PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –The Pittsburgh Penguins came out on top in a shootout after a wild game against the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night.
Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang scored in the shootout and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the only two shooters he faced to give the Pens a 5-4 win at CONSOL Energy Center.
While thousands of people packed the streets to celebrate Light Up Night, it didn’t take the Pens and Hurricanes long to start lighting the goal lamps.
Just 42 seconds into the game, Brandon Sutter finished off an odd-man rush to put Carolina up 1-0.
Just over eight minutes later, Sidney Crosby fed Evgeni Malkin, who broke into the Carolina zone with Chris Kunitz rushing wide. Malkin slid a pass over and Kunitz fired a quick shot that beat Justin Peters to the far side to tie the game 1-1.
The Pens weren’t done there as 2:10 later Tyler Kennedy made it 2-1.
Letang’s shot bounced of a Hurricanes player in front of the net and went right to Crosby, who was standing at the left side of the cage. While he could have easily buried it into the empty net, he fed Kennedy across the crease for his fourth goal of the season.
Not to be outdone, Carolina answered with just over four minutes to play in the opening period.
Patrick Dwyer was able to find a bouncing puck in front of Fleury off a blocked shot by Jussi Jokinen. Dwyer chipped the puck over Fleury to send the teams to intermission tied 2-2.
Just over eight minutes into the second period, Malkin fed Zbynek Michalek at the point, who fired a shot toward the net. Crosby was able to find the bouncing puck and fire it home from the hash marks in the slot for his 14th goal of the season.
Yet again, the Hurricanes answered immediately.
Jamie McBain found Jokinen on the backdoor for an easy goal 2:04 after Crosby had put the Pens up 3-2.
With all the goals and all the chances, there was bound to be some controversy.
While on the power play, Crosby found Kunitz wide open on the back door, but Peters slid over and made what appeared to be a fantastic pad save.
The puck eventually crossed the line, but the official blew the whistle before it had crossed the line.
Or so everyone thought.
The play was reviewed and Kunitz was awarded his second goal of the game.
Carolina pulled Peters with about 1:30 to play in the game and the Pens never got a chance to fill the empty cage.
Eric Staal fought off Brooks Orpik and chipped the puck to Jokinen, who blew it by Fleury to tie the game with 52 seconds to play.
Fleury came up large in overtime stopping a 3-on-1 break and did not allow a rebound to force a shootout.
Pittsburgh is now 4-0-1 in their last five games and Fleury has been in net for all of those games.
Crosby’s goal and three assists gives him 33 points on the season. He is now one point behind Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos (34 points) in the NHL’s scoring race.
The Penguins now have a couple days to rest before heading to Florida to take on the Panthers Monday night.