PITTSBURGH – Manny Legace stopped 30 shots, Ray Whitney had the decisive goal and an assist and the Carolina Hurricanes won on the road for the first time this season by holding off the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Monday night.
Eric Staal and Joni Pitkanen each had two assists and Andrew Alberts and Jussi Jokinen also scored as Carolina ended its 13-game road losing streak (0-10-3).
The Hurricanes finally played the way they wanted to during the Eastern Conference finals last spring, when Pittsburgh won the first two at home and then finished off the sweep on the road before Carolina found its game or the speed to match Pittsburgh’s star forwards.
Despite being without top goalie Cam Ward, the Hurricanes opened a 3-0 lead early in the second, held off Pittsburgh’s flurry later in that period and never let the Penguins take control in the third, when Pittsburgh hurt itself by taking two penalties.
Sidney Crosby and Mike Rupp scored less than a minute apart in the second, but the Penguins couldn’t do any other damage against Legace, who turned aside Crosby and Jordan Staal during the final 10 seconds to preserve only the second victory in seven games for Carolina.
Legace is 4-0 in his career against Pittsburgh, which lost its second in a row at home after winning five straight.
The Hurricanes, the NHL’s worst team by far with a 7-17-5 record and 19 points, came out with some early jump to seize the 3-0 lead against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 18 saves.
Alberts skated in from the right skate and, faking a pass, slid a shot along the goal line that Fleury couldn’t stop 4:45 into the game for his first of the season. Jokinen, scoring his seventh, slipped between two defenders about seven minutes later to beat Fleury under the crossbar on a power play created by Evgeni Malkin’s holding penalty.
Whitney got what proved to be the game-winning goal 2:26 into the second, taking Pitkanen’s pass in the left circle and snapping a shot past Fleury for his eighth.
The Penguins, 10-5-1 at home, got back into the game by outshooting the Hurricanes 15-4 in the second.
Crosby, back in the lineup after missing a 2-1 overtime loss to Chicago on Saturday with a sore groin, scored his 20th and eighth in four games by racing to Bill Guerin’s chip pass into the left circle and putting a backhander past Legace six minutes into the period. Rupp made it 3-2 at 6:49 with a wrist shot from the left circle that went between Legace’s pads.
NOTES: Rupp, a physical forward known mostly for his defensive play while with New Jersey, has found a previously unseen scoring touch in Pittsburgh with nine goals – three more than in any of his previous seven NHL seasons. … Carolina hadn’t won away from home during the regular season since beating the Devils 2-1 on March 28 in its next-to-last road game of last season. … Carolina recalled D Brett Carson from its AHL affiliate. He played five games last season.