RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Jeff Skinner scored a power-play goal 3:02 into overtime, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and an assist, and linemate Elias Lindholm assisted on all three Carolina scores. Cam Ward made 23 saves for the surging Hurricanes, who won their third straight and have earned points in 12 of 16 games.
Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh, and Sidney Crosby had two assists. Kunitz tied it with 13:58 remaining in regulation off Crosby’s pass from behind the net.
Skinner scored 22 seconds into a hooking minor on Evgeni Malkin. Skinner took a slick pass from Lindholm near the net and beat Marc-Andre Fleury from close range to end it.
Fleury finished with 18 saves.
Before Skinner’s winner, the game’s most buzzworthy goal belonged to Versteeg.
The Carolina winger fired a shot from behind the circle that clipped Crosby’s stick and went airborne. The puck landed between the 2 and the 9 on Fleury’s jersey and then trickled in to put the Hurricanes up 2-0 with 10:29 left in the second.
That became an important goal because Letang pulled the Penguins within one 45 seconds later. Crosby won a draw and Olli Maatta found Letang, whose slap shot got past a screened Ward.
That flurry of action came after Staal scored Carolina’s first goal 3:52 into the second. Parked to the left of Fleury, he took a pass from Versteeg and snapped it past the sprawled-out goalie for his ninth of the season and first since a win over Washington on New Year’s Eve.
NOTES: Carolina D Ron Hainsey and Penguins D Ian Cole traded punches with 13:34 left in the third. … Hurricanes C Victor Rask returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury. … Carolina assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour, captain of the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup team, was elected earlier in the day to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
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