McBain sinks Pens in OT

Canes defenseman scores winner with .9 seconds left in overtime

The Associated PressMarch 21, 2010 

— There wasn't a second to spare for Jamie McBain to beat Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh with his first NHL goal.

Turns out a second - or, actually, nine-tenths of one - was all the rookie needed.

McBain's slap shot from above the circles streaked by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury just ahead of the horn in overtime and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a late deficit to defeat the Penguins 3-2 on Saturday, despite losing goalie Manny Legace to an injury.

"We've had a wicked run of injuries and I'm very, very pleased with the heart our team has shown to stay in the fight," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "It's been a challenge but they keep fighting."

Seconds after Fleury made what looked to be a potential game-saving stop on Chad LaRose's wrist shot, McBain - getting two points in his third career game - beat Fleury on a shot that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said deflected off his hand. Crosby was not hurt.

McBain didn't know how precious little time was left, and he might have been nervous if he had.

"I knew there was less than 5 seconds left, so I just tried to bring it to the middle and kind of shoot it as fast as possible," he said. "Colesey [Erik Cole] was right in front with a great screen. I don't think Fleury saw it, and it found its way through."

And the Hurricanes found a way to beat one of the Eastern Conference's top teams again. They are 11-3-1 since Feb. 5, beating Pittsburgh twice and Washington once in the last 10 days.

Defeating those teams is special, even for a club that remains six points out of the final conference playoff spot. Getting his first goal this way, against this team, was equally exciting for the 22-year-old McBain, a second-round draft pick in 2006 who assisted on Ray Whitney's game-winning goal in overtime Thursday against the Capitals.

"You dream about it happening since you were a little kid and for it to be this kind of game, this kind of atmosphere, going against one of the top teams in the league and an overtime winner with not much time left, it's a pretty special feeling," he said.

"It changes day by day, doesn't it? You lose to Boston the other night and you're sitting 10 points out and feel like your heart just got ripped out," Maurice said. "A few days later now you beat Washington and Pittsburgh and now you're six points out and still have a game against [Boston]. We'll just stay in the fight until they tell us we can't play anymore."

Not for the Penguins, who led 2-1 on Evgeni Malkin's goal on a wrist shot from the left circle with 6:55 remaining but couldn't hold the lead. Joni Pitkanen tied it at the 16-minute mark with a drive from the left circle off Eric Staal's long pass from behind the goal line.

"This was a tough one," said Fleury, who made 26 saves.

Legace had it tough, too. He left Saturday's game with a leg injury, but coach Paul Maurice said he did not believe it was serious.

"We think he's going to be OK," Maurice said. "It's not significant.

"I would think he'd be in position to back up the next game. That's the best-case scenario."

The Canes face the Buffalo Sabres today at the RBC Center to finish off a back-to-back.

Legace was injured after a scrum in front of the net as the Pens' Tyler Kennedy tumbled and fell on Legace's left leg. Legace stayed in the game briefly before being relieved by Justin Peters.

"That's a backup's job. You have got to make sure you're ready for any opportunity that arises," said Peters, who made 15 saves. "They didn't have a lot of chances. I was able to feel comfortable in there and hold the fort for the guys."

Staff writer Chip Alexander contributed to this report.

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