Hurricanes end season with 8-3 loss to Penguins

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With all the injuries it has been a tough grind for these guys. “Despite the score, I’m proud of the way the guys pushed to the end. They’ll learn from it and it will make them better next year.” It was an emotional night for Canes center Jordan Staal, who spent the first six seasons of his NHL career in Pittsburgh and helped the Pens win the 2009 Stanley Cup. His return to Pittsburgh had to wait until the final day of the regular season, and Pens fans graciously received him well, giving him a standing ovation in the first period. “It was nice,” Staal said. “I have good memories in this building and in this city and I appreciate that from the fans.” Staal was in the starting lineup for the Canes, who finished 19-25-4. He took the opening face-off against Jokinen and won it. Kevin Westgarth, who had one goal in 120 career games, was the Canes’ surprise star this night, scoring twice. Tuomo Ruutu, who played just 17 games this season because of hip surgery, also had a goal as the Canes tied it 3-3 in the second. Defenseman Jamie McBain appeared to give the Canes a 4-3 lead early in the third. source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/04/27/2855048/live-from-pittsburgh-hurricanes.html

James Neal gets hat trick as Pittsburgh Penguins beat Carolina Hurricanes 8-3

A scheduling conflict at Consol Energy Center means the Penguins likely won’t open the playoffs until Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators or New York Islanders. The Penguins nabbed the top seed in the East as newcomers Morrow, Jokinen and Jarome Iginla – all acquired at the trade deadline – helped Pittsburgh win eight of 12 games played without captain Sidney Crosby, who has been out since March 30 with a broken jaw. Crosby is waiting to be cleared for game action by doctors, but the captain participated in his first practice in nearly a month recently, taking part in non-contact drills, while adjusting to a new shield to protect his injured jaw. Crosby’s status for next week’s playoff opener remains unclear, but barring a setback, he is almost certain to play in the opening round. The Penguins, coming off back-to-back losses against Buffalo and New Jersey, appear to be getting healthy at the right time. Malkin played in his second game after missing four with an upper body injury. Neal missed eight games with a concussion, while defenseman Paul Martin also played in his first game after being sidelined with a broken bone in his left hand. Jordan Staal, who played a crucial role in the Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup run, turned down a contract extension from Pittsburgh, and instead inked a similar deal with Carolina following a stunning blockbuster trade on draft night that sent the No. 2 overall pick in 2006 to the Hurricanes. The Penguins recognized Staal with a first-period video tribute, and he responded, drawing a standing ovation from the 18,658 in attendance. source: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/04/27/james-neal-gets-hat-trick-as-pittsburgh-penguins-beat-carolina-hurricanes-8-3/

Hurricanes fall in overtime

“That’s a team that’s going to the playoffs and will make a good push. We’ve got some banged up bodies and are missing some guys but we really worked hard. “Tonight, they got a bounce off the boards to tie it up, just one of those freak bounces. And (Callahan) just sneaks it under the bar. I was just off my angle and it was just off my jersey. But we competed hard as a team.” Staal, recalled Wednesday from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, had 17 shifts and more than 12 minutes of ice time, and was shifted to the wing on Jordan Staal’s line as Eric Staal centered the top line. He was used in overtime and got off a long shot that Lundqvist easily stopped. “It was a hard-fought game,” Jared Staal said. “The guys were pretty pumped up before the game and the crowd was great and loud. This team may not have much to play for and it could just finish out the season, but we all battled hard.” Jiri Tlusty, pushing his point streak to seven games, had two goals for the Hurricanes (19-24-4), who fell behind 2-0 after the opening period but tied the score 2-2 in the second on a power-play goal by Tlusty and even-strength score by Tuomo Ruutu. source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/26/3365806/hurricanes-fall-in-overtime.html

Carolina Hurricanes (19-24-4) at Pittsburgh Penguins (35-12-0), 7:30 p.m. (ET)

Pittsburgh received some good news on Sidney Crosby prior to Thursday’s game, as the team captain and star centerman was cleared for practice. Crosby has been sidelined with a fractured jaw since getting hit in the face with a puck during a game against the New York Islanders on March 30. Crosby practiced on Friday, but there is still no timetable for his return to game action and there’s a good chance he could miss at least the start of Pittsburgh’s opening-round playoff series. “(Returning) is not really up to me,” Crosby told his club’s official website. “I’ll just keep talking with the doctors. It’s something they have to feel comfortable with the healing. As soon as they say the word, I’ll be ready to go.” Despite missing the last 11 games with the injury, Crosby is still tied for second in the NHL in scoring this season with 56 points (15 goals, 41 assists) in 36 contests. Pens winger James Neal is apparently closer to returning to the lineup than Crosby and he is expected to return from a concussion on Saturday. It would be Neal’s first game since April 5. Paul Martin (wrist surgery), Brooks Orpik (lower body) and Joe Vitale (lower body) are also battling injuries for the Penguins. Martin also could return from a 12-game absence on Saturday. source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/27/3367918/carolina-hurricanes-19-24-4-at.html

Carolina Hurricanes/Message Board

3,319 posts Posted 27 April 2013 – 09:39 PM when a back-up d-man scores two of the team’s three goals there is just one word to describe the team:  pathetic 67 posts Posted 27 April 2013 – 09:41 PM Well, it is time to do what great fans do when things go wrong, point the finger at someone else. Tampa Bay and Nashville are a disgrace to the NHL. Were they even dealing with any injuries down the stretch? I have a new/more respect for the Calgary organization, if anyone had an excuse to fold the tent, it was them. Anyway, glad we were humiliated in the third to punctuate our need for change. As someone already said in the talk forum, the lack of response to the hit to the head on our best defenseman was yet another low-point. Unacceptable, again showing that the culture around the team needs adjusting. At least that’s my take. Posted 28 April 2013 – 02:24 AM Did Morrow get anything for the Faulk hit? Rod Brind’Amour is the MAN! source: http://fans.hurricanes.nhl.com/community/topic/21437-gdt-carolina-pittsburgh/page-2

 

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