Pittsburgh at Carolina

Cole stays hot, Hurricanes deal Pens fifth straight loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Erik Cole is now one of Carolina's grizzled veterans, and on Friday night he celebrated his 600th game in the league and the return of old linemate Cory Stillman with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Cole, who has five goals and five assists in February, and Stillman were key members of Carolina's 2006 Stanley Cup championship.

"Stillman is an intelligent player," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "I think Erik Cole likes the idea of having it on his stick because it lets him get moving a little bit. Erik is playing the best hockey I've seen him play consistently now for a while. He's strong and he's skating and making good decisions. He definitely has a synergy with Cory Stillman."

Jussi Jokinen also had a goal and an assist, while Jay Harrison and Joe Corvo scored the other Carolina goals. Derek Joslin added a pair of assists for his first two points with the Hurricanes.

Pascual Dupuis scored for Pittsburgh.

But the news wasn't all good for Carolina, which lost captain Eric Staal for the rest of the game at 18:52 of the second when he left with an upper-body injury after being leveled by Matt Niskanen.

"He won't play [Saturday at Montreal], but we're hopeful he'll play our next game [here Tuesday against Florida]," Maurice said. "You can't tell [about the hit] from the camera angles. We'll let the league look at that."

Cam Ward stopped 33 shots for Carolina, and Marc-Andre Fleury had 20 saves for Pittsburgh.

Stillman was one of two veterans making their first appearances with their old clubs since Thursday trades, as Alex Kovalev was back in the lineup for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh played its 22nd straight game without captain Sidney Crosby (concussion), and the club gave no update on his status.

"We got going in the second period with the power-play opportunities and had a couple of chances," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "[But] Ward came up with the saves, especially at that early part of the second when we were trying to make a push with our power play."

Harrison scored on an assist from Cole 1:44 into the game, and then Corvo doubled the lead on a one-timer from the left point on a power play at 16:43.

Cole made it 3-0 at 10:59 of the second, receiving Staal's pass out of the right corner on the left doorstep and tipping it in.

"Eric's pass there was pretty sick," Cole said. "We had a good reload and a good hold on the line by [Joslin]. We made contact probably when I was outside the tops of the circles, and it was just a matter of him kind of waiting for me to find my way to the net. He made a great pass probably through about two sets of skates, right on the tape."

Notes

  • Hurricanes D Joe Corvo played in his 200th game with the club, while Hurricanes RW Troy Bodie played in his 100th NHL contest.
  • Pittsburgh D Paul Martin missed his third straight game (upper body).
  • The game was a sellout, Carolina's fifth in the building this season.
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Erik Cole celebrates his 600th NHL game in style, scoring this goal and also setting one up for Carolina. (AP)
Erik Cole celebrates his 600th NHL game in style, scoring this goal and also setting one up for Carolina. (AP)

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (36-21-6)0101
Carolina  (29-24-9) «2114
Three Stars
E. Cole
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
D. Joslin
CAR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
C. Ward
CAR


Saves: 33
Save Pct.: .971
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:44 - Jay Harrison (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cole, McBain
16:43Power Play - Joe Corvo (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Pitkanen, Jokinen
2ND PERIOD
10:59 - Erik Cole (18), Tip-In. Assist: Staal, Joslin
15:32 - Pascal Dupuis (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Rupp, Michalek
3RD PERIOD
14:53 - Jussi Jokinen (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Sutter, Joslin
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:14Rupp, 2 min, Roughing
16:33Cooke, 2 min, Cross-Checking
18:43Kovalev, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
01:24Ruutu, 2 min, Tripping
04:15McBain, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
16:57Harrison, 2 min, Slashing
17:45Kovalev, 2 min, Holding the Stick
Shots On Goal
 123T
PIT6161234
CAR96621
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Marc-Andre Fleury30:5983
Brent Johnson29:0091
Cam Ward60:00331
Game Information
Attendance - 18719
Referees - Greg Kimmerly, Brad Meier
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Tim Nowak
 
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Colu 5
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Wash 0
Ott 2 Final
Buf 4
NJ 1 Final
TB 2
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Cal 3
Min 3 Final
OT
Ana 2