Rookie Megna lifts Penguins past Canes, 3-1
Rookie Jayson Megna had his first career goal and assist, and the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Monday night.
Chris Kunitz and Tanner Glass also scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins. Brooks Orpik had three assists, Sidney Crosby added two and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 shots.
Pittsburgh ended its longest losing streak since 2011-12 by defeating the Hurricanes for the fourth straight time.
Nathan Gerbe scored a power-play goal for Carolina, which lost its third straight but remained tied with the New York Islanders for second in the division — five points behind the Penguins. Justin Peters made 26 saves in his second straight start in place of the injured Cam Ward.
Ward is expected to miss at least two more weeks after sustaining an unspecified lower-body injury during a loss at Minnesota last week, and including that game, the Hurricanes have lost all three games since he was hurt. Carolina has allowed at least three goals in four straight.
Offense had become a bit tougher to find for the Penguins, which scored 13 goals in its previous two victories over the Hurricanes — including a 5-2 win earlier this month in Pittsburgh keyed by a hat trick from former Hurricane Jussi Jokinen.
During the losing streak, the Penguins averaged 38 shots but managed four total goals.
Kunitz scored the go-ahead goal with 3:36 left in the second, cashing in on some nifty cross-ice passing, taking a feed from Crosby and beating Peters high to make it 2-1.
Megna — a 23-year-old undrafted center playing in his second career NHL game — then made it a two-goal game with 12:49 left.
A Crosby shot clicked first off a Carolina defender, then off Megna's right knee and into the net — and the occasion was marked by the inadvertent sounding of the PNC Arena goal horn.
Megna's first career point came on the Penguins' first goal. Glass put them up 1-0 at 8:25 of the first off a neutral-zone draw, whipping the rebound of Megna's shot past Peters. Both of Glass' goals this season have come against the Hurricanes.
Gerbe tied it at 16:03 with a 5-on-3 goal, finishing from point-blank range after some tic-tac-toe passing from Alexander Semin and rookie Elias Lindholm.
That came after Pittsburgh had the game's first nine shots on goal. Carolina didn't put its first shot on Fleury until Ron Hainsey's soft backhand with about 8½ minutes left drew some sarcastic cheers from the crowd.
The Penguins had a lull of their own in the second, failing to put a shot on Peters until Megna landed one about 8½ minutes in.
NOTES: Crosby has at least one point in 10 of Pittsburgh's 12 games. ... Semin has points in four straight games. ... The Penguins scratched D Rob Scuderi with a lower-body injury, ending his streak of 276 consecutive regular-season games played — the longest streak on the team.
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