NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Carolina
(Friday, October 5th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 1
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal scored two goals and Cam Ward made 33 saves, as the Carolina Hurricanes downed Pittsburgh, 4-1, in the season opener for the Penguins.
Jeff Hamilton added a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who played their first game of the season Wednesday at home and were handed an overtime loss by the Montreal Canadiens.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all four goals on 26 shots in two periods for the Penguins, who advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2001 last season. Fleury was replaced by Dany Sabourin at the start of the third and he ended with seven saves.
Mark Recchi netted a power-play goal late in the third frame to account for the Pens lone tally while 20-year-old phenom Sidney Crosby, who was the league MVP last season, was a non-factor with just one shot on goal.
The Hurricanes struck first and grabbed the lead 7:08 into the opening period on Staal's second goal of the young season. From just inside the blueline, Tim Gleason ripped a shot that Fleury made a pad save on. The rebound though kicked out to slot right on the tape of Staal's stick and he quickly fired the puck into the net.
With 6:39 left in the first, Staal's second goal of the contest gave Carolina a two-goal cushion. From the right circle, Staal backhanded a shot and the puck deflected off Pittsburgh defender Brooks Orpik's skate and past Fleury on his stick side.
The 'Canes extended their lead to 3-0 with 5:49 left in the middle session as Andrew Ladd battled for a loose puck in front and slammed the disc into the back of the net past a sprawled out Fleury.
A power-play goal by Hamilton with 2:25 left in the second provided Carolina with a four-goal cushion.
Ward had 19 saves through two periods for the Hurricanes.
With 3:23 left in the contest, Recchi's power-play goal spoiled Ward's bid for a shutout.
Carolina has taken five of six and seven of the last nine meetings all time with the Penguins. The 'Canes have also defeated the Pens in three straight at home...Carolina defenseman Bret Hedican missed the game with the flu...Pittsburgh ended 1-for-6 on the power play while the Hurricanes were 1- for-5 on the man advantage.
10/05 21:53:52 ET