Pittsburgh Penguins outlast Carolina Hurricanes for 4-2 win in Metro Division game

The Carolina Hurricanes arrived in Pittsburgh eight points ahead in the Metropolitan Division.

The Canes left six points ahead.

The Penguins, with goalie Tristan Jarry getting the job done in net with 41 saves, punched out a 4-2 victory Sunday over the Canes at PPG Paints Arena.

The Canes (41-13-5), playing less than 22 hours after a 3-1 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers, had stretches of good hockey Sunday. Carolina’s penalty killing, the best in the NHL, again was on point all three times, there was some good physical play and the Canes summoned up enough energy to make a push in the third period.

Defenseman Brett Pesce pulled the Canes within a goal early in the third, scoring on a shot from the top of the slot. Carolina would manage 20 shots in the period but could not pull even.

Sidney Crosby scored an empty-net goal after goalie Antti Raanta was pulled for a 3-1 Pens lead. Pittsburgh needed it as Sebastian Aho scored for the Canes with the extra attacker, and the Pens then sealed it on an empty-netter by Zach Aston-Reese with 12 seconds left in regulation.

In the end, Jarry was too solid in net for the Pens (36-15-9). His rebound control was good, his positioning good. On a Carolina power play in the second period, the Canes set up Aho for a quick shot in the slot only to have Jarry shut it down.

Pesce, who had a career-high seven shots, finally beat Jarry after a strong forechecking shift by the Canes. That made it 2-1 just 4:40 into the third, the Pens having gotten goals from forwards Brian Boyle in first and Danton Heinen in the second.

It was the third and final game of the regular season between the Penguins, who stand second alone in the Metro with 81 points, and the Canes, who have 87. Carolina won the first two games, both with Raanta in net and with captain Jordan Staal scoring three goals.

After Frederik Andersen returned Thursday to beat the Flyers, Raanta was back Sunday for the second half of the back-to-back. Raanta had 36 saves Thursday in shutting out the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 -- the Avs’ first blanking in 100 games -- but had his three-game win streak end Sunday.

The Pens’ first two goals came after the Canes failed on chances to clear their zone, Boyle getting a shot in the low slot and Heinen tipping in a shot by Mike Matheson.

The Canes had too many attempts miss the net in the first two periods. One of the biggest misses was a shot by Steven Lorentz in the final seconds of the second, Jarry then using his body to shield Jesperi Kotkaniemi from the puck at the post after it hit the end boards.