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(Tuesday, April 1st)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 1
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Elias Lindholm scored twice in the second period, Anton Khudobin made 30 stops, and Carolina came away with a 4-1 decision over Pittsburgh at CONSOL Energy Center.
Justin Faulk and Eric Staal also tallied, with Jeff Skinner and Andrei Loktionov adding two assists each for the Hurricanes, who have not lost in regulation over their last four games (2-0-2).
"We've had some tough starts over the past couple of weeks, so it was good to get going here," said Staal. "It took us a little while, but we were able to find the net there against one of the best teams in the league."
Chris Kunitz provided the lone offense for the Penguins, who could have clinched the Metropolitan Division title outright with a victory. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all four scores on 28 shots.
"We all felt like the first 10 (minutes) we were carrying the play," said Crosby. "The shots were pretty evident of that. For whatever reason we got away from that. Maybe we thought that came easy or thought we could get away with cheating. It didn't work."
Fleury couldn't come up with a floater from Faulk with 5:21 remaining in the first to tie the game, then Lindholm pumped one home from atop the crease on a power play for a 2-1 Hurricanes lead just prior to the midway point of regulation.
Lindholm struck again, at even strength with 5:03 to play in the second for a two-goal edge. Pittsburgh failed to clear the puck out of its own zone, with Lindholm stripping Pens defenseman Deryk Engelland on the left wing and scoring with a wrister,
Carolina went up by a 4-1 score when Staal batted a left-point shot from Loktionov out of the air and in from the near post as the clock ticked down to eight minutes left in the contest.
Khudobin made sure that margin stood until the end, turning aside all 11 Pittsburgh shots in the final 20 minutes.
Brian Gibbons failed to dent Carolina's netminder just 2:26 into the contest on his first career penalty shot, flipping the puck wide of the left post.
Kunitz gave the hosts a lead just after the nine-minute mark, taking a failed clear and shooting a rolling puck that deflected off a Carolina defender's stick and inside the far post.
Lindholm snapped a nine-game goal drought and picked up his first career multi-score effort ... Pittsburgh won three of four in the season series ... Fleury fell to 9-8-3 since Jan. 20 ... The Pens also dropped to 4-5-2 on home ice since Feb. 7 ... Pittsburgh forward James Neal was credited with a game- high six shots on goal, but finished a game-worst minus-3.
04/02 00:14:35 ET
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