The Penguins entered the third period of last night’s game against the Carolina Panthers facing a 3-0 deficit, despite outshooting the Hurricanes 23-13 and outplaying them for most of the first 40 minutes.
Canes goaltender Cam Ward looked determined to pitch a shutout and was probably the best player on the ice through two periods, aside from teammate Jeff Skinner.
The Penguins would work the game back to a tie with eight minutes remaining thanks to two goals from Jordan Staal (one shorthanded) and one from Chris Kunitz, but the elder Staal would not be outdone.
Carolina’s Eric Staal scored his fourth goal of the season just three minutes later, and Chad LaRose would add the final dagger with 2:30 left.
Penguins goalie Brent Johnson had a rare off-night. Johnson is generally great when called upon to spell Marc-Andre Fleury, but Johnson allowed five goals on just 26 shots last night. Ward stopped 37 of 40.
James Neal didn’t score, but did extend his point streak to six games with an assist on Staal’s first goal.
Evgeni Malkin notched one assist and now ranks third on the team with 12 points in 10 games. Malkin is second on the team in penalty minutes with 14, two behind defenseman Deryk Engelland.
The Penguins host the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday at 7:30 PM. Sidney Crosby has not yet been ruled out of the game.