for this game

Sykora, Crosby help spoil Maurice's return

Dec 5, 2008 - 5:33 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Paul Maurice's return to the Carolina Hurricanes was not a successful one.

Petr Sykora scored a pair of power-play goals and captain Sidney Crosby notched four assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins cruised past the Hurricanes, 5-2, on Thursday.

Pascal Dupuis, Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko also tallied for the Penguins, who improved to 10-2-2 in their last 14 games.

Evgeni Malkin set up two goals and Dany Sabourin made 34 saves for Pittsburgh, which rebounded from squandering a two-goal lead in Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers.

"It shows character," Crosby said. "It would have been easy to be frustrated because we probably deserved better last night. It was a pretty physical and emotional game. Coming in here tonight and finding a way to win was a big challenge, and we answered it well."

"Our team is doing a great job on back-to-back games," Sabourin said. "I'm happy to have the chance to go back-to-back. I'm feeling good. I want to have the net right now."

Tuomo Ruutu and Matt Cullen scored for the Hurricanes, who failed to make Maurice's return behind the bench a successful one. Carolina, which has lost five of its last six, brought back Maurice - who also coached the franchise from 1995-2003 - after firing Peter Laviolette on Wednesday.

"We made some, I guess glaring would be the word, mistakes where you look at it and you may not see that mistake made again," Maurice said. "But it's a function of, and when we talk about confidence, we're not talking about individual confidence but team confidence, where if you do some simple things and you do them hard and you do them very well, you'll have some success.

"We ran some high-risk things that went the opposite direction for us and didn't give our goaltender a whole lot of help."

Sykora began the misery for Maurice midway through the first period and Dupuis tallied less than two minutes later following a turnover by former Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar, giving Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.

"The first goal was basically they didn't shoot the puck down and they turned it over on their blue line and we came back at them," Sykora said. "I felt that even last night, we created some good scoring chances, but the puck just didn't go in. Tonight, we got a couple of good bounces and a couple of good goals."

Just 1:53 into the middle session, Sykora increased the advantage by grabbing a rebound at the right side of the net and tucking the puck inside the goalpost for his 100th career power-play goal.

"It had to happen," Sykora said. "If not, who cares? It was something good tonight."

"It's always brought up when he gets two," Crosby said of the scoring woes of Sykora, who entered with just five goals in 21 games. "It's not easy. I'm sure it's in his mind a little bit. The best, when you get two, is not think about it and keep playing. If it's meant to be, then it will come."

Ruutu got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard 19 seconds later with his ninth tally of the season, but Satan notched his 10th at 6:51, when his backhand pass into the crease inadvertently was knocked into the net by Carolina's Chad LaRose.

"Most of the goals they got, they got from our mistakes," Ruutu said. "I think it's more about playing better defensively. I know if we play better defensively, they're going to get frustrated and they're going to get our intensity. We've just got to be patient."

Crosby set up all four of the Penguins' first four goals for his third four-point performance of the season and second in three games.

"I'm trying to keep doing the same things," said Crosby, who has registered six goals and eight assists in his last five games. "We were able to capitalize on a lot of chances we got."

Cullen unleashed a slap shot from above the slot during a power play that caromed off the stick of Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal and past Sabourin with 4:06 remaining in the period to draw the Hurricanes within 4-2. But Fedotenko jabbed the rebound of Malkin's shot from the left faceoff circle past goaltender Michael Leighton with 93 seconds left in the session to restore Pittsburgh's three-goal bulge.

Leighton turned aside just 17 shots, but Maurice was not about to put all the blame on his goaltender.

"Don't underestimate the shooters and the quality of chances that he faced," Maurice said. "We can't sit and pick apart the one or two that maybe you think you'd like to have back. We want to cut down on the quality."

Right wing Justin Williams made his season debut for the Hurricanes after being activated from injured reserve earlier in the day. Williams, who had been sidelined with an Achilles injury, saw just over 13 minutes of ice time but was unhappy with his team's effort.

"We had some big mental errors that they capitalized on - 2-on-1s and odd-man rushes." he said. "They're usually going to kill you when you play a team like Pittsburgh, let alone any team in the NHL."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 3 0 5
    CAROLINA 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 6 (SIDNEY CROSBY, ALEX GOLIGOSKI)
    10:53
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 12:30
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 7 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 1:52
    CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 9 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, J

    Dec 4 9:31 PM
  • 25
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Penguins 5, Hurricanes 2  3rd - 19:55Dec 4 8:58 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Penguins 5, Hurricanes 2  End of 2ndDec 4 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 3 5
    CAROLINA 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 6 (SIDNEY CROSBY, ALEX GOLIGOSKI)
    10:53
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 12:30
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 7 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 1:52
    CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 9 (SERGE

    Dec 4 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 5
    CAROLINA 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 5 (EVGENI MALKIN) 18:27

    Penguins 5, Hurricanes 2  2nd - 1:33Dec 4 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 4
    CAROLINA 2
    2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) MATT CULLEN 7 (RAY WHITNEY, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 15:54

    Penguins 4, Hurricanes 2  2nd - 4:06Dec 4 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 4
    CAROLINA 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 14 (PASCAL DUPUIS, MIROSLAV SATAN) 6:51

    Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1  2nd - 13:09Dec 4 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    CAROLINA 1
    2ND PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 9 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, JOSEF MELICHAR) 2:12

    Penguins 3, Hurricanes 1  2nd - 17:48Dec 4 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    CAROLINA 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 7 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN) 1:52

    Penguins 3, Hurricanes 0  2nd - 18:08Dec 4 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 2
    CAROLINA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 6 (SIDNEY CROSBY, ALEX GOLIGOSKI)
    10:53
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 12:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 5 5
    CAR

    Dec 4 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 12:30

    Penguins 2, Hurricanes 0  1st - 7:30Dec 4 7:34 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 6 (SIDNEY CROSBY, ALEX GOLIGOSKI)
    10:53

    Penguins 1, Hurricanes 0  1st - 9:07Dec 4 7:30 PM
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    Penguins vs. HurricanesDec 4 4:59 PM
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