Patient Pens outlast Canes in shootout

Rally to tie ends in shootout loss

Staff writerNovember 20, 2010 

  • 1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh. Goal, three assists for captain.

    2 . Jussi Jokinen, Carolina. Two goals, two assists for winger.

    3. Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh. Forward finishes with two goals.

— The Carolina Hurricanes paid their first visit Friday to Consol Energy Center, the Pittsburgh Penguins' new digs.

They would probably say they liked the Pens' old place better.

In the first game decided by a shootout in the new building, the Penguins won 5-4 on Kris Letang's goal as goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made key saves in overtime and then the shootout.

Jussi Jokinen's score with 51.4 seconds left in regulation gave the Hurricanes a 4-4 tie and eventually earned them a hard-won point. Both goalies, Justin Peters and of the Canes and Fleury of the Penguins, then made some nifty saves in overtime.

In the shootout, Letang beat Peters with a backhander and Sidney Crosby with a shot through Peters' pads. Fleury stopped Jeff Skinner's forehand and then Jokinen's attempt to end it.

Jokinen had two goals and two assists for the Canes, while Crosby led the Pens with a goal and three assists and Chris Kunitz scored twice.

"It's not the result I was hoping for but I'm real proud of the way the guys stuck with it tonight," Peters said after the first shootout of his career. "They battled right to the end.

"We're obviously happy to come away with one [point]. But the competitive nature, you want to get that extra point in the shootout and unfortunately I wasn't able to make the stop."

Jokinen's second goal of the game came after Carolina pulled Peters for an extra attacker. In overtime, Fluery stopped an early shot by Jeff Skinner, then a deflection by Eric Staal.

Peters then stopped Crosby with 29 seconds left in OT, gloving Crosby's backhander.

Kunitz had given the Pens a 4-3 lead with 10:41 left in regulation on a power-play goal that ended in a review that went the Pens way. Kunitz whacked a shot that slipped under Peters and then over the goal line - but apparently just after the referee's whistle.

"I knew it was in-between my legs somewhere and I was just trying to battle," Peters said. "That [ruling] is really out of my control."

The play was reviewed in Toronto and Kunitz's goal stood. It appeared the Pens then would win in regulation - until Jokinen struck.

"Some strange plays, crazy plays, with lots of energy, lots of excitement - and some strange calls," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "Both teams had some good goals, some funny goals."

Maurice did not directly criticize the ruling on the Kunitz goal - the initial call was no-goal - but clearly did not like it.

"I'm not sure the referee was wrong," he said. "Actually I'm pretty sure he was right because he had it as no-goal."

It was a fast-paced hockey game. Crosby, constantly on the attack, gave the Pens a 3-2 lead in the second with his 14th goal of the season. But Jokinen answered for the Canes with his first goal in 12 games for a tie.

The Canes were fresh off a 7-1 beating of the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. That was a bounce-back game for Carolina after the 8-1 loss to Philadelphia and 7-2 loss to Montreal and the Canes believed it was important to come in Friday and play well again.

Brandon Sutter gave the Canes (9-9-1) a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds into the game and Patrick Dwyer scored in the first after the Pens took a 2-1 lead on goals by Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy off rushes.

"We battled back, like, three times tonight when we were down," Jokinen said. "That says a lot about our team."

Maurice elected to give Peters his third start of the season rather than start Cam Ward for an eighth straight time. Ward will start tonight against the Nashville Predators at the RBC Center.

"It's not an easy team to go into a shootout with," Maurice said. "I was really happy for [Peters]. When you come in and you get a point and you play well against a team like that, with some of the firepower they have, it's good for your confidence."

Sutter's goal finished off a well-executed rush with Jokinen and Joni Pitkanen. Dwyer's goal, late in the first, came after he got inside position on Crosby near the post and beat Fleury, who was making his fifth straight start and is 4-0-1 in that stretch.

Defenseman Ian White and forward Troy Bodie both made their first starts for the Canes. White, paired with Pitkanen, was obtained in the trade Wednesday with Calgary and Bodie was claimed off waivers this week from Anaheim.

"When we play like that, I enjoy the game," Maurice said. "That's a fun game to coach. The guys were playing, the guys were working.

"Shootouts are fun but they don't tell you how you played."

chip.alexander@newsobersver.com or 919-829-8945

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