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Penguins' third-period flurry beats Hurricanes, 4-1

PITTSBURGH - For more than 48 minutes, teenager Brandon Sutter's first career goal looked as though it would be a winner for Carolina. But with scorers like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins can turn a game around in only a few seconds.

Crosby and Ruslan Fedotenko scored 32 seconds apart during Pittsburgh's four-goal third period and Malkin added a goal and an assist to help the Penguins rally for a 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Sutter gave one of hockey's most famous families another milestone, scoring off a Pittsburgh giveaway to put Carolina up 1-0 in the first - a lead that held up for nearly 2 1/2 periods. Sutter, a 2007 first-round draft pick and the son of New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter, is the ninth member of the Alberta-based Sutter family to play in the NHL.

The 19-year-old Sutter grabbed the puck after Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik whiffed on a pass and, skating in from the blue-line, beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a backhander at 13:07 of the first to score unassisted.

"It's nice to get the first one for sure - I had a few chances the first couple of games," Sutter said. "I kind of jumped on it and had a step on him and wanted to get the shot off and not do anything fancy. It was a good feeling."

Carolina backup goalie Michael Leighton, starting again for Cam Ward after beating Anaheim 3-1 on Sunday, made the lead stand up until the Penguins - known for their scoring flurries - needed only two shifts to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead.

It was the third time in the Penguins' five home games they scored at least twice in less than two minutes.

"We did what we do, we kept working and working and kept putting pucks on the net. When you have guys like Sid and Geno (Malkin), you know it's going to go in," said Max Talbot, who also scored in the third. "It was a pretty intense and pretty good period for us."

Niclas Wallin's hooking penalty set up only the third power play, and Crosby took advantage by converting defenceman Dennis Seidenberg's turnover in the defensive end, barely getting his stick on Evgeni Malkin's slap shot from the right point at 8:15.

Crosby, the NHL scoring champion two seasons ago, scored only his second goal in seven games by redirecting a shot that knuckleballed several times on its way to the net.

"The linesman asked me right after the goal if I got my stick on it," said Crosby, who was initially wary of the question. "I wasn't sure if it was a high stick, so I wanted to stay away from it."

Partly because of Crosby's initial reluctance to speak up, the goal was credited to Malkin, but was later changed.

"I didn't really see it. They had a lot of chances and it was just a matter of time," Leighton said. "We didn't put much pressure on them and force them to do anything. We turned a lot of pucks over."

On the Penguins' next shift, Fedotenko scored his first for Pittsburgh off a pass by Jordan Staal, the brother of Carolina star Eric Staal. Jordan Staal picked up only his third point in nine career games against his brother's team.

"I was trying not to think about it (not previously scoring), so it was nice to get it, I'm not going to lie," said Fedotenko, who signed with Pittsburgh during the off-season.

Talbot stretched the lead to 3-1 at 11:51 of the third with his first and Pittsburgh's third goal in less than four minutes. Malkin scored into an empty net, his third, during the final minute.

"We kind of wore them down a bit with the pressure we had and finally got some really good chances," Crosby said.

Fleury played another strong game, making 24 saves to improve to 4-2-1 as the Penguins won their third in a row. Fleury returned after Dany Sabourin made 35 saves during a 2-1 overtime victory in Boston on Monday night.

"I was trying to make some key saves to keep the team in there," Fleury said.

Notes: The Penguins played without D Hal Gill because of an unspecified injury. ... Carolina was 0-for-1 on the power play and is 0-for-14 in its last four games. ... Ward sat out despite a 7-3-1 career record against Pittsburgh. ... Eric Staal has eight goals and 10 assists in 16 career games against the Penguins, but didn't score. ... Carolina is 2-1-1 on the road and 1-1-1 during a season-high, six-game road swing.



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