Hurricanes Win Their Eleventh Straight At Home

Mike ThiessenContributor IApril 4, 2009

RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 14:  Ray Whitney #13 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with teammates Eric Staal #12 and Jeff Hamilton #51 after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins during their game at the RBC Center on February 14, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes secured a playoff spot with a 3-2 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night; the win was their 11th straight at home and eighth in a row overall.

The Penguins opened the scoring on a goal by Tyler Kennedy who backhanded a shot to the top shelf behind Cam Ward. Kennedy took the puck from the corner behind the Hurricanes net, skated out in front of Ward and beat Ward in the top left corner of the net.

The 'Canes tied it up later in the period when Eric Staal took a beautiful feed from Erik Cole, who was cycling behind the Penguins net. Fleury did not have time to react as Staal fired home his 36th goal of the season.

Carolina took the lead 57 seconds into the second period on a goal by Chad LaRose. LaRose took a pass from Jussi Jokinen, and then fired a shot that seemed to handcuff Fleury.

Cam Ward kept his team in the lead with some key saves during the second period.

First, he robbed Craig Adams who had a point blank chance right in front of the net. Then he made a nice pad save on Evgeni Malkin, who came streaking in from the right wing.

His biggest save of the period came when he made a great glove save on Peter Sykora, who fired a rocket which looked destined for the top right corner of the net.

It looked like the Penguins had tied the game when Bill Guerin turned and fired a shot past Ward just after Chris Kunitz tripped Tuomo Ruutu with his skate in the corner. Instead of the Penguins taking the lead, they had to kill off a Hurricanes power-play.

In the third period, the Penguins finally beat Ward on a goal from Jordan Staal.

Tyler Kennedy came flying down the wing, and made a great move to get around the 'Canes defenseman. He then turned and made a perfect pass to Staal, who had his shot deflected by the 'Canes defenseman Anton Babchuck, which Ward could not track down.

Later in the period, Evgeni Malkin was stopped by Ward on a penalty shot.

Sidney Crosby blocked a shot, and then sent Evgeni Malkin away on a breakaway where he was tripped up as he was bearing down on the 'Canes net.

The ref made no hesitation in calling a penalty shot on the play.

Late in the third period, Bill Guerin took a tripping call after he tripped up Ruutu right after a face-off in the neutral zone.

The Penguins managed to kill the penalty off, but the powerplay seemed to give the 'Canes momentum.

Anton Babchuck scored the game-winner in overtime on a slap shot from the point.

Sidney Crosby had his 16 game point streak snapped. Evgeni Malkin was also held without a point, and now leads Alexander Ovechkin by four points with four games left in the season for both players.