PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading to the playoffs for an eighth straight year. Barring an epic collapse, a Metropolitan Division title is all but clinched. What happens after that, however, is anybodys guess. Dominant in the beginning but dismal at the end, the Penguins let a chance to clinch their second straight division crown slip away in a 4-1 loss to Carolina on Tuesday night that left Pittsburgh just 8-8-2 since returning from the Olympic break. Not exactly the kind of momentum a Stanley Cup contender wants to bring into the final days of the regular season. "If youre not 100 per cent, they can expose you and make you look pretty silly," Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik said. "Thats what happened here tonight." Carolina rookie Elias Lindholm scored twice for the first multi-goal game of his career, Eric Staal and Justin Faulk also scored while Jeff Skinner added two assists. Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots as the Hurricanes avoided being swept in the season series by Pittsburgh for the first time in 18 years. "I thought we kept it simple and kind of slowly frustrated them as it went on and it was a win we needed," Staal said. Chris Kunitz scored his 35th goal to give Pittsburgh an early lead, but the Penguins crumbled over the final two periods. Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to push his NHL-leading point total to 100, but the Penguins appeared to lose interest after failing to bury the Hurricanes during a frenetic opening barrage in which they appeared ready to run Carolina out of the arena. "We all felt like the first 10 minutes we were carrying the play ... for whatever reason we got away from that," Crosby said. "Maybe we thought that came easy or we could get away with cheating. And it didnt work." No, it didnt. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, but received little help playing behind a sloppy defence. The Penguins turned it over 13 times, including a series of miscues the Hurricanes were only too happy to turn into goals. "I think we started mismanaging the puck and started having turnovers in the neutral zone," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. The Penguins appeared to right the enigmatic final third of their season with a spirited 4-1 victory over Chicago on Sunday night. Two days later, the sense of urgency evaporated when the Hurricanes -- who are about to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year -- failed to roll over. Pittsburgh recorded 12 of the first 14 shots, including Kunitzs wrist shot from the left circle that Khudobin never saw. Crosby picked up the secondary assist to lift his point total to the century mark for the fifth time in his career, drawing a roar from the usual sellout crowd at Consol Energy Center. It had all the makings of a blowout. One developed, just not the one the Penguins were expecting. Carolina steadied itself late in the first, evening the game on a knuckling slap shot by Faulk that gave the Hurricanes the confidence boost they needed to get back in it. The Penguins malaise did the rest. "That goal from (Faulk) really evens it up and then we kind of just took a deep breath, got our legs going better and then I thought we just started moving better and playing a much smarter game," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. Lindholm put Carolina in front to stay 9:24 into the second with a power-play goal that included a pretty feed from Skinner, who threaded a pass between Pittsburgh defenceman Olli Maattas legs right to Lindholms stick. Fleury never had a chance. The goaltender was equally helpless five minutes later when a turnover by teammate Deryk Engelland handed Skinner and Lindholm a breakaway that Lindholm converted into the first multi-goal game of his brief career. Any late push by the Penguins ended when Staals tip-in eluded Fleury with just over 8 minutes left. Instead of skating off the ice with their fourth division title since Crosbys arrival in 2005, Pittsburgh trudged to the locker room wondering when the consistency that propelled them to the top of the Eastern Conference before the Olympic break will return. "Theres not much good to take out of it," Crosby said. "So weve just got to make sure we respond the next game." NOTES: Carolina played without F Alexander Semin, who was scratched due to an illness. ... The Hurricanes return home to face Dallas on Thursday. ... The Penguins fell to 45-8-4 this season when Crosby scores a point. Michael Raffl Flyers Jersey . -- Jacksonville Jaguars rookie receiver Marqise Lee has agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth more than $5 million. Bobby Clarke Flyers Jersey . The second-ranked Jayhawks will play the Miners of Texas-El Paso at Imperial Arena in the Bahamas. The game can be seen live on TSN2 starting at 7pm et/4pm pt. http://www.hockeyflyersauthentic.com/oskar-lindblom-jersey/. -- Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo