The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of a three-game losing streak as they head into Raleigh tonight to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Penguins are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, as the Hurricanes enter tonight’s matchup trying not to lose their third straight after dropping Friday night’s contest to the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2.
When and where: PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC); 7:00 pm/et (Root Sports, FS-CR)
Records: Penguins (7-4-0, 14 pts.); Hurricanes (4-4-3, 11 pts.)
Last meeting: The Hurricanes are the first repeat opponent for the Penguins this season, as they met back on October 8th in Pittsburgh. That night, ex-Cane, Jussi Jokinen, haunted his former team by scoring a hat trick with two of his goals coming on the power play. Paul Martin and Tanner Glass each added a goal while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped thirty-two of thirty-four shots to give Pittsburgh the 5-2 victory.
Players to keep an eye on:
1. Eric Staal: Eric, not Jordan, has had some success against the Penguins. In thirty-five career games against Pittsburgh, the older Staal has thirty-seven points (15G, 22A). So far this season, he sits second on the Canes in points with eight (3G, 5A), just one point behind Jeff Skinner.
2. Matt Niskanen: The other part of the James Neal trade, Niskanen has quietly had himself a season thus far. He leads all defensemen on the Penguins in points with eight (1G, 7A), and leads the team in plus/minus (I know) with a plus-10. With Rob Scuderi out, it appears that Niskanen will be paired with Kris Letang tonight.
Ex-Penguin alert: C Jordan Staal (2006-2012), VP of Hockey Operations Ron Francis (1990-1998)
Penguins: G Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), LW James Neal (upper body), RW Beau Bennett (lower body), D Rob Scuderi (lower body)
Hurricanes: G Cam Ward (lower body), D Joni Pitkanen (heel), G Anton Khudobin (lower body), D Brett Bellemore (lower body), LW Jeff Skinner (upper body), RW Patrick Dwyer (upper body), RW Radek Dvorak (lower body)
-Metropolitan division matchup with the Hurricanes sitting in second place, behind the Penguins.
-With their top two goaltenders out, it appears that Justin Peters will mind the net for Carolina.
-Rob Scuderi went back to Pittsburgh for further evaluation on a lower body injury.
-Sutters. Staals, Hockey.
Penguins (via penguins.nhl.com)
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
36 Jussi Jokinen-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-22 Matt D’Agostini
15 Tanner Glass-16 Brandon Sutter-12 Chuck Kobasew
17 Dustin Jeffrey-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
44 Brooks Orpik-7 Paul Martin
58 Kris Letang-2 Matt Niskanen
3 Olli Maatta-41 Robert Bortuzzo/5 Deryk Engelland
29 Marc-Andre Fleury (7-2-0, .926 Save %, 1.88 GAA, 1 SO)
Hurricanes (via dailyfaceoff.com)
14 Nathan Gerbe-12 Eric Staal (C)-28 Alexander Semin
19 Jiri Tlusty-11 Jordan Staal (A)-39 Patrick Dwyer
15 Tuomo Ruutu-20 Riley Nash-16 Elias Lindholm
21 Drayson Bowman-42 Brett Sutter-8 Kevin Westgarth
27 Justin Faulk-4 Andrej Sekera
6 Tim Gleason (A)-65 Ron Hainsey
44 Jay Harrison-7 Ryan Murphy
35 Justin Peters (0-2-0, .891 Save %, 3.16 GAA, 0 SO)