RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)Frederik Andersen made sure one mistake didn’t lead to any other problems for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Andersen stopped 34 shots and overcame a mishap in the third period as the Hurricanes beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1.
”Obviously, the worst-case scenario,” Andersen said. ”It doesn’t matter how you get scored on, you’ve got to be able to reset.”
Brady Skjei and Jalen Chatfield scored for the Hurricanes, who’ve won two in a row since a four-game skid.
Rickard Rakell scored on a third-period power play for the Penguins, who were trying to win for the third time in four games. Casey DeSmith had 34 saves.
Rakell’s 15th goal came at 7:48 of the third. Anderson, after gloving the puck, knocked the puck off Rakell’s stick in a blunder that gave the Penguins life.
”He gave it to them,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. ”But that’s all he gave all night.”
Carolina killed off another Pittsburgh power play to hold on. The Penguins finished 1 for 6 on power plays.
”I love how we killed the penalties,” Brind’Amour said.
The Penguins have struggled on power plays since scoring 13 times in a 10-game span with the man advantage prior to Christmas.
”Some of it is execution,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. ”Some of it is decision-making. We were one of the best power plays in the league for that stretch.”
From Carolina’s perspective, penalty-killing made the difference.
”You’ve got to be dialed in on that and I think we were,” Chatfield said.
Andersen played in his second game in a row after missing more than two months with a lower-body injury. He stopped 21 of 23 shots Thursday night at Columbus.
”Having to keep building on just feeling good and comfortable,” Andersen said.
Skjei’s ninth goal of the season came in the first period and matched his single-season career high from a season ago when he played in all 82 regular-season games.
”I find myself in some pretty good spots on the ice,” Skjei said. ”Just been lucky to find those corners recently.”
Chatfield’s fourth came as he took Sebastian Aho’s pass in rhythm and unleashed a shot coming toward the slot at 9:14 of the second period.
Pittsburgh held a 16-7 edge in third-period shots.
”I thought there was momentum swings on both sides,” Sullivan said.
THESE ARE DEFENSEMEN?
Carolina’s two goals were scored by defensemen. This followed the team’s previous game at Columbus when five of the Hurricanes’ six goals were scored by defensemen. Chatfield had one in that game, too.
”I’ve just got a shooting mentality and I just throw it on net and good things happen,” he said.
Chatfield had never posted points in back-to-back games and now he has scored in consecutive games.
BEAT THAT TEAM
Carolina won all four meetings with the Penguins this season. Each of those was decided by one-goal margins.
It’s the first four-game sweep of the Penguins in franchise history. Before relocating to North Carolina, the franchise, then playing as the Hartford Whalers, had a 3-0-0 mark against Pittsburgh in 1986-87.
The Penguins have been limited to one goal in eight games this season. Rakell has prevented shutouts in three of those, with two of those coming on power plays. … Rakell also scored in Pittsburgh’s Dec. 18 visit to Raleigh. . Hurricanes left winger Max Pacioretty missed the game with a lower-body injury. Brind’Amour said it’s doubtful he’ll play Sunday against Vancouver.
Penguins: Host Anaheim on Monday.
Hurricanes: Host Vancouver on Sunday.
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