NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Pittsburgh
(Tuesday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 0
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots to post his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career, as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-0, at Mellon Arena.
Sidney Crosby recorded two goals and an assist for Pittsburgh, which has won two straight after a five-game losing streak. Mark Recchi pitched in with a pair of helpers and Ryan Whitney picked up his sixth goal of the year.
Cam Ward stopped 34 shots for Carolina, losers in three of its last four.
"We played the game like the points didn't matter, and you can't win that way, it's that simple," said Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette. "We were rested, ready to go, and the effort was lacking."
Crosby put the Pens on the board at 5:36 of the first with a tap-in off a Recchi floater towards the net. For the remainder of the opening period, Ward and Fleury each made key stops to keep the game 1-0.
Following a scoreless second period, where Carolina held a 13-9 advantage in shots, the Pens picked up the pace and sewed up the victory with a productive third.
Just 23 seconds in it was 2-0 Penguins on a carry-over power play. Recchi's cross-ice pass for Whitney hit the young defenseman's skate as he moved toward the crease, and caromed into the net. Upon review, the goal was upheld since Whitney did not make an intentional kicking motion to redirect the puck.
Crosby worked his magic again with 8:41 left, giving Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead. Dancing into the Carolina zone, he fanned on a pass attempt to Recchi, but the puck bounced off Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore's skate back to him, and the NHL points leader quickly slammed the rebound past Ward.
"They (the defense) played great. They cleared the rebounds, they got passes, helped me out," Fleury said. "They played a big part to help me get the shutout."
Pittsburgh broke a three-game losing streak to Carolina, but the Hurricanes have won five of the last seven meetings...The Hurricanes were shut out for the fifth time this season, and it was the second time the Penguins have blanked an opponent, the other being Philadelphia on opening night...Pittsburgh travels to Buffalo on Friday, while Carolina hosts Phoenix on Thursday.
01/02 23:17:30 ET