Penguins edge Hurricanes to split home-and-home

Raleigh, NC ( - Thomas Greiss came up with 32 saves to help the Pittsburgh Penguins exact some revenge on the Carolina Hurricanes with a 3-2 victory.

The Penguins supported Greiss' solid effort with first-period goals by Chris Kunitz and Robert Bortuzzo, with Christian Ehrhoff netting the eventual game-winner in the third as Pittsburgh bounced back from a 4-2 home loss to the Hurricanes on Friday.

"I thought the intensity tonight, our battle level was certainly a lot higher than last night," Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said.

Justin Faulk scored just over 3 1/2 minutes in to give Carolina an early edge, but the Hurricanes didn't get another past Greiss until Eric Staal's power- play tally with 11.7 seconds remaining.

Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots in the loss, Carolina's fourth in five games.

Saturday's rematch began with a flurry of goals, with Pittsburgh scoring twice and the Hurricanes once during the first six minutes of play.

An early penalty to Bortuzzo allowed Carolina to strike first, with Faulk one- timing a long drive past Greiss just 22 seconds into the power play and 3:39 into the contest.

The Penguins answered almost immediately. Kunitz dumped the puck into the Carolina zone off the ensuing faceoff, and Evgeni Malkin retrieved it before skating around the net and dropping a pass that Kunitz rifled home a mere 17 seconds following Faulk's goal.

Bortuzzo then put Pittsburgh ahead less than two minutes later, skating right by two Hurricane defenders and beating Khudobin stick-side at the 5:32 mark.

"You don't want to give up a goal right after you score one," Faulk said. "That's not the way you want things to go, and it's something that in the long run, drained some momentum from us."

The action settled down thereafter, with the clubs playing to a scoreless second despite the Hurricanes putting up 14 shots on Greiss and having three power-play opportunities.

Carolina generated fewer chances in the final period, and fell behind by a 3-1 count when Ehrhoff rushed up the ice and snuck the rebound of his initial attempt under Khudobin's skate for the offseason pickup's first goal as a Penguin, which came with 4:33 remaining.

"Our defense tonight, two big goals from Bortuzzo and Ehrhoff. Those were key goals, obviously, in a tight checking game," said Johnston.

Staal made it interesting by successfully re-directing Victor Rask's blast with Khudobin pulled in the final seconds, too late for Carolina to mount a serious comeback.

Game Notes

The Penguins scratched defenseman Kris Letang prior to the game with an lower-body injury, while forward Marcel Goc also sat out with an ailing foot ... Faulk added an assist on Staal's late goal, while Rask assisted on both Carolina scores ... Pittsburgh has now won four straight meetings with the Hurricanes in Raleigh ... Carolina has just one winning streak this season, a four-game run from Nov. 1-7.