What's buzzing:

Hurricanes 4, Penguins 1

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Center Elias Lindholm scored two second-period goals to break a tie and lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Penguins on Tuesday night, preventing Pittsburgh from clinching the Metropolitan Division title.

The Hurricanes (33-32-11) kept their flickering playoff hopes alive as they improved to just 7-10-2 since the Olympic break. Carolina has six games left and trailed the Columbus Blue Jackets by seven points for the second of two Eastern Conference wild card berths entering play Tuesday.

The Penguins looked lethargic despite needing a victory to clinch their third consecutive division championship.

It is almost certainly a matter of time, though, until the Penguins win the Metropolitan Division as they have six games remaining and held a 13-point lead over the New York Rangers going into Tuesday's play. The Rangers played a late game at Vancouver on Tuesday night and a loss to the Canucks would enable the Penguins to clinch first place.

Defenseman Justin Faulk and center Eric Staal also had goals for the Hurricanes, who snapped their five-game losing streak against the Penguins. Forward Jeff Skinner's four-game goal streak ended, but he assisted on both of Lindholm's goals and forward Andrei Loktionov had helpers on Carolina's other two goals.

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin started for the Hurricanes and stopped 30 shots.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby reached the 100-point mark for the fifth time in his nine-year career but first time since the 2009-10 season. The NHL's leading scorer was credited with the secondary assist on Pittsburgh's lone goal, which was scored by left winger Chris Kunitz.

Lindholm broke a 1-1 tie when he scored a power-play goal at 9:24 on the second period, taking a pass from Skinner and pushing it past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Lindholm extended the Hurricane's lead to 3-1 when he scored again at 14:57. That raised his goal total to eight this season.

The Hurricanes added to the lead in the third period when Staal scored his 18th goal at 11:47. It was just the captain's second goal in his last 17 games.

Kunitz opened the scored with his 35th goal at 9:01 of the first period. The Hurricanes answered at 14:39 on Faulk's fourth goal.

NOTES: Penguins C Brian Gibbons was wide left on his first career penalty shot at 2:26 of the first period. ... Hurricanes C Jiri Tlusty was scratched with a lower-body injury a night after being boarded by Senators D Eric Gryba in a loss at Ottawa. ... Hurricanes C Andrei Loktionov was able to play after also suffering a lower-body injury in Monday's game. ... Penguins D Paul Martin, who broke a hand while playing for the United States in the Olympics in February, is targeting a Sunday return when Pittsburgh faces the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul. ... Penguins F Beau Bennett will likely play more at left wing -- his off side -- than right wing for the remainder of the season because of team need, coach Dan Bylsma said. ... The Penguins play the Jets in Winnipeg on Thursday night and the Hurricanes host the Dallas Stars.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (1)