x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Hurricanes blown away as Pittsburgh book finals return

The Penguins defeat the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday to sweep their NHL Eastern Conference final series.

Sidney Crosby, right, captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins is congratulated by Carolina's Eric Staal after their 4-1 win in Game Four.
Sidney Crosby, right, captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins is congratulated by Carolina's Eric Staal after their 4-1 win in Game Four.

RALEIGH, UNITED STATES // The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday to sweep their NHL Eastern Conference final series and secure a return trip to the Stanley Cup finals. The Penguins, who thrashed the Hurricanes 4-0 in the best-of-seven Eastern play-offs, will meet either the Chicago Blackhawks or the defending champions Detroit Red Wings, who beat Pittsburgh 4-2 in last year's finals.

Detroit, who lead their Western Conference series 3-1 over Chicago, can set up a finals rematch with a victory at home on Wednesday. Ruslan Fedotenko, Max Talbot, Bill Guerin and Craig Adams scored for the Penguins, with Sidney Crosby making two assists. Eric Staal broke a six-game scoring drought after only 96 seconds to give Carolina a 1-0 lead in the first period, before Pittsburgh took command.

Pittsburgh finished the regular season fourth in the Eastern Conference before knocking out Philadelphia, Washington and now Carolina in the play-offs. The Penguins last won the Stanley Cup in 1992, the second of back-to-back titles. After Staal's early goal, Fedotenko hit back seven minutes later and Talbot made it 2-1 for Pittsburgh, with a cruel bounce off the Hurricanes defender Anton Babchuk sending the puck over the glove of Carolina's netminder Cam Ward with 1:29 left in the first.

Guerin pushed the score to 3-1 off an assist by Crosby in the second and Adams wrapped it up in the third after another Crosby assist. * Reuters