PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brett Pesce scored at the end of a two-on-none 2:20 into overtime to lift the Carolina Hurricanes past the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The Penguins forced the extra period on Jake Guentzel’s deflection with 58 seconds to go in regulation but the Hurricanes escaped with the extra point when a weird carom led to a breakaway that Pesce converted for his second goal of the season.
Andrei Svechnikov and Marine Necas also scored for Carolina. Pytor Kochetkov stopped 30 shots as the Hurricanes won their second straight following a five-game losing streak.
Guentzel and Sidney Crosby scored for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry stopped 36 shots but was left all alone on the sequence that ended with Pesce’s winner. The Penguins played without top defenseman Kris Letang, scratched just before puck drop due to illness.
Pittsburgh has lost two straight — both at home — following a 7-1-1 stretch that helped the team snap out of an early funk.
The Penguins began the night one point behind the third-place Hurricanes in what figures to be a tight race in the Metropolitan Division behind early season surprise New Jersey.
Crosby gave Pittsburgh the lead 4:34 into the first period, finishing off a pretty sequence that began with a stretch pass by defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph to Guentzel at the Carolina blue line. Guentzel fed a streaking Crosby, who tapped the puck from his right skate to his stick before jamming a shot past Kochetkov.
The goal was Crosby’s 25th point at even strength this season, tops in the NHL.
Carolina responded by turning up the pressure on Pittsburgh. Necas tied the game 5:45 into the second when a drive from the point by Pesce smacked into Necas in the crease. The puck fell to the ice and Necas slammed it into the open net.
Jarry made a sparkling save on Sebastian Aho in close late in the second period but Svechnikov collected the rebound and raced behind the net, beating Jarry to the far post for his 11th of the season.
The goal came after a sequence that has typified Pittsburgh’s issues on the power play. The Penguins, for all their star power, entered Tuesday 28th in the league with the man advantage. They failed to generate a single shot on a power play just before Svechnikov’s goal, with Jeff Carter whiffing despite being wide open in the slot. The puck caromed out of the zone and shortly thereafter the Hurricanes were in front.
Pittsburgh rallied in the third period, finally drawing even with the goalie pulled when Guentzel stuck his stick out waist high on a shot by Jeff Petry. The puck went down and into the net for Guentzel’s 11th goal of the season.
Hurricanes: Head to St. Louis on Thursday.
Penguins: Continue a five-game homestand Thursday against Vegas.