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Pens vs. Canes Recap: Pittsburgh wins 6th straight with 6-1 demolition of Carolina

Big night for the Pittsburgh Penguins who rock and roll all over the Carolina Hurricanes and win 6-1 for their 6th straight win.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


In lieu of the impending trade, Ian Cole is scratched. Ryan Reaves is also scratched and will also have to pack his stuff.

In happier issues, Patric Hornqvist is back three weeks to the day after he was injured.

And for the Carolina Hurricanes there’s a surprising scratch as well- first line center Jordan Staal is out with “personal/family issues” so boy we sure do extend best thoughts and wishes for big #11 and crew.

1st period

Matt Murray uses a Fleury-esque poke check to deny a Cane from in close after a Justin Schultz turnover. Soon after, as seemingly always after a big save at one end, play goes right back and the Pens get a great chance with a Jake Guentzel breakaway. But Cam Ward keeps the 5-hole tight and the score stays 0-0 thanks to some nice goaltending at both ends early.

Guentzel gets the game’s first goal on an easy one. He hangs at the far post, the Carolina defense falls down and Phil Kessel puts a pass right on the stick with the wide open net. Doesn’t get much easier. 1-0.

That’s about the end of the period. Both teams are coming off almost 5 days of rest so both are a bit rusty. Shots 11-6 Pens, which is always impressive to get off to a fast start on a good Corsi team like the Canes.

2nd period

Olli Maatta puts the Pens up 2-0 off a faceoff in the offensive zone. Evgeni Malkin wins one cleanly and Maatta lets ‘er rip and Cam Ward can’t find it through the maze of bodies.

This seems to awaken the Canes who come to life and start controlling play down in the Pens end. After a broken play Teuvo Teravainen goes skate to stick impressively and ramps a shot off the shoulder of Murray in in 2-1.

Carolina keeps up the pressure and is pouring it on. A tie looks like a matter of time in a furious rush. But they can’t quite get it and Guentzel skates into the zone, he finds Kessel on a nice cross-ice pass and Phil flings it in the net. 3-1 Pittsburgh in a huge momentum shift goal that could have been 2-2.

Phil the trill keeps it going with his second goal of the game to make it 4-1 and the Pens are officially rollin’ at this point.

3rd period

This will be short with all the trade stuff going on (sorry y’all) but the Pens get a power play and Sidney Crosby scores from right in front. His 20th of the season. 5-1 Pens.

Evgeni Malkin has a bunch of points already but he’s got a goal scoring title to win so he gets his 34th of the season. The Canes have basically quit on this game and Cam Ward breaks his stick in frustration for his team mailing this one in.

Some thoughts

  • Not gonna call Dominik Simon a line killer but he misplayed and had a few turnovers in this game. One gets the feeling that he’s not the 1LW forever at this point.
  • What can you say about Phil Kessel? Geez, my goodness. Those guys were amazing this game. And, oh yeah, the trade was finalized to get Derick Brassard to center Phil and probably Guentzel.
  • For being in an alleged sophomore slump, Guentzel just hit the 20 goal plateau with still 20 games left in the season.
  • Kessel slipped and fell in the 3rd and was holding around his shoulders/collarbone after sliding into the boards. He would leave the bench area for the locker room briefly but then return. Hopefully it’s nothing major for the ironman.
  • As we mentioned in the preview- score a few on Carolina and they probably won’t keep up. 9 of their last 11 games now for them with 2 goals or less. Just not going very good for them.
  • Fairly quiet game for Murray but he did make a couple of big saves when the score was 2-1 and then his teammates started scoring and never stopped. As usual that’s the key for the Pens goalie- just keep the puck out of the net long enough and sooner or later the floodgates are going to open at the other end.
  • Season high 6th straight win for the Pens tonight. Oh yeah and at least for one night they’re back in first place in the Metro Division. We’ve had a lot of exciting times lately and now things look as great as ever (so long as our dear Phil isn’t harmed).

OK a bit of a quick recap with all the other content up about the Brassard edition. Sorry but not sorry. Feel free to chat it up with any important details about the game that may have been glossed over here, and of course be sure to check out all the stories on the trade drama.