PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 20: Evgeni Malkin #71, Chris Kunitz #14, James Neal #18 and Matt Niskanen #2, all of the Pittsburgh Penguins, celebrate Neal's second period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on December 20, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
The Penguins finally broke through Justin Peters during a three-goal third period in a 4-2 win over the Hurricanes.
Through 40 minutes of Tuesday's game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins, Justin Peters was a brick wall. He had stopped 36 of 37 shots - including 20 of 21 in the second period - to keep the Hurricanes in the game at 1-1.
If the Penguins were drilling into the wall in the second period and making small dents, they exploded it in the third.
Steve Sullivan, Pascal Dupuis and Jordan Staal scored in rapid succession, putting in three goals past Peters in just within the first 10 minutes of the third period as Pittsburgh defeated Carolina 4-2.
Evgeni Malkin had two assists, while James Neal scored the Penguins' lone goal in the second period; his 21 goals are tied for second in the NHL. Chris Kunitz added an assist and the line of the aforementioned players had as many shots as the entire Hurricanes team combined.
"Both those thoughts went through our brains," Penguins head coach Bylsma said to the Associated Press after Peters stopped 36 of Pittsburgh's first 37 shots. "The goalie was playing really well and looked really good ... but you want to keep playing on and want to keep putting pressure on their whole team, including their goalie. When you force it that way, you eventually feel like you're going to break a team and get to their goalie, which we were able to do."
Peters was making his first start of the season and first since March and stopped all but four of the Penguins' 52 shots, but that wasn't enough.