Penguins end losing streak by cooling off Hurricanes

League: NHL

Posted on: 27 Mar, 2024 at 04:23 AM

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Rust scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

Jesse Puljujarvi and Drew O'Connor also scored for the Penguins (31-30-10, 72 points), who were 0-2-1 in their previous three games and 3-9-2 in their previous 14.

Pittsburgh goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 38 saves.

Dmitry Orlov scored for the Hurricanes (45-21-7, 97 points), who were 9-1-1 in their previous 11.

With a win and certain other outcomes, Carolina could have secured a playoff spot, according to the NHL.

Carolina goaltender Pytor Kochetkov made 18 saves.

The game marked the return to Pittsburgh of longtime star winger Jake Guentzel, who was traded to Carolina less than three weeks ago. Neither he nor Michael Bunting, who came over to the Penguins in the deal, had a point.

After a fairly low-event first, Puljujarvi gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 2:41 of the second.

With the Penguins changing on the fly, Puljujarvi came off the bench and got the puck from Lars Eller. Puljujarvi moved to the right dot and took a shot that went between the skates of teammate Ryan Graves setting a screen, off Kochetkov's right pad and up under the crossbar. It was Puljujarvi's second goal in as many games.

Carolina tied it at 11:17 of the second. With Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson crumpled in the right corner after a collision with the Hurricanes' Jesperi Kotkaniemi as play continued, Orlov got off a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected in off Pittsburgh defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Pettersson left the game briefly before returning.

Rust gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead at 18:09 of the second. After Carolina iced the puck, Crosby, from the left dot, won a faceoff back to Rust. His wrist shot beat Kochetkov cleanly far side.

Pittsburgh's Jonathan Gruden and Carolina's Stefan Noesen fought at 3:03 of the third after Gruden hit the Hurricanes' Jack Drury.

O'Connor added an empty-netter with 1:56 left in regulation, and Crosby added another with 22.4 seconds left.

--Field Level Media