Grinders Get It Done: Pens Beat Canes 3-2

Forty shots and a win? Hell yeah we'll take it. Ironically enough, shots plus the headache that followed remain a significant contributor to this late installment of Saturday's recap, but that's to be expected for weekend recaps here and there.

Dare I say Craig Adams is on a bit of a point streak? His goal and assist in Saturday's win against his former team gives him three points in two games. I've always felt three games is the minimum for a streak, but perhaps we can make some exceptions for Adams. Or maybe we won't have to if he can pick up another point Monday against the Bruins.

A majority of the focus in this game centers on the third period. With both teams entering the final 20 minutes in a 1-1 tie, it would ultimately come down to who would break first. Pittsburgh's attack was solid all game long but Canes backup Brian Boucher was up for the challenge. Goals form Arron Asham and Pascal Dupuis made it a 3-1 affair by the midway point of the third, however a series of Pittsburgh penalties allowed Carolina more than enough opportunities to work their way back into the game.

Between the final ten and a half minutes and the last 20 seconds, the Pens took four penalties, one of which Carolina converted for a goal on a Jamie McBain shot with plenty of time remaining. All in all, it felt as if the Pens were going to ultimately give the game away and blow the lead, but thankfully Brent Johnson had other plans.

With Carolina on a rare 6-on-3 opportunity, Johnson might as well have just swapped out his Penguins logo for a giant target on the front of his jersey. Carolina was relentless on the attack, controlling the puck and looking to get the tying goal. With about 17 seconds left it looked as if they would finally crack the Pens' defense. But a sprawling Johnson out-muscling Hurricanes players for the loose puck thwarted any attempt and secured the 3-2 victory. Let's remember games like this the next time we shrug a bit at Johnson's 2-3-2 record. The team almost cost him another regulation win it what was his 300th career NHL start.

Here's to hoping Jordan Staal checks out all right too after leaving the ice with a bloodied face. So long as there isn't anything broken I'd imagine we'll see him out there again this week. And even if something is broken - well, you can't rule out his return either.

The insanely hot Bruins, who have posted a 13-0-1 record since the start of November, are up Monday.

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