Fresh off the holiday break, the Pittsburgh Penguins traveled to Raleigh to take on the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes.
The ‘Canes continued their winning ways, beating the Penguins, 2-1.
Both teams traded chances for the first few minutes of the game, until Pittsburgh struck first. Brian Dumoulin (assisted by Jake Guentzel and Tristan Jarry) snapped a shot over Cam Ward’s shoulder, giving the Pens the 1-0 lead four and half minutes in.
While the Hurricanes spent a good portion of the first period playing defense, they started to surge in the final five minutes. Jarry made sure the lead stayed intact, with his teammates helping him out defensively.
The horn sounded and the Pens headed into the first intermission after a very good start.
The second period started with the Hurricanes controlling play. It only took them six and a half minutes to finally score the tying goal. Derek Ryan snuck the puck past Jarry as he was trying to recover from an earlier save.
Even after a few good scoring chances, the Pens were in survival mode as the Hurricanes kept coming throughout the period.
Neither Ward nor Jarry wanted to give up the next goal, making some great saves. Carolina seemed to have scored, but it was determined that there was goalie interference on the play.
What was supposed to be a wake-up call for the Pens was the exact opposite, as Sebastian Aho scored to definitively give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead.
The Penguins got their first power play of the night with a minute and a half remaining in the period. This carried over into the third, but they couldn’t capitalize. The Hurricanes were called for another penalty shortly after, but again nothing came of it.
As time ticked away, Pittsburgh couldn’t put the puck in the net. Their chances were few and far in between, all because they couldn’t get out of their own way.
They pulled Jarry for the extra attacker with a minute remaining in the game, but it was no use as the final horn sounded.
Another game, another inconsistent effort from the Penguins. They came out and played well in the first period, then completely fell flat for the rest of the game. For the final two periods, absolutely nothing clicked for Pittsburgh and it showed.
The power play couldn’t even bail them out. They had two chances against a team that doesn’t take too many penalties and couldn’t convert either time.
I’m not entirely sure what else to say, because it hasn’t changed all season. One good game, one bad game, rinse and repeat.
Besides that, Jarry had another good game in net. His teammates should be thanking him for keeping the score as close as he did.
The Penguins’ next game is Sunday night in Detroit against the Red Wings. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.