PITTSBURGH (AP) – Dominik Simon and Jean-Sebastien Dea scored 76 seconds apart in the second period, fellow rookie Casey DeSmith made 34 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Jake Guentzel added a goal midway through the third and Sidney Crosby extended the NHL’s longest active point streak to eight games for Pittsburgh, which has won six of eight.
Derek Ryan had the goal for Carolina, which has lost four of five and is 2-6-0 since beating the Penguins twice in a week spanning the New Year.
When Ryan gave the Hurricanes a short-lived lead 7:14 into the second period, there was reason to believe that might hold up because the Penguins had to that point scored just one goal in seven periods this season against Carolina and had been shut out for the prior 143:29 by veteran goalie Cam Ward.
But Simon – playing in his 20th career game – tied it just 49 seconds later when he skated down the right wing and flipped a deceptive wrist shot that perhaps deflected off defenseman Brett Pesce and beat Ward for his second of the season. Crosby was credited with an assist.
Two shifts later, the Penguins’ fourth line gave them the lead when Dea scored his first career goal in his fourth NHL game, finishing a nifty pass from Bryan Rust after skating open down the slot.
Guentzel’s goal was similar 11:02 into the third. He slammed home a pretty feed from Phil Kessel to score his 15th of the season.
Starting for the third consecutive game, DeSmith has allowed four goals in that span and the Penguins are 2-1-0. No. 4 on the organizational depth chart when the season began, DeSmith is playing ahead of fellow rookie Tristan Jarry while starter Matt Murray mourns the death of his father this month.
Among DeSmith’s better saves was a glove stop on Pesce, his former college teammate, on a wrist shot early in the first period. DeSmith also stopped Jordan Staal with his blocker late in the second and denied Lee Stempniak’s chance from just outside the slot six minutes into the third.
NOTES: Penguins enforcer Ryan Reaves was a healthy scratch for the first time this season for Pittsburgh. . The Penguins are 15-0-0 when leading after two periods. . Crosby has 16 points, including 13 assists, during his streak.
Hurricanes: Thursday night at Montreal.
Penguins: Home against Minnesota on Thursday night.