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Penguins – Hurricanes Quick Hits: Neal’s Overtime winner lifts Penguins to 4-3 OT win

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….

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William DePaoli

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William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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