is going to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Bobby Clarke Jersey .com) - Bradley Beals 22 points and seven rebounds helped the Washington Wizards erase a halftime deficit and top the Utah Jazz, 93-84, on Sunday. Claude Giroux Flyers Jersey . City has reached new heights under manager Manuel Pellegrini as they transition from big spending/immediate impact to perennial contender. Yaya Toures seeming discontent Tuesday may complicate that, as does the little issue of Financial Fair Play.MIAMI -- Ryan Zimmerman made up for lost time and immediately tested the injury that resulted in a lengthy absence. Zimmerman returned to the lineup and had two hits, including an RBI triple, in his return to the lineup and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 Saturday night. "It was fun to be out there and be part of the team and be out with the guys in a really good win," Zimmerman said. Zimmerman, who missed 55 games because of a hamstring injury, had his run-scoring triple to key Washingtons three-run seventh inning. Asdrubal Caberas RBI triple tied the score at 2-2 and chased Miami starter Jarred Cosart, and Denard Spans single off reliever Mike Dunn put the Nationals ahead. Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann (13-5) gave up two runs and five hits over six innings. He struck out four and stayed in the game and finished the inning despite getting hit by a line drive from Casey McGehee to start the sixth. Second baseman Cabrera retrieved the ball and threw McGehee out. "It happened so fast," Zimmermann said. "I saw the ball coming and thought that it was stopped. I just tried turning and lift my shoulder. I was lucky enough that it hit my shoulder and not my face. "Its a little sore -- pretty tight right now but it will be fine. Its not going to affect me." Nationals manager Matt Williams and assistant trainer Steve Gober immediately raced to the mound to check on Zimmermann. "He was pitching well, he could certainly go longer but not with something like that," Williams said. "Were not going to take any chances there. "Its scary but I think hes going to come out of it fine." Aaron Barrett and Tyler Clippard pitched perfect innings in the seventh and eighth, and Drew Storen gave up one-out singles to Marcel Ozuna and Justin Bour in the ninth before he retired pinch hitter Garrett Jones on a game-ending double play for his ninth save in 12 opportunities. Cosart (4-3) was charged with all three runs and gave up nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out two. "I wasnt sharp, I wasnt down," Cosart said. "Throw a bad pitch, a lot of balls in the middle of the plate. Theyve won 90 games for a reason and thats what theyre supposed to do with those pitches.&quuot; NL East champion Washington moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for best record in the league.dddddddddddd. The loss eliminated Miami from wild-card contention. "Im proud of these guys," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Weve battled through a lot of adversity - theyve given me everything they have every single day. "Losing (right fielder Giancarlo Stanton) was a big blow -- a big blow to our team and to our offence and to our lineup." Miami avoided a bigger inning in the seventh when Zimmerman was thrown out at home on a fielders choice. The Nationals appealed call but the video review upheld the call that catcher Jeff Mathis tagged Zimmermans left leg before it crossed home plate. "The ball, when Im on third, it was instincts and I go and I went," Zimmerman said. "I probably shouldnt have gone. Everythings fine nothing happened but looking back, it wasnt the smartest thing to do." Bours RBI single in the first put the Marlins on the scoreboard, and they doubled their lead in the fourth when Reed Johnson doubled to centre and scored on two throwing errors on the play. ZIMMERMANN STARTS The Nationals won their 10th consecutive game in a game started by Zimmermann. ROVING HARPER Zimmerman started in left field as Williams gave Bryce Harper the night off. With Zimmerman expected to play many of the Nationals remaining games in left field, Williams plans on utilizing Harper in the other outfield positions. "Harps got the ability to play all three," Williams said. "He may move around a little bit the next two, three games in the outfield to give Zim a chance." UP NEXT Stephen Strasburg (12-11, 3.34) will start for the Nationals in the series finale on Sunday. The Marlins will go with struggling Nathan Eovaldi (6-12, 4.48). There was speculation that Miami was going to shut down Eovaldi for the remainder of the season. Eovaldi, 24, has lost his last six decisions and has surrendered 26 earned runs in 35 innings during his winless stretch. "We believe in this guy and his stuff," Redmond said. "Hes pitched a lot of innings this year and whether hes getting a bit tired or whatever but thats part of being a major league starter and pitching 200 innings." ' ' '