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(Thursday, February 28th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 1
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Jiri Tlusty scored two of Carolina's three second-period goals and added one assist, as the Hurricanes posted a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena.
Eric Staal registered a goal with two helpers and Cam Ward made 26 saves for the Hurricanes, who have won two of their last three games.
Marc-Andre Fleury surrendered all four goals on 29 shots in Pittsburgh's second straight loss.
Thursday's contest marked the first time Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal and Penguins forward Brandon Sutter faced their former teams since both made up the key components in last year's draft-day trade between the clubs.
The clubs traded goals in the first period, with Eric Staal netting the equalizer on a deflection with 24.1 seconds remaining.
Chris Kunitz opened the scoring after Sidney Crosby streaked down the left side and fed him a cross-ice pass through a seam for a one-timer from the right circle at the 13:14 mark.
Tlusty and Skinner scored 1:46 apart in the middle frame to put Carolina up 3-1.
The puck squirted free after Eric Staal took a couple of whacks at the side of the net and Tlusty pounced on it just outside the crease for the go-ahead tally at 4:03.
Skinner, who missed the previous five games with a concussion, lit the lamp in his return, collecting Patrick Dwyer's behind-the-net feed and ripping a shot past the blocker of Fleury at 5:49.
In addition to Skinner, forward Tim Brent (lower-body) and defensemen Tim Gleason (lower-body) and Jamie McBain (upper-body) returned to Carolina's lineup.
"It was nice getting some healthy bodies back," said Carolina head coach Kirk Muller.
The Hurricanes potted another late goal to take a 4-1 lead into the second intermission. Eric Staal won a puck battle and Alexander Semin dished out front to Tlusty, who scored from the slot with 11 seconds remaining.
"Last couple games haven't been good. We've been loose on our coverage," Crosby said.
Jordan Staal, drafted second overall in 2006 by Pittsburgh, recorded 248 points (120G, 128A) with the Penguins, helping them win a Stanley Cup title in 2009 ... Semin had two assists ... The Hurricanes improved to 4-1-1 against the Atlantic Division this season ... Pittsburgh was 0-for-5 on the power play. The Penguins had scored at least one goal with the man advantage in each of their last 12 games.
02/28 22:38:12 ET