Crosby Records 3 Points, Penguins Defeat Hurricanes 4-1 | 3/26/2024

Photo: Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh played against one of their former stars, Jake Guentzel, who they traded off to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, March 26th at the PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins pulled through for a 4-1 victory to put an end to their three-game losing streak. Sidney Crosby had a three-point night with a goal and two assists, and Alex Nedeljkovic made a total of 38 saves for Pittsburgh. It had been a special game as Guentzel made his return, playing against the team he’s been on since the beginning, and the Penguins were able to put in a great effort for a big two points.

Hurricanes lineup against the Penguins:

Guentzel – Aho – Jarvis

Svechnikov – Kuznetsov – Necas

Martinook – Staal – Teravainen

Drury – Kotkaniemi – Noesen

Slavin – Burns

Skjei – Pesce

Orlov – Chatfield

Kochetkov

Penguins lineup against the Hurricanes:

O’Connor – Crosby – Rust

Bunting – Malkin – Rakell

Smith – Eller – Puustinen

Gruden – Poulin – Puljujarvi

Joseph – Letang

Pettersson – Karlsson

Graves – St. Ivany

Nedeljkovic

Jarry

   The first period had remained scoreless, and Carolina outshot the Penguins. However, Pittsburgh went for a 2-1 lead in the second and then took a 4-1 victory at home.

   Jesse Puljujarvi gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead early into the middle frame at 17:19. After coming off the bench, he received a drop pass from Lars Eller and put a wrister past Pyotr Kochetkov from the right face-off circle for his third goal of the season. Two out of the three goals Puljujarvi has scored this season came in the past two games, and all of the goals came in the past six games. Making it even at 8:43, Dmitry Orlov scored the lone goal for the Hurricanes from above the left circle with a wrist shot that deflected in off Erik Karlsson. With 1:51 remaining in the second, Bryan Rust put Pittsburgh back on top 2-1 off a face-off win by Sidney Crosby. Rust struck a snap shot from the left circle.

   Late into the third period, Drew O’Connor had struck the empty net to extend the lead to 3-1 for his 11th goal of the season… Sidney Crosby also scored an empty-netter for his 35th of the season with only 23 seconds remaining for the 4-1 final.

Sam Poulin on playing with Pittsburgh: “It was way more consistent. Day in, day out, I think was bringing better games every night. I was just trying to keep it simple, not try to do too much, and just have fun out there.”

Notes:

– Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins with 76 points (35 goals, 41 assists) in 71 games this season. He also has gotten to the 40-assist mark for the 15th time, passing Anze Kopitar (14) for the most among active players.

–  Jake Guentzel had six shots on goal in his first game against the Penguins.

   Guentzel had 466 points in 503 games for the Penguins (219 goals, 247 assists), including winning the Stanley Cup in 2017 as a rookie.

– Michael Bunting had one shot on goal in 14:30 of ice time.

– Sam Poulin played 9:11 in his season debut after being recalled from the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

– Pyotr Kochetkov made a total of 18 saves for Carolina.

– Carolina outshot the Penguins 30-14 over the final periods.

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