RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (TICKER)—Everything bounced just right for Sebastien Caron in his first NHL shutout.
A 1999 third-round draft pick, Caron made his first start Monday and recorded a 2-1 win in Boston. The 22-year-old Quebec native was even better in this one, particularly in the final minute after the Hurricanes pressured him with an extra skater.
A shot by defenseman Sean Hill deflected off Caron’s chest and another shot by Rob Brind’Amour bounced off the crossbar with 10 seconds left.
Caron also used his blocker to stop defenseman Niclas Wallin from point-blank range before the Penguins finally were able to clear the zone.
“We were lucky tonight,” Caron said. “The puck went off the post and off my chest. I didn’t see it. The team was there to help me a lot. It is never done until the buzzer sounds. I am really happy. It is like a dream right now. I have to come down and start focusing on the next game we play.”
Former Hurricane Kent Manderville iced the victory with an empty-net goal with two seconds left.
Caron has gotten a chance to play while Johan Hedberg recovers from a broken collarbone.
“You’ve got to give them credit. They crashed the net, they went for it,” Pittsburgh coach Rick Kehoe said. “They had some good chances and Caron made some big saves. It was good to see him get his first shutout.”
Kevin Weekes stopped 30 shots but was beaten 8:54 into the first period. With Carolina’s Jeff O’Neill off for tripping, Straka put home a rebound of a wrister by defenseman Dick Tarnstrom for his 14th goal.
“We would like to score, but goals aren’t being given away in this league,” Weekes said. “A lot of teams are playing well defensively. They were stacking four across the blue line for a majority of the game and their goalie played outstanding. You basically have to take what you can get and unfortunately, we didn’t get any tonight.”
The Penguins again played without superstar Mario Lemieux, who missed two games with a groin injury before lasting less than four minutes in Monday’s win.
“We’re taking it a game at a time and that’s all we’re doing right now,” Kehoe said of Lemieux’s injury.
Carolina is winless in its last five games (0-3-1-1) and just 4-12-2-1 over the last 19. The Hurricanes have lost five straight at the RBC Center, including the first three of a four-game homestand.
Among the frustrated Hurricanes was left wing Sami Kapanen, who came close to tying it with 16:28 left in the third. He redirected a shot that went off the leg of Caron and slid across the crease.
Carolina suffered its fourth shutout loss in 18 games. The Hurricanes were shut out four times all of last season.
“They didn’t allow a lot of anything on the rush and very little out of the corners,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. “We missed the net on quite a few. (Caron) did a good job picking up rebounds and he didn’t allow any second shots, except for that flurry at the end.”
The Hurricanes were 0-for-4 on the power play and had just 15 shots over the first two periods.
Pittsburgh has won the first two of a five-game road trip that followed a three-game losing streak.
“Two months ago, we couldn’t find a way to keep a lead,” Penguins defenseman Marc Bergevin said. “This one, we won. We’re doing the little things we weren’t doing earlier.”