Wes Crosby – NHL.com Correspondent
PITTSBURGH, PA October 8, 2013 – Jussi Jokinen scored a hat trick against his former team to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center.
Jokinen took 1:50 to re-establish the Penguins’ lead after Nathan Gerbe scored 3:13 into the third period to tie the game 2-2. Jokinen received a pass from Evgeni Malkin near the left faceoff circle and wristed a shot past Cam Ward to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead with 14:57 to play.
Tanner Glass backhanded a shot past Ward with 11:32 remaining, and Jokinen scored the Penguins’ fifth goal with 6:57 left, resulting in an abundance of hats spiraling from the seats and onto the ice. The Penguins have started the season 3-0-0 for the first time since 1994-95, when they won their first seven games.
Jokinen’s first goal was Pittsburgh’s first power-play goal of the season.
The Penguins’ power play was the one area that struggled during the first two games. That continued early in the first period, when they failed to score on their first power play.
But on their second opportunity of the period, Sidney Crosby charged toward Carolina’s net with the puck and Jokinen to his left. Crosby dumped the puck to Jokinen, who kicked it onto his stick before backhanding it past Ward, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead with 5:43 left.
Jokinen played five seasons for Carolina before he was traded to Pittsburgh last season.
Pittsburgh seemed to have scored a second goal 2:24 later when Crosby slid the puck into the Hurricanes crease from behind the net and Pascal Dupuis whacked the puck past Ward. But the play was reviewed and it was ruled Dupuis kicked the puck into the net.
While the crowd voiced its displeasure with the call, Tanner Glass and Harrison dropped their gloves immediately after the faceoff. Glass sent Harrison to the ice and left down the runway to an ovation.
Pittsburgh maintained its intensity early in the second period and dominated the action on both ends.
Paul Martin collected Brooks Orpik’s slap shot off the end boards and backhanded a shot from one knee into Carolina’s net to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead 1:04 into the second. It was Martin’s first regular-season goal since the Penguins’ 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals on March 19.
Carolina outshot Pittsburgh 12-11 in the period but couldn’t maintain that level of play in the third. The Penguins outshot the Hurricanes 36-34 overall.
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