HURRICANES STORM PAST PENGUINS, 5-1
The Carolina Hurricanes continued their dominance at Mellon Arena on Saturday night.
The Hurricanes scored the game's first three goals and held on for a 5-1 triumph. It's the third-straight win for Carolina in Pittsburgh.
Eric Staal slid the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury 2:24 into the contest for a 1-0 Carolina lead. Following a turnover in the Penguins' zone, the puck slipped to Staal, who tucked it just past Fleury.
Scott Walker gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 edge when his shot from the near circle sailed through traffic and snuck inside the near post for a goal with 10:26 left on the clock.
Josef Melichar nearly got one back for the Penguins, but his shot clanged off the post with less than eight minutes to go.
Walker pushed the lead to 3-0 when he poked in a power-play goal 7:01 into the contest. The Penguins had just killed off the first of two penalties, but Chris Thorburn was unable to get into the defensive zone from the penalty box to help when Walker one-timed the puck under Fleury.
With 9:40 left in the second, Fleury was injured in a collision. He left the game and was replaced with Jocelyn Thibault. Fleury had a couple small abrasions on his forehead and a cut over his left eye. Following medical treatment, he sat in his gear in the Penguins' runway.
"My helmet just came off when the guy ran into me and his skate came up and cut me," he said.
Pittsburgh's Kris Letang tallied a power-play goal with 7:17 left in the second period. His initial shot from the near circle was off target, but deflected off a Hurricanes defender and trickled into the net. Sergei Gonchar and Nils Ekman assisted on the goal.
Andrew Hutchinson fired a slap-shot past Thibault 1:11 into the third period for a power-play goal and a 4-1 advantage.
The Hurricanes sealed the contest when Mike Commodore tallied a goal with 7:13 to play.
The Penguins return to action Wednesday at Mellon Arena against the New Jersey Devils.
ICE CHIPS: Carolina's Trevor Letowski had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher in the first period after a hard hit from Colby Armstrong...The announced attendance was 14,351.