PENGUINS – HURRICANES QUICK HITS
The Pittsburgh Penguins (28-11-1, 57 pts) returned from the Christmas break playing sloppy hockey but good teams find a way to beat inferior teams in games like this and that was the case tonight for the Penguins.
James Neal’s (11) overtime goal lifted the Penguins to a 4-3 OT win over the Carolina Hurricanes ((14-15-9, 37 pts) on Friday night. Neal who bounced around from the second and first line throughout the game, added 2 assists in the win for his second three point game of the season.
Sidney Crosby (21), Chris Conner (4) and Deryk Engelland (3) also scored.
— Jussi Jokinen continues to haunt his former team that is paying $900,000 of his $3 million salary. Jokinen picked up three assists in the win and now has 6 points (3 goals – 3 assists) in three games against the Hurricanes this season.
— Trailing 2-1 going into the third period, Chris Conner tied the game at 2-2, 1:58 into the period, beating defenseman Ryan Murphy with an inside move and sliding the puck between Justin Peter’s legs for a backhand goal that tilted momentum in the game and Deryk Engelland put the Penguins ahead at 13:15 of the period with a shot from the point as the Penguins had great traffic in front on the goal.
The Hurricanes would force overtime with some desperation late on a goal with 2:29 left in the third from Drayson Bowman (3) to tie the game at 3-3.
— Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves to earn his 22nd victory of the season. Fleury was strong for the most part but understandably has cooled off statistically a bit, allowing 14 goals in his last four starts. “Marc was our best player,” head coach Dan Bylsma said, as the Penguins did not well in front of Fleury tonight.
NOTES: Brooks Orpik had an assist and +2 rating, playing for the first time in 8 games. Orpik logged 20:38 of ice time……The Penguins were credited with just three giveaways. They really had about 15……Marc Andre Fleury appeared in his 500th career game….The Hurricanes outshot the Penguins 34-26 and had 70 shot attempts to the Penguins 48 shot attempts….