The Pittsburgh Penguins continue with their most-recent road trip with a visit to North Carolina and a meeting with an old friend and the Carolina Hurricanes. Pittsburgh is looking to rebound from their last game, a 6-4 loss to the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes come into tonight’s game looking to righten the ship themselves, coming off a 3-0 shutout to the Washington Capitals.
When and where: PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC); 7:00 p.m. et (ROOT Sports, NHL Network, FS-Carolinas)
Season records: Penguins (13-7-0; 26 pts.); Hurricanes (9-8-1; 19 pts.)
Season series: First meeting of the season
Last meeting: The last time the Penguins and Hurricanes saw each other was January 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh. It took a shootout to break the regulation tie with the game-winner coming off the stick of James Neal. All the scoring in regulation took place in the first period when Jamie McBain and Evgeni Malkin traded goals. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his twenty-second win of the year, stopping twenty-five of twenty-six shots. Taking the loss for Carolina was Cam Ward, who made forty saves out of a possible forty-one.
Who to keep an eye on:
1. Jordan Staal: All of the hype for this game is surrounded by Jordan Staal facing his former team for the first time, and the same could be said for Brandon Sutter. On the season, Jordan Staal sits just behind his older brother, Eric, for the team lead in points with fifteen (4 goals, 11 assists).
2. Returns: The Hurricanes have suffered multiple injuries throughout the season, but a lot of those injured players are making their return tonight. Jeff Skinner (concussion), