Empty Netter Assists - 11-29-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. "There was no effort. They out-battled, they outworked us." - Kris Letang.

-The Raleigh News & Observer's recap. "We kind of started to frustrate them as the game went on and spent a lot time in the (offensive) zone, which was fun." - Hurricanes captain/forward Eric Staal.

-The Associated Press' recap. ''They just outworked us. It's not fun saying that after a game. That's something that can't happen. We have to make sure we work harder.'' - Sidney Crosby (above, with Carolina's Andrej Sekera).


-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-This save by Carolina's Cam Ward against Blake Comeau deserves its own clip:

-Carolina's Riley Nash left the game late in regulation after being struck in the head by Sidney Crosby:

-Evgeni Malkin had to fend off Nash for this puck:

-Marc-Andre Fleury was all over this puck:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-With Marcel Goc dealing with a foot injury, the Penguins recalled Andrew Ebbett from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-The Penguins' power play has been prone to allowing short-handed goals.

-Eric Hartzell made 22 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-1 loss to the Florida Everblades.


-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Yvon Labre. A fourth-round pick in 1969, Labre spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1970-71, Labre saw action in 21 games and scored two points. In 1971-72, Labre played in 16 games and collected three points. During the 1974 offseason, Labre was claimed in the expansion draft by the Capitals. In 37 games with the Penguins, Labre scored five points.

-Happy 71st birthday to former Penguins coach Bob Berry. Hired June 4, 1984, Berry, Mario Lemieux's first NHL coach, spent three seasons with the Penguins. Berry's first season was 1984-85 and he led the team to a 24-51-5 record and 53 points, a 15-point improvement over the previous season. In 1985-86, the Penguins improved yet again to 34-38-8 and 76 points. Berry's final season with the Penguins was 1986-87. They took a step back going 30-38-12 for 72 points and missed the postseason for the third consecutive year. He was fired, April 13, 1987. In 240 games with the Penguins, Berry's record was 88-127-25 and he had 201 points.


-Happy 31st birthday to former Penguins forward Tanner Glass. A free agent signing in 2012, Glass spent two seasons with the Penguins. In 2012-13, Glass appeared in all 48 games of a lockout-shortened season, recorded two points and led the team with 62 penalty minutes. In five postseason games that spring, he scored one goal. Last season, Glass played in 67 games, scored 13 points and lead the team with 90 penalty minutes. He appeared in eight postseason games last spring and had no points. This past offseason, he joined the Rangers as a free agent. In 115 regular season games, Glass had 15 points and 152 penalty minutes.

-After the Jump: Milestone goals for Martin St. Louis and Jaromir Jagr.

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South Williamsport running back sets state rushing record

Written by Mike White on .

South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh came close to setting the state career passing record Friday night. Meanwhile, on the other side of the state, a running back broke the state single-season rushing record.

Dominick Bragalone of South Williamsport High School rushed for 443 yards in a 69-41 victory against Pius X in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal. Bragalone's effort gave him 4,361 yards THIS SEASON!!!! He broke the record of 4,187 yards, set in 2008 by Zach Barkett of Schuylkill Haven.

Bragalone and South Williamsport will play Bishop Guilfoyle in the PIAA Class A semifinals next weekend. Bragalone could go against WPIAL champ Clairton in the title game. Clairton meets Sharpsville in the other semifinal.

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Live Friday PIAA blog - Central Valley wins

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from Friday's PIAA quarterfinal game between Central Valley and Conneaut. Follow for updates from other two games involving WPIAL teams - South Fayette vs. Karns City, and Clairton vs. Berlin Brothersvalley. If you have a score update or note, tweet with #wpial



No need for play by play. Central Valley scored on first possession of second half Mercy rule now in. Jordan Whitehead not playing in second half.


Jordan Whitehead is on another level again. He moves in three speeds: fast, faster and uncatchable. He has carried the ball eight times in the first half and rushed for 208 yards. 

Central Valley has 319 yards rushing and has thrown for 68 yards.

Conneaut was hurt by losing its QB to an injury.


After Conneaut scored, Central Valley went 67 yards in five plays. Capped by Preston Johnson 29 yard TD Pass from George.

Conneaut has gone to backup QB. Starter Hunter Merritt injrued last drive.

7:35 Central Valley stopped Conneaut at 11, but roughing passer penalty gives Conneaut first down.


Jordan Whithead is surreal. Takes short backward pass and jets 63 yards for TD. 

7:24 Conneaut moving the ball with some success, but turns ball over on downs.


After Conneaut answered with a score, Central Valley went right down the field and scored. Kurt Reinstadtler took a reverse and went 35  yards for TD.

Clairton rolling 16-0


It looked easy for Central Valley. 7 plays 65 yards. Jordan Whitehead doing his stuff. 17 yard TD with a spin move.

7:04 - Conneaut has a good following here. Seriously. Impressive.

7:02 - Three and out for Conneaut. CValley takes over at 35.


I say the WPIAL goes 4-0 this weekend. That's not exactly going out on a limb. Only one that intrigues me is Conneaut Area vs. Central Valley. It would be shocking if Central Valley lost. But you have to think Conneaut is pretty decent, just because it beat Erie Cathedral Prep in the District 10 championship.

Erie Prep was a strong team. Maybe not as strong as the past two years when it beat West Allegheny in the PIAA quarterfinals. But Erie Prep was still strong.


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Hurricanes at Penguins - 11-28-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Over the last few years, anytime the Penguins face the Hurricanes, Sidney Crosby usually has to contends with Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk. Last season, Faulk had one of the highest time-on-ice totals against Sidney Crosby in the NHL among defensemen:

(Statistics courtesy of

-The results weren't overwhelmingly positive as Crosby racked up six points (one goal, five assists) in four games against the Hurricanes last season but to the naked eye, Faulk does a pretty fair job of limiting the damage the NHL's best player can do. Players such as Faulk, Andrew Ference and Andrew MacDonald always seem to draw assignments against Crosby and have had their fair share of success.

Earlier today, we talked to him about trying to play Crosby:

What's key to defending him?

"Just take his time and space away. Great players are going to make plays whether you're in his face or note but I think that's the easiest way to do it. The more time you give him, the more opportunities he has to make that play or beat you. Just beat up on him all night and play tight, I think you can kind of shut him down."

With so many rules against interference, hooking, holding, etc., how do you take away his space without taking a penalty?

"Just be a tight gap on him all night. It's easy to do without taking penalties I think. Just kind of try to match his speed throughout the ice. Obviously, he's a fast player. Faster than me. But I think if you're just on the right side of him all night, he can't do too much. If you're right in face, as soon as he gets the puck, you try to end the play and hope he doesn't beat you."

How key is the skating aspect? He has such a quick "bursty" style of skating where he changes directions in tight spaces.

"I think it's just staying in good position. If you try to match all his moves out there – his cutbacks and everything – you're going to get beat. He wants to do that and pull you out of position. If you stay in good defensive position while he's buzzing around out there a little bit, it makes it easier on yourself to defend."

-Following the Hurricanes' morning skate, an MP3 player was belting out some loud techno-like music and sounded like it was skipping much like a CD would. Hurricanes forward Patrick Dwyer, 31, playfully commanded Faulk, 22, to change the "CD" because it was skipping. Faulk retorted, "That's your generation. Not mine."

-Blake Comeau worked on the J.V. power play at today's morning skate for the Penguins. He hasn't been used on that unit much on the power play this season having only logged 7:48 of time with the man advantage. It's amazing how a hat trick and ailments to the likes of Pascal Dupuis and Beau Bennett can make one a viable option all of a sudden. Much like Patric Hornqvist with the "varsity" power play unit, Comeau worked out of the slot.

-Hurricanes coach Bill Peters was asked about turning down an offer from the Penguins this past summer to become their head coach to take the same job in Carolina. He wasn't terribly interested in getting too in depth with the answer and simply said, “It was an interesting summer for sure. I just made the decision to go to Carolina and it’s been a good decision.”

-Peters and Willie Desjardins, now with the Canucks, each declined the job offer before Mike Johnston was hired.

-Shales, a local watering hole across the street from Consol Energy Center which serves as an unofficial home away from home for several mambers of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, has a pretty neat mural on the side of the building with several images of Pittsburgh hockey icons:

-The ice:

-Fans entering the barn:

-Andy Bathgate has a fan on hand:

-Maxime Talbot:

-Luc Robitaille:

-It's a good night for former Marc-Andre Fleury backups. Ty Conklin:

-Jocelyn Thibault:

-Brent Johnson:

-And Fleury himself in Team Canada form:

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have some representation. Rob Scuderi:


-This is sharp. Olli Maatta London Knights:

-Somewhere, Gordie Laxton is heartbroken than he doesn't have a fan being flanked by these backers of Tom Barrasso and Marc-Andre Fleury:


-There aren't many Hurricanes fans on hand. Chad LaRose:

-There are a few former Penguins-Whalers/Hurricanes fans represented. Jordan Staal is gone but not forgotten:

-Greg Malone:

-Ron Francis:

-Jersey of the Night: Zarley Zalapski:


-The Penguins' starters are Blake Comeau, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Beau Bennett and Robert Bortuzzo.

-The Hurricane's starters are Elias Lindholm, Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty, Justin Faulk, Andrej Sekera and Cam Ward.

-Their scratches are Zach Boychuk, Brad Malone and Chris Terry.

-Jeff Jimerson knocks out the national anthem:


19:41: Comeau swipes a wrister from the left wing. Ward gets a piece of it and it juuuust flutters over the cross bar.

19:09: During a stoppage, a "Happ BIRTH-DAY!" chant begins in the stands behind Marc-Andre Fleury. It is his 30th birthday.

18:13: Crosby snap off a cross-ice pass from near the right wing corner of the Carolina zone to Hornqvist in the left circle. Hornqvist rips a wrister which Ward denies.

17:32: Steve Downie flattens Riley Nash with a stiff shoulder check in the Carolina left circle.

16:46: Fighting for a puck behind the Hurricanes' net, Marcel Goc is smacked into the glass by Sekera.

16:17: Eric Staal backhands a puck from the right wing. Fleury stops it and covers the rebound as Tlusty falls on top of him.

15:54: After Spaling steals a puck in the left wing corner of the Carolina zone, Crosby backhands

15:34: With an acre of ice to work with, Jeff Skinner blasts a slapper from the left wing, Fleury kicks it out. Simon Despres skates the rebound out of danger.

14:58: Comeau push the puck up the left wing, curls around and fires a pass which is broken up in the slot. Jayson Megna recovers the rebound an deals it back to Comeau who cracks it on net. Ward says no.

14:20: Ron Hainsey fires a one-timer from the right point. Fleury fights it off.

13:26: Off an offensive zone faceoff wing, Sekera fires a one-timer from above the right circle. Fleury shrugs it off.

10:33: Sutter races into the offensive zone, uses Sekera as a screen and lifts a wrister from the slot. Ward snags it.

9:52: Crosby pushes the puck up the left wing and challenges Faulk one-on-one. Faulk holds is ground and pokes the puck away.

8:54: WOW!!!! On a delayed penalty, Malkin deals a feed from behind the net to Comeau in the slot. Comeau goes forehand to backhand and lifts a shot  on a slightly out-of-place Ward. Ward is able to reach back with his stick and swat the puck out of the air like he was playing ping-pong. WHAT A SAVE! That might be the greatest save in the history of this building. Even some Penguins fans offer a fair amount of applause for that. Alexander Semin is called for tripping Comeau. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Hornqvist and Kris Letang take the ice.

6:54: Two minutes later, the power play expires with little threat from the Penguins.

5:40: Staal tries to jam in a forehand shot from the right side of the cage. Fleury holds it out.

5:06: Andrej Nestrasil hustles up the right wing and snaps off a wrister. Fleury's right leg kicks it out.

4:41: John-Michael Liles snaps off a wrister from above the left circle an. Fleury snags it.

4:13: The Hurricanes strike first. Tlusty glides his way up the left wing, gains the offensive zone goes deep and flings a a wrister towards the crease. It hits off right skate of Maatta and deflects into the cage. That's a lousy break for Maatta. Jay McClement gets the only assists. Hurricanes 1, Penguins 1.

4:03: Crosby tries to answer immediately as he rips a wrister. Ward fends it off.

3:52: Letang pumps a wrister from above the right circle. It hits something and bounces away.

3:30: Tie game. Spaling maneuvers from behind the cage with the puck and flips a wrister from the right circle on net. Ward kicks i out with a thud but allows a rebound to the left of the crease. Letang darts in from the crease and punches in the easy rebound goal. Crosby and Spaling get assists. Hurricanes 1, Penguins 1.

3:09: Off a defensive zone turnover by the Penguins, xx pounds a slapper from the right circle. Fleury eats it up.

1:31: Staal gets behind Paul Martin on the right wing and attacks the net. He lifts a wrister from the slot wide of the cage.

0:26: Skinner takes a feed on the right iwng, fakes a slapper, dodges a block attempt by Maatta and rips a wrister from the left circle wide of the cage.

0:03: Malkin pushes the puck up the right wing and before he can attack the net, Sekera pokes it away with a nice poke check.

0:00: End of period. Hurricanes 1, Penguins 1.


-The Hurricanes quietly controlled that period as they had the bulk of shots on net.

-We can get over how good that save by Ward against Comeau was. We'll get a video up as soon as we see one.

-The Penguins' lone power play of the period looked really stale.

-The Hurricanes have a 17-9 lead in shots on net.

-The Hurricanes have a 22-15 lead in attempted shots.

-Letang leads the game with 8:58 of ice time.

-Hainsey leads the Hurricanes with 8:54 of ice time.

-The Penguins have a 12-5 lead in faceoffs (71 percent).

-Malkin is 5 for 6 (83 percent).

-Staal and Nash are each 2 for 4 (50 percent).

-No one has more than one blocked shot.


19:19: Taking a feed at the right point, Despres pounds a slapper on net. Ward gloves it.

18:19: Megna fires a wrister from the right wing. xx deflects it out play with his stick.

17:59: A re-direction by Nash from the left circle is wide of the cage.

17:45: Nathan Berber rips a wrister from the left wing. Nash re-directs it again. This time, it glances off the crossbar.

17:35: Comeau cuts across the Carolina slot and rips a wrister. Ward snags it.

17:06: The Hurricanes won't back down. Off a neutral zone turnover by Adams, Tlusty deals a pass to Patrick Dwyer who races up the left wing. Dwyer has a fair amount of space to work with and rips a sizzling wrister by the left shoulder of Fleury on the far side. What a shot. Put that one on Adams. Tlusty and Faulk get assists. Hurricanes 2-1.

14:39: Fleury comes through with a ice save of his own. Alexander Semin feeds a pass from the right wing corner to Gerbe in the slot. Gerbe snaps off a wrister which Fleury gloves. The Penguins needed something like that to potentially shift the momentum. They were pinned in their zone for a few shifts.

14:27: Michal Jordan pounds a slapper from the right point. wide on the near side.

12:59: Spaling races up the right wing with a puck and has it poked away on a nice play by Semin.

12:22: Comeau glides up the left wing and lifts a wrister from the left circle juuust wide to the far side.

10:52: After Fleury fumbles covering a puck in his crease, McClement picks up the rebound, races around the back of the net and from the right of the cage, he feeds the puck to Jay Harrison in the slot. Harrison puts a shot on net. Fleury smothers it.

10:18: Off a feed from Gerbe, Hainsey rips a wrister from above the left circle. Fleury fights it off.

9:47: Crosby tries to split Sekera and Faulk down the slot but a poke check by Sekera dashes those hopes.

7:04: Scuderi appears to get away with a trip on Nash in the right wing corner.

6:50: A wrister by Skinner from the right wing is deflects high over the cage by Hornqvist.

6:29: Crosby hustles up the ice, gains the offensive zone on the right wing, challenges Faulk one-on-one and lifts a backhander from the right circle. Ward makes the initial save and gloves the rebound.

6:06: A slapper by Maatta from the right point is blocked.

5:29: Ward eats up a shot by Megna. Zach Sill barges in and incurs the wrath of Nestrasil in the form of a facewash. Sill responds by dropping the gloves and challenging Nestrasil who doesn't seem interested in fighting. No penalties.

5:19: Nestrasil pounds a slapper from the right wing wide on the near side.

4:24: Taking a feed from his old left winger, Kunitz, Crosby fires a wrister which Ward denies.

3:09: Tie game again. Kintz snap off a cross ice feed from in front of hte Carolina penalty box to Crosby at the Carolina blue line in front of the Penguins' bench. Crosby steels the puck, gains the zone and lave a drop pass for Hornqvist who rips a wrister which glances off the left shoulder of Ward on the near side and deflects into the cage. The "old" first line connects on that goal. Crosby and Kunitz get assists. Hurricanes 2, Penguins 2.

3:22: A wrister by Gerbe from the slot is deflected over the cage. The puck hits off the glass behind the net and deflects to the right of the net. Gerbe jumps on his own rebound and puts it on net.

2:43: Malkin, working with Comeau and Spaling, deals a feed from behind the cage to Comeau in the left circle. Comeau rips a wrister which Nash blocks.

2:06: Malkin veers up the left wing and puts a backhander on net. Ward fights it off.

0:36: Off a feed from Semin, Nash has a chance in right from the right of the cage. Fleury fights it off as Gerbe crashes into the cage and dislodges it.

0:24: Off a feed form Gerbe, Faulk pounds a slapper from the right point. Fleury kicks it out.

0;09: A one-timer by Faulk from the right point is blocked.

0:00: End of game. Hurricanes 2, Penguins 2.


-First things first, Marcel Goc has not recorded a shift since 5:18 of the first period. The team has not provided an update on his status. He appeared to be injured while blocking a shot.

-The Penguins are lucky to escape that period with a tie. They were outplayed for long stretches of that twenty minutes. The Hurricanes pinned them in their zone almost at will. To the Penguins' credit, they didn't allow many quality shots on net.

-The Penguins seemed to generate a little momentum off switching their top two lines. Kunitz seemed particularly energized being back with Crosby.

-Nathan Gerbe was a beast in the Penguins' zone. He created quite a bit of havoc.

-Here's Ward's save from the first period against Comeau:

-The Hurricanes have a 28-16 lead in shots on net.

-The Hurricanes lead in attempted shots, 44-27.

-Staal leads the game with five shots.

-Comeau leads the Penguins with four shots.

-Sekera leads the game with 15:28 of ice time.

-Ehrhoff leads the Penguins with 14:51 of ice time.

-The Penguins have a 20-13 lead in faceoffs (61 percent).

-Crosby is 9 for 14 (64 percent).

-Staal is 6 for 8 (75 percent).

-Maatta leads the game with three blocked shots.

-Sekera and Gleason each lead the game with two blocked shots.


19:37: Faulk pounds a slapper from the right point. Fleury fights it off.

18:50: Blake Comeau snaps off a wrister from the left wing. Ward kicks it out.

18:45: Despres heads back to the dressing room. He took a tumble while trying to skate a puck out from behind his cage.

17:46: The Penguins go on the penalty kill as Crosby is called for goaltender interference as he bumped into Ward in the crease. That's two minutes. Sutter, Adams, Ehrhoff and Scuderi take the ice.

17:38: Rask lifts slapper from the slot over the cage.

16:50: The Hurricanes retake the lead. Off the right half wall, Linholm zips a cross-ice feed to Gerbe in the left circle. Gerbe take the pass and rips a wrister Fleury's blocker on the near side. Ehrhoff stumbled a bit while reacting to the pass by Lindholm and left Gerbe with some space to work with. Lindholm and Rask get assists. Hurricanes 3-2.

16:20: McClement rips a wrister from the right wing. Fleury says no.

16:01: Off a defensive one turnover by the Hurricanes, Hornqvist chops a shot on net from the left circle. Ward denies it.

15:30: Despres is back on the ice. He may have had an equipment issue.

14:53: Battling for a puck in the Carolina right wing corner, Faulk rattles Malkin with a hit into the boards.

13:53: Kuntiz pushes the puck up the right wing, pulls up and forces a cross-ice pass to Crosby which is broken up.

13:45: Using Despres as a screen, Staal snaps off a tricky wrister off the right wing. Fleury fights it off.

13:07: Liles chops a on-timer from the right point. It hits a stick and deflects out of play.

12:44: WOW! After Ehrhoff has a shot blocked at the center point, that creates a two on one for Gerbe and Semin. Gerbe elects to shoot and goes forehand to backhand. He lifts a shot and Fleury is able to hang with the puck. He kicks it out while falling backwards. He just kept his team in the game. Wow.

11:45: Sutter circles from above the left circle and rips a wrister which is deflects out of play.

11:21: Off a feed from Despres, Letang grips and rips a wrister from the left point wide to the near side.

10:22: Taking a feed from the right wing, Semin booms a one-timer from the slot. Fleury steers it away.

10:13: Maatta lifts a slapper from the slot. Ward fights it off.

7:38: Crosby tries to spin out of the right wing corner with the puck against Sekera but takes a tumble and loses the puck.

6:42: Off some perimeter passing, Ehrhoff whacks a slapper from the right point. Ward snags it.

6:34: After a bad turnover by Scuderi in his own right circle, Skinner nearly has a chance in tight but Fleury is able to poke the puck away. Scuderi owes Fleury a beer.

6:17: Brandon Sutter tires to tie the game. Off a touch pass by Comeau from the right wing, Sutter drives down the slot with the puck and pushes a wrister on net as Faulk upends him. Ward steers the puck away.

5:08: Crosby, Malkin and HOrnqvist are working on a line together.

4:56: Ehrhoff tries to deal the puck to Maatta on a give and go in the right circle. Semin pursues Maatta and is tripped up by Ehrhoff. That's two minutes. Adams, Letang, Martin and Sutter take the ice. This is a big two minutes.

4:35: Lindholm tries to jam in a puck from the right of the cage. Fleury holds it out.

3:23: Stealing a puck off Tlusty behind the Penguins' net, Maatta is able to clear it down ice to kill time.

2:56: The Ehrhoff minor is killed. That was a must for the Penguins.

2:26: Malkin backhands a puck off the right side of the cage. Crosby is there for the rebound and lifts it over the cage.

1:52: Kunitz is skating with Spaling and Comeau.

1:26: Faulk chucks a wrister from the right point. Fleury snags it.

0:59: That will just about end the Penguins' chances. Firing for position as he pushed the puck behind hte net, Nestrasil is triped up by Maatta. That's two minutes for Maatta. Crosby , Malkin, Letang and martin take the ice.

0:54: Faulk pounds a slapper from the right point. Letang blocks it.

0:40: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

0:26: Play is halted as Nash is in a heap in the corner. He collided with Crosby in the corner. Crosby's right arm struck Nash in the face and Nash went down As officials sort things out, Gerbe and Hornqvist mix it up. Nash heads to the dressing room. There were no penalties. The Penguins call time out to get organized.

0:12: Stealing a puck on the right wing, Tlusty flings it from the right point to score one of us:

Staal and Faulk get assists. Hurricanes 4-2.

0:00: End of game. Hurricanes 4, Penguins 2.


-First things first, Mike Johnston did not have an update on Marcel Goc beyond acknowledging he took a shot in the foot. Johnson said it was "not too concerning" and they would see where he's at tomorrow.

-The Hurricanes did not have an update on Riley Nash who left the game late in the third period after being struck in the head by Sidney Crosby. If you didn't see the hit, here you go:

(Ignore the click bait-ish headline for that video)

-To us, that's an accidental collision. Neither player was a aware of the other. It's almost similar to the hit by Capitals forward David Steckel against Sidney Crosby during the 2011 Winter Classic. To make matters worse, Nash was leaning down quite a bit and got caught by Crosby's shoulder.

-Johnston and Carolina coach Bill Peters each said they didn't see the hit and really declined to comment on it.

-As far as the game goes... Woof. The Penguins were frustrated most of the night. The Hurricanes took away a lot of their speed in the neutral zone and didn't allow them to attack as they normally do. That resulted in the Penguins getting plenty frustrated and being somewhat sloppy with the puck.

-Ultimately, the Hurricanes beat the Penguins at their own game. They were the one who established puck possession and fired a ton of shots while the Penguins struggled to do much with the puck for as little they had it.

-Another thing which worked against them was discipline. They gave the Hurricanes three power plays in the third period. Perhaps Olli Maatta's tripping minor was ticky tack, but Crosby's goaltending interference minor and Ehrhoff's tripping minor were legit calls. Crosby's minor led to the eventual game-winning goal by Gerbe and really sunk the Penguins' hopes.

-Crosby was given a 10-minute misconduct after Jiri Tlusty's empty net goal. Apparently he had been yapping at the officials a little too much.

-The Penguins mish-mashed their lines as the game wore on but didn't' really generate much off those changes.

-Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera had one heck of a game as a defensive duo. It seemed like anytime either Crosby or Malkin tried to create something individually, one or both of them were there to impede things. They were a BIG reason the Hurricanes pulled this win out.

-The Penguins got little from their third line. Ever since Steve Downie took a bad penalty on Long Island last week, he has been on his best behavior. As a result, he hasn't had any particular impact  - literally and figuratively - on the game.

-If this is Jayson Megna's big chance to show he can be an NHLer, he's not taking advantage of that opportunity. He offered little tonight.

-Minus Goc, the Penguins' fourth line was even less of a factor than it normally is. He's easily the best player on that line.

-Jiri Tlusty always seems to have an effective performance against the Penguins every 2-3 games against them. Tonight was one of those games. He had two goals but he helped force a neutral zone turnover in the second period which led to Patrick Dwyer's goal. He had a complete game tonight.

-Gerbe agitated the Penguins quite a bit tonight. He was a pain in the offensive zone with the puck and helped create some offensive chances and he seemed to get under the skin of a few Penguins who were chirping him quite a bit.

-The Penguins' special teams, which have been steady for a few weeks, let them down tonight. They only got one power play and looked flat on it. And they were 1 for 3 on the penalty kill with one goal being on an empty net.

-Marc-Andre Fleury could have perhaps stolen a goal but he was not the problem tonight.

-Cam Ward wasn't tested a lot but he was really sharp. His save early on Blake Comeau didn't really have an impact on the momentum, but it seemed to energize the Hurricanes who snuffed out the ensuing power play.

-The Hurricanes led in shots on net, 35-22.

-The Hurricanes led in attempted shots, 58-37.

-Eric Staal and Nathan Gerbe each led the game with six shots.

-Comeau and Patric Hornqvist each led the Penguins with five shots.

-Kris Letang led the game with 24:39 of ice time.

-Sekera led the Hurricanes with 24:08 of ice time. Faulk was right behind him with 24:07.

-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 29-25 (54 percent).

-Crosby was 13 for 23 (57 percent).

-Nash was 10 for 16 (63 percent).

-Olli Maatta led the game with four blocked shots.

-Sekera, Tim Gleason and Jay Harrison each led the game with two blocked shots.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.


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About the Hurricanes - 11-28-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Hurricanes.

When and where: 7 p.m., EST, Consol Energy Center.

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Carolina.

Record: 6-12-3, 15 points. The Hurricanes are in seventh place in the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division.

Leading Scorer: Center Riley Nash, 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists).

Last Game: 1-0 road loss to the Panthers, Wednesday. Goaltender Cam Ward made 27 saves for the Hurricanes.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-1 road win, April 1. Center Elias Lindholm (right) scored two goals for the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Lindholm. He has three points in three career games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Hurricanes: Zach Boychuk, LW; Ron Francis, general manager; Jordan Staal, C; Don Waddell, president.

Ex-Hurricanes on the Penguins: Craig Adams, RW; Jason Karmanos, vice president of hockey operations; Jim Rutherford, general manager; Mark Recchi, player development coach; Brandon Sutter, C.

Useless Hurricanes/Whalers Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Rutherford is one of two people to serve as general manager of the Hurricanes/Whalers and the Penguins. Eddie Johnston is the other.

The last time the Penguins played the Hurricanes, this happened:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (13-3-1, 2.14 GAA, .924 SV%) for the Penguins. Cam Ward (6-8-1, 2.61 GAA, .907 SV%) for the Hurricanes.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right winger Beau Bennett (right knee) is out. Right winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clot) is on injured reserve. For the Hurricanes, defenseman Brett Bellemore ("lower body") and center Jordan Staal (broken leg) are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins' lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

13 Nick Spaling - 87 Sidney Crosby - 72 Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - 71 Evgeni Malkin -  13 Blake Comeau
59 Jayson Megna - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Steve Downie
  38 Zach Sill - 57 Marcel Goc - 27 Craig Adams

58 Kris Letang - 7 Paul Martin
  10 Christian Ehrhoff - 3 Olli Maatta
47 Simon Despres - 4 Rob Scuderi

-The Hurricanes expected lines and defensive pairings are:

19 Jiri Tlusty - 12 Eric Staal - 16 Elias Lindholm
14 Nathan Gerbe - 20 Riley Nash - 28 Alexander Semin
53 Jeff Skinner - 49 Victor Rask - 15 Andrej Nestrasil
18 Jay McClement - 39 Patrick Dwyer

 4 Andrej Sekera - 27 Justin Faulk
65 Ron Hainsey - 26 John-Michael Liles
6 Tim Gleason - 47 Michal Jordan
44 Jay Harrison


-Comeau has 97 career assists.

-Semin has 499 career points.

-"I just made the decision to go to Carolina and it’s been a good decision." - Hurricanes coach Bill Peters on declining the Penguins' head coaching job in favor of Carolina's.

-The referees are Frederick L'Ecuyer (No. 17) and Kevin Pollock (No. 33). The linesmen are Trent Knorr (No. 63) and Derek Armell (No. 75).

-Our live blog begins at approximately 6 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

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