Hurricanes Ice Penguins


After starting the season with nine straight road games, Carolina's recent seven-game stretch in 11 days must have seemed like a minor annoyance.

Sami Kapanen scored two goals six minutes apart in the second period as the Hurricanes rallied from a pair of deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 Saturday night.

"This team is working hard and sometimes when you work hard you get the price at the end," Kapanen said. "This team has a lot of confidence in each other and we try to push each other and keeping saying we can come back if we're down one or two goals."

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  • Carolina scored a season-high five goals to improve to 4-1-3 in its last eight games seven of which came in grueling span of hockey.

    "When you play this many games it's not easy, you can see it in their face to get driven up to start every game," Maurice said of his players. "Their bodies don't want to after awhile."

    It was the Penguins' fifth straight loss on the road. Pittsburgh's last win away from the Civic Arena was on Oct. 14.

    Kapanen's second two-goal game of the season gave him his team-leading 11th and 12th goals to erase a 3-2 Pittsburgh lead.

    "Boy, when he has that confidence he picks those corners," Maurice said when asked if Kapanen is turning into one of the league's top scorers. "It's going for him. He had a little drought there, but it didn't shake him up as much as it would have in the past."

    Pittsburgh goalie Peter Skudra was pulled after two periods in favor of Tom Barrasso, but Bates Battaglia beat Barrasso four minutes into the third period from a sharp angle to give Carolina some breathing room as the Penguins felto 2-8-1 this season on the road.

    "You've got to be able to grind out some wins on the road," Pittsburgh coach Kevin Constantine said. "That's the challenge or every team, and it's true to us. That's the challenge remaining for us."

    Martin Straka, who had 35 goals last season, netted only his second in 18 games early in the second to tie the game at 2-2. Jaromir Jagr then scored his NHL-leading 19th goal 3 1/2 minutes later, stickhandling through Carolina's defense and slipping the puck under Arturs Irbe, who made his 12th straight start.

    But Kapanen's game-tying goal on the power play came seven minutes later, and his game-winner beat Skudra on a backhander from in close after some nice work by Robert Kron to keep the puck deep in Pittsburgh territory.

    Aleksey Morozov scored his fifth of the season 18 seconds into the game to get the Penguins off to a fast start, taking a centering pass from Matthew Barnaby and flipping the puck high past a sprawled Irbe.

    The Hurricanes then scored twice on their first three shots.

    Glen Wesley's backhanded chip shot from the slot over Skudra's shoulder tied the score 1-1 midway through the first, and Paul Coffey ran his point streak to four games with a power-play goal through traffic three minutes later.

    Carolina played its second straight game in as many nights without captain and second-leading scorer Ron Francis, who is suffering from vertigo.

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