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Gerbe’s PP goal lifts Hurricanes over Penguins

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Nathan Gerbe’s power-play goal broke a third period tie, and the Carolina Hurricanes earned a rare road win by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 on Friday night.

Gerbe scored his third goal of the season at 3:10, and Jiri Tlusty pushed the lead to two in the closing seconds with a power-play tally into an empty net for his 10th goal.

Tlusty also scored in the first period and added an assist on Patrick Dwyer’s second of the season in the second for a three-point game for the Hurricanes, who had lost six of seven.

The Hurricanes, who own the NHL’s worst road record (3-9-2), finished their five-game trip with their second win of it. They had lost five of previous six and eight of the 10 against Pittsburgh.

Cam Ward, making his fifth straight start, made 20 saves for the win.

Patric Hornqvist scored his 11th, and Kris Letang had his fourth for the Penguins, who fell short of tying a team record for wins in November.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had two assists, extending his point streak against Carolina to 12, but took a goalie interference penalty that led to the winning goal.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves on his 30th birthday, but took the loss.

Carolina took a 3-2 lead when Gerbe received a cross-ice pass from Elias Lindholm and beat a standing Fleury with an under-the-crossbar wrist shot.

Pittsburgh pushed for the tie with Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the same line, but was forced to kill two penalties in the final five minutes.

The game opened a home-and-home set between the teams. They will meet again on Saturday when Carolina returns home.

Ward made a highlight-reel save to help the Hurricanes build early momentum. Ward was beaten to the backhand, but recovered to make a diving desperation stick stop on Blake Comeau, who had a hat trick against Toronto on Wednesday.

The Hurricanes, who rank near the bottom of the NHL in first-period goal differential, outshot Pittsburgh 17-9 in the frame and scored the opening goal.

Tlusty netted his first of the night at 15:47, throwing a shot from the left-wing boards that hit the skate of defenseman Olli Maatta and deflected over Fleury’s shoulder.

Letang tied it 43 seconds later when he pinched from the left point to tap the rebound of Nick Spaling’s shot into a partially empty net.

Dwyer got it back less at 2:54 of the second period when he unleashed a wrist shot over Fleury’s shoulder.

Hornqvist got the Penguins even at 2 at 15:52, taking a drop pass from Crosby and firing a wrist shot over Ward’s shoulder.

NOTES: Penguins C Marcel Goc (right leg) left in the first period after blocking a shot. … Crosby tied Bob Errey for the ninth-most games played in Penguins history. … Pittsburgh and Carolina will meet twice more this season after Saturday’s matchup. … The Penguins scratched RW Beau Bennett and D Robert Bortuzzo. LW Zach Boychuk, C Brad Malone, and LW Chris Terry sat out for Carolina.

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