The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

October 8, 2013

Jokinen scores hat trick, Pens skate to 3-0

PITTSBURGH — Jussi Jokinen scored his first career hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled away from the Carolina Hurricanes for a 5-2 win Tuesday night.

Jokinen, who was acquired from the Hurricanes last spring, helped the Penguins improve to 3-0, opening the scoring in the first period and adding two goals in the third after Carolina drew even at 2-2.

Paul Martin and Tanner Glass also scored for Pittsburgh, while Sidney Crosby picked up his first two assists of the season. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots for the Penguins, who have not trailed through three games. Pittsburgh has outscored opponents 12-3 while getting off to the franchise’s best start since 1994-95.

Eric Staal and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Hurricanes and Cam Ward made 32 saves, but Carolina crumbled in the final 15 minutes after erasing an early two-goal deficit.

The Penguins brought in Jokinen last March after four-plus seasons in Carolina, hoping the talented winger would help them lift the Stanley Cup. The rebuilding Hurricanes even agreed to pay $900,000 of the $3 million Jokinen is due this year just to get him out of town.

While Jokinen and Pittsburgh failed to win a championship, he showed an ability to blend in with Penguins stars Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Hurricanes drew even on Gerbe’s goal 3:13 into the third period, but it didn’t last long. Jokinen sandwiched goals around a marker by Glass and the Penguins were off to their best start since the 1994-95 team won its first seven games.

The Penguins came in 0 for 3 on the season on the power play before breaking through 14:17 into the first period. With Carolina’s Jay Harrison off for tripping, Pittsburgh took the lead when Crosby tried a centering pass that deflected off Staal and right to Jokinen. The former Hurricane collected the puck with his skate and kicked it to his stick. His backhand shot slid past Ward and put the Penguins in front.

Pittsburgh appeared to double its lead just over 2 minutes later. Crosby worked behind the net and fed Chris Kunitz in front. Ward made the initial stop before the puck fell to the ice and rolled under Ward’s pads thanks to a little help from Pascal Dupuis’ skate. The goal was overturned on review, however, after replay officials ruled Dupuis intentionally kicked the puck past Ward.

All it did was postpone the Penguins going up by two until the second period. The teams were skating four-on-four when Brooks Orpik fired a shot wide of the net that banged off the endboards and back in front of the net and onto the stick of a sliding Martin, who had little trouble throwing it behind a badly out of position Ward.

The Hurricanes were bottled up completely by Pittsburgh’s revamped defense until midway through the second when their captain went to work. Staal nearly put Carolina on the board with a slick move down the left wing only to have Fleury make a spectacular split-pad save.

Fleury wouldn’t be so fortunate the next time Staal went to work. Staal drew the Hurricanes within one when he managed to deflect Justin Faulk’s shot from the point with his stick even as he was getting checked to the ice by Orpik. Fleury never had a chance as Staal’s 15th goal in 35 career games against Pittsburgh found plenty of room over Fleury’s shoulder.

Gerbe tied it when he pounced on a rebound and slipped it by Fleury’s right pad and into the net.

It didn’t last long.

Malkin put Pittsburgh in front to stay less than 90 seconds later. He collected the puck high in the zone and waited patiently for a line change then fed a streaking Jokinen, whose wrist shot sailed over Ward’s right shoulder.

Ward made a series of flashy saves during extended Pittsburgh pressure, but mishandled a cover off a shot by Glass, allowing the grinder to score for the first time this season.

NOTES: Penguins F James Neal missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. Neal aggravated a pre-existing problem during Pittsburgh’s season opener against New Jersey last week. Coach Dan Bylsma said Neal is more “week to week” than “day to day.” ... The Penguins begin a two-game road swing through Florida on Friday when they play the Panthers ... Carolina plays at Washington on Thursday in the franchise’s 1,200th game since relocating from Hartford in 1997.

–––

Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • Steelers Patriots Front.JPG Gronkowski cleared to play at Patriots training camp

    Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play at the New England Patriots training camp.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dodgers Pirates Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
    Polanco, hitting just .133 in his previous 11 games, smacked a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy 0720 McIlroy holds on to win British Open

    Walking off the 18th green as the British Open champion, Rory McIlroy kept gazing at all the greats on golf’s oldest trophy.
    On the claret jug, his name is etched in silver below Phil Mickelson.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0719 Pirates take second straight over Rockies, win in 11th inning

    Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
    Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • out at home Eighth-inning rally carries Pirates to victory over Rockies

    Travis Snider’s pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker to spark the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
    Walker trotted home when Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t track down Snider’s sinking line drive off reliever Matt Belisle (2-5). All-Star Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly one batter later.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • score Pirates in race, hope for late surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day – if still heated – pennant race.
    A season after shedding the yoke of two decades of failure with a stirring run to a playoff berth, the Pirates are just another solid if not spectacular team trying to keep pace in the jam-packed NL Central.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Derby 0714 Cespedes wins again, beating Frazier in HR derby

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-Star Game 0714 Pitching matchup features two of game’s most dominant arms

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads