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game recap

Hurricanes 6, Penguins 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Hurricanes 6, Penguins 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Carolina Hurricanes 6

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Nobody could've blamed Erik Cole if he had sought revenge against the player who broke his neck and nearly ended his career.

Instead, the Carolina Hurricanes' forward settled for another lopsided victory against Brooks Orpik and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Cole assisted on Carolina's first two goals, and the Hurricanes went on to a 6-2 victory over the Penguins on Saturday night.

"I didn't think it was going to be a tough game to play," Cole said, referring to the subplot involving Orpik. "It was really tough to stay into it tonight. But at the same time, I am thankful we just got the two points."

Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and an assist. Justin Williams, Ray Whitney, Eric Belanger and Chad LaRose also beat Pittsburgh's Jocelyn Thibault, and Kevyn Adams added an empty-net goal for the Hurricanes, who improved to 9-3-2 in their last 14 games.

But most of the attention was focused on Cole, who played his first game against Orpik since he rammed Cole into the boards, breaking his neck. The injury cost Cole three months - and nearly ended his career - while Orpik was suspended for three games.

Orpik was injured and missed last month's game, which the Hurricanes won 5-1.

"I'm proud of Erik - for the hype that went on with the game, he was focused, he helped set up the first two goals and played a real solid game for us," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "Erik was a class act."

John LeClair and Mark Recchi had second-period goals for Pittsburgh. The Penguins have lost five straight and have been outshot 179-101 during that slide.

"Tonight, it was just a weird game," Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said. "We want to forget it just like the last one."

Cam Ward, coming off his first career regular-season shutout two nights earlier against Washington, made 18 saves and improved to 4-1-0 in five career starts against the Penguins.

Thibault stopped 24 shots in his second start of the season.

Williams scored Carolina's first goal with a two-man advantage, tapping a loose puck past Thibault at 12:51, and on that play Cole recorded the 100th career assist.

Whitney gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead 5 minutes later, taking a pass from Cole and beating Thibault with a wrist shot.

Brind'Amour gave the Hurricanes a three-goal lead when he scored on the power play 1:29 into the second period, one-timing a pass from Eric Staal to make it 3-0.

"Sometimes we're doing some good things. Sometimes we need to be a little bit sharper, a little bit better, but specialty teams have been strong for us," Laviolette said.

The Penguins scored twice later in the second to make it a one-goal game. LeClair started the rally when he trickled a shot past Ward at 3:18, and Recchi pulled Pittsburgh to 3-2 with a slap shot from the left circle at 16:42.

But Belanger restored Carolina's two-goal lead midway through the third period when he came down the left side and beat Thibault with a wrist shot. Adams and LaRose scored short-handed goals 51 seconds apart late in the third.

Tensions were high at the start. Orpik was booed lustily nearly every time he touched the puck, and then things got chippy about seven minutes in. Carolina's Mike Commodore and Pittsburgh's Chris Thorburn traded punches, with each player drawing five-minute penalties for fighting.

Notes: Cole's two assists gave him 101 for his career. ... Cole has four goals and five assists in his last four games. The Hurricanes won three of those and lost the fourth in a shootout at New Jersey. ... Recchi played his first game at the RBC Center since helping Carolina win the Stanley Cup. He signed with the Penguins during the offseason. ... Hurricanes D Tim Gleason (shoulder) missed his sixth straight game. D Niclas Wallin also did not play. ... Scratched for Pittsburgh were forwards Ronald Petrovicky and Andre Roy, and D Eric Cairns.

scoring summary
1st Period
12:51
CAR
PPG - Justin Williams (6) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (17), Erik Cole (10)
1 - 0 CAR
17:41
CAR
Ray Whitney (6) ASST: Erik Cole (11), Mike Commodore (6)
2 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
01:29
CAR
PPG - Rod Brind'Amour (6) ASST: Eric Staal (10), Scott Walker (7)
3 - 0 CAR
03:18
PIT
John Leclair (1) ASST: Jarkko Ruutu (2)
3 - 1 CAR
16:42
PIT
Mark Recchi (2) ASST: Nisse Ekman (6), Dominic Moore (3)
3 - 2 CAR
3rd Period
08:00
CAR
Eric Belanger (4) ASST: Glen Wesley (2)
4 - 2 CAR
17:37
CAR
SHG - EN - Kevyn Adams (2) ASST: Mike Commodore (7)
5 - 2 CAR
18:28
CAR
SHG - Chad LaRose (1) ASST: Trevor Letowski (1), Anton Babchuk (3)
6 - 2 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
06:52
CAR
Mike Commodore  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Thorburn
06:52
PIT
Chris Thorburn  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Commodore
06:52
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Roughing against  Mike Commodore
07:59
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hi-sticking against  Dominic Moore
07:59
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hi-sticking against  Dominic Moore
10:38
PIT
Michel Ouellet  Too many men/ice - bench
10:59
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Eric Staal
12:07
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Hooking against  Eric Staal
18:15
CAR
Trevor Letowski  Hi-sticking against  Maxime Talbot
2nd Period
00:24
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Roughing against  Bret Hedican
08:54
PIT
Chris Thorburn  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
10:20
PIT
Dominic Moore  Hooking against  Scott Walker
12:06
CAR
Andrew Hutchinson  Hooking against  Maxime Talbot
14:41
CAR
David Tanabe  Holding against  John Leclair
3rd Period
01:53
CAR
Andrew Hutchinson  Hooking against  Maxime Talbot
04:21
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Tripping against  Justin Williams
09:55
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Holding against  Craig Adams
10:21
CAR
Erik Cole  Hooking against  Maxime Talbot
11:52
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Holding against  Trevor Letowski
13:17
PIT
Colby Armstrong  Diving against  Erik Cole
14:53
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Eric Staal
16:42
CAR
Eric Staal  Interference against  Dominic Moore
19:00
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Hooking against  Eric Staal
goalie stats
Jocelyn Thibault
SA: 29TOI: 59:53
Saves: 24EV: 11 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 14
SV%: .828SH: 1 - 2
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
SA: 20TOI: 59:45
Saves: 18EV: 10 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .900SH: 3 - 3