Pittsburgh
Penguins
47-24-11
Carolina
Hurricanes
40-34-8

20 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PIT
CAR
game recap

Hurricanes 6, Penguins 2

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:19 AM

David Droschak

Canes Hang Six on Penguins

David Droschak

Flavor of the Game 700K

RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 11, 2006) - Rod Brind'Amour may have said it best. That it wasn't the time of the season for "Slapshot" hockey.

So, the Carolina Hurricanes got Brooks Orpik and the Pittsburgh Penguins where it hurt most - on the scoreboard.

There was no incident in the first on-ice meeting between the Penguins defenseman and Erik Cole, who was rammed from behind in Pittsburgh by Orpik last March, suffering a broken neck. Just a chorus of boos from the fans every time Orpik touched the puck.

Cole did his talking with his play, getting two assists to remain hot as the Hurricanes dumped the Penguins 6-2 Saturday night.

Cole's helpers gave him a four-game streak and nine points over that period to lift his season total to 17 points in 18 games.

Orpik didn't play several weeks ago when the two teams met in Pittsburgh, but he was on the ice this time. Cole and Orpik crossed paths just a few times, but never along the boards, where Cole's career nearly came to an end last season.

"I am proud of Erik, considering the hype that went with the game, I thought he was focused and helped set up the first two goals," said coach Peter Laviolette. "The most important thing is that Erik is a class act."

"I'm sure at some point, they are two men, they will take care of business the way it was intended to be taken care of," added Ray Whitney. "I don't think Erik is going to go running looking for it. We weren't anticipating anything happening."

Cole's teammates tried to follow his lead.

"Everything is so bottled up in the standings at this time of the year we just couldn't afford to take some dumb penalties," said Bret Hedican. "Obviously, there was a lot of emotion going into the game but ultimately the two points were more important."

Pittsburgh had the dumb penalty department covered quite nicely, taking a whopping 13 minors that gave Carolina four different five-on-three power plays.

"Finally, they are starting to call a little more of the clutching and grabbing," Hedican said. "I thought early in the season they slipped back a little bit, but the last two games they are starting to call things again, starting to tighten down."

"We forced the issue on those penalties and it's nice they got called," added Laviolette.

Eric Staal set up Brind'Amour on an early second period power play to give the Canes a 3-0 lead before the Penguins closed to 3-2 with goals by old standbys John LeClair and Marc Recchi, a player who helped Carolina capture the Cup a season ago before returning to the 'Burg as a free agent.

It appeared the Pens had tied the score after a wild scamble in front of Cam Ward early in the third, but after a five-minute replay review, the call on the ice as a "no goal" stood.

"I don't know why it was taking so long, maybe they weren't getting the look they wanted on the replay," said Laviolette. "I haven't even taken a look at it yet, but it was a good call."

Eric Belanger broke open the close game with 12 minutes left when he scored from a sharp angle down the left wing.

The fourth-line guys then put the Pens on ice during the final three minutes with Kevyn Adams scoring an empty-net goal and Chad LaRose got his first of the season short-handed.

Carolina took advantage of a series of Pittsburgh penalties midway through the first period to get on the board first. The puck rolled off the stick of Brind'Amour as he attempted to throw a backhander on Jocelyn Thibault, but it banked off the skate of a Pittsburgh defenseman to Justin Williams, who buried his sixth of the season. It was the first goal for Williams since getting two against the New York Islanders three weeks ago.

The Canes went up 2-0 five minutes after the Williams goal when Whitney got his own missed shot back from Cole and rifled a wrist shot past Thibault.

When Pittsburgh did get a power play late in the period, the second-best man-advantage unit in the NHL almost surrendered a short-handed goal to Williams and finished 0-for-7 on the power play.

"Our specialty teams have been real strong for us the last few games," said Laviolette, who has watched his club win nine of 14 since a slow start.

David Droschak is the former sports editor for the North Carolina bureaus of the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world. In 2003, Droschak was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. The only writer in the Triangle to have covered the Carolina Hurricanes every season since the organization moved to North Carolina, he currently is a principal in the Raleigh-based public relations firm Hughes-Droschak Communications.

scoring summary
1st Period
12:51
CAR
PPG - Justin Williams (6) Tip-in - ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (17), Erik Cole (10)
1 - 0 CAR
17:41
CAR
Ray Whitney (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Erik Cole (11), Mike Commodore (6)
2 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
01:29
CAR
PPG - Rod Brind'Amour (6) Slapshot - ASST: Eric Staal (10), Scott Walker (7)
3 - 0 CAR
03:18
PIT
John Leclair (1) Slapshot - ASST: Jarkko Ruutu (2)
3 - 1 CAR
16:42
PIT
Mark Recchi (2) Slapshot - ASST: Nisse Ekman (6), Dominic Moore (3)
3 - 2 CAR
3rd Period
08:00
CAR
Eric Belanger (4) Slapshot - ASST: Glen Wesley (2)
4 - 2 CAR
17:37
CAR
SHG - EN - Kevyn Adams (2) Snap shot - ASST: Mike Commodore (7)
5 - 2 CAR
18:28
CAR
SHG - Chad LaRose (1) Slapshot - ASST: Trevor Letowski (1), Anton Babchuk (3)
6 - 2 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
06:52
CAR
Mike Commodore  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Thorburn
06:52
PIT
Chris Thorburn  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Commodore
06:52
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Roughing against  Mike Commodore
07:59
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hi-sticking against  Dominic Moore
07:59
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hi-sticking against  Dominic Moore
10:38
PIT
Michel Ouellet  Too many men/ice - bench
10:59
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Eric Staal
12:07
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Hooking against  Eric Staal
18:15
CAR
Trevor Letowski  Hi-sticking against  Maxime Talbot
2nd Period
00:24
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Roughing against  Bret Hedican
08:54
PIT
Chris Thorburn  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
10:20
PIT
Dominic Moore  Hooking against  Scott Walker
12:06
CAR
Andrew Hutchinson  Hooking against  Maxime Talbot
14:41
CAR
David Tanabe  Holding against  John Leclair
3rd Period
01:53
CAR
Andrew Hutchinson  Hooking against  Maxime Talbot
04:21
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Tripping against  Justin Williams
09:55
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Holding against  Craig Adams
10:21
CAR
Erik Cole  Hooking against  Maxime Talbot
11:52
PIT
Ryan Whitney  Holding against  Trevor Letowski
13:17
PIT
Colby Armstrong  Diving against  Erik Cole
14:53
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Eric Staal
16:42
CAR
Eric Staal  Interference against  Dominic Moore
19:00
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Hooking against  Eric Staal
goalie stats
Jocelyn Thibault
Jocelyn Thibault
SA: 29TOI: 59:53
Saves: 24EV: 11 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 14
SV%: .828SH: 1 - 2
Cam Ward
SA: 20TOI: 59:45
Saves: 18EV: 10 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .900SH: 3 - 3