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Pens Rally In OT -- Beat Canes


The Pittsburgh Penguins found the little crack needed to break out of a season-long six-game winless streak Wednesday night.

Kip Miller scored with 2:11 left in overtime when Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe misplayed the puck as the Penguins overcame a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat the Hurricanes 3-2.

"I was just kind of lucky. I was at the right place at the right time," Miller said of the game-winner. "The goalie made a mistake and tried to play the puck and I happened to be coming around the net and he never saw me."

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  • Miller poked in his 17th of the season as Irbe was trying to cover the puck in the crease, giving Pittsburgh an NHL-high six victories and 21 points in overtime games.

    "I got a little overconfident with the puck there," Irbe said. "As I went to freeze it, Kip Miller appeared from nowhere from behind the net. I thought I had it but somehow he snuck it through. That's a tough one to swallow."

    Carolina fell to 1-4-13 in overtime games as Pittsburgh's Jan Hrdina and Martin Straka scored in the final 10:34 of regulation to force the extra period.

    "We've had other come-from-behind victories this year, so it says the team has a no-quit attitude and we have the skill to score goals," Penguins coach Kevin Constantine said. "Some talented guys came through."

    Meanwhile, the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes knew they let one slip away.

    "These ones tend to try to eat at you, it's what you make of it," Carolina's Ray Sheppard said. "We've got to realize were still leading our division and that's first and foremost at this point. We've got to regroup in practice and go out Friday night with a clear mind and not thinking of what happened here."

    Sami Kapanen scored twice in a span of 2:21 early in the second period to put Carolina up 2-0, but Straka's team-leading 32nd goal of the season on a nice give-and-go play with Robert Lang tied the score with 4:42 left in regulation.

    After a scoreless first period, Kapanen and the Hurricanes took charge in the second.

    Kapanen ripped a slap shot through the glove of Penguins goaltender Peter Skudra 3:47 into the period after breaking in alone on the left side. The game was delayed for about five minutes following the goal as Skudra had the webbing of his glove repaired on the Pittsburgh bench.

    About two minutes later, Kapanen broke in on his off wing after getting a nice pass from Martin Gelinas and wristed a low shot past the right pad of Skudra for his 21st of the season.

    An apparent goal by Sheppard less than a minute after Kapanen's second goal would have given Carolina a 3-0 lead. But the replay official said Keith Primeau was in the crease and knocked Skudra down. It appeared that Primeau was knocked into the Penguins goal while being checked by Pittsburgh defenseman Neil Wilkinson.

    "Carolina, through two periods, totally dominated the game," Constantine said. "We just hung around long enough to get ourselves back in it."

    The Hurricanes, last in the NHL in attendance at 7,911 a game, drew 10,563 on "Richard Petty Night." The winningest driver in NASCAR history took one lap around the ice between the first and second periods in a blue and orange No. 43 ice resurfacing machine, getting a standing ovation as he waved to fans.

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