marc Andre Fleury came out on top as Chris Kunitz who was the Penguins 6th shooter netted the shooutout winner with a wrist shot 13 feet out to beat Cam Ward.
Ward though was phenomenal in net making 36 saves including a game changing glove save in the third period, robbing Bill Guerin who had a wide open net on a tic-tac-toe play between Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz
Pittsburgh outshot Carolina 38-29, including 4-1 in overtime.
Pittsburgh is 5-0 on the road for the first time in franchise history. Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury is off to his best start of his career (6-0)
*Pittsburgh got 8-out-of-8 points on a four game road trip and are the hottest team in hockey along with the 6-1 New York Rangers.
*In August I wrote, not to expect a Stanley Cup hang-over due to the leadership of Sidney Crosby but I didn’t expect the Penguins to jump out of the gates this quick.
*Penguins General Manager Ray Shero wanted to add some toughness this off-season and targeted Michael Rupp from day 1, mostly because the Penguins felt Rupp would be a perfect fit in the Penguins system due to his skating ability and physical style.
Rupp may go down as Shero’s most under-rated signing the past two off-seasons. Rupp has added a physical dimension to the Penguins 4th line but has also shown the ability to contribute at both ends of the ice. He scored an Evgeni Malkin type of goal tonight.
*Marc Andre Fleury is establishing himself as an elite goaltender in the league and he’s only 24 years old. Scary thought for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
*Evgeni Malkin had a solid game leading the Penguins with a goal and assist.
*Not that it had much effect on the game but Dan Bylsma made the right move prior to game time
dressing Chris Bourque in place of Eric Godard. Godard wasn’t needed against Carolina and Pittsburgh can’t let Bourque sit night after night.
During the morning skate, Bourque was the extra forward and he wasn’t expected to play. The young forward had 9:22 of ice time and saw minutes off of the 4th line.
*Pittsburgh is hopeful to get 7th defenseman Martin Skoula some game action before the end of the month.
*The Penguins will have a day off tomorrow and return to the ice Friday morning.
*The Stanley Cup will be at Iceoplex Complex in Southpointe tomorrow morning as the Cup remains in Pittsburgh.
PIT: 14:24 Mike Rupp
Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Alex Goligoski
PIT: 4:27 Evgeni Malkin
Assists: Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz
CAR: 4:25 Ray Whitney
Assists: Tuomo Ruutu, Joe Corvo
CAR: 10:04 Ray Whitney
Assists: Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu
Shootout attempt by Sergei Samsonov SAVED by Marc-Andre Fleury (Wristshot 10 ft)
Shootout attempt by Kris Letang SAVED by Cam Ward (Backhand 9 ft)
Shootout GOAL scored by Jussi Jokinen on Marc-Andre Fleury (Backhand 8 ft)
Shootout GOAL scored by Sidney Crosby on Cam Ward (Backhand 7 ft)
Shootout attempt by Tuomo Ruutu SAVED by Marc-Andre Fleury (Wristshot 8 ft)
Shootout attempt by Bill Guerin SAVED by Cam Ward (Wristshot 12 ft)
Shootout attempt by Matt Cullen MISSES goalpost (Snapshot 13 ft)
Shootout attempt by Alex Goligoski MISSES wide of net (Backhand 8 ft)
Shootout attempt by Ray Whitney SAVED by Marc-Andre Fleury (Backhand 10 ft)
Shootout attempt by Evgeni Malkin SAVED by Cam Ward (Backhand 8 ft)
Shootout attempt by Eric Staal SAVED by Marc-Andre Fleury (Wristshot 18 ft)
Shootout GOAL scored by Chris Kunitz on Cam Ward (Wristshot 13 ft)
Pittsburgh 3 – Carolina 2
Next Game: Versus Tampa Bay 10/17/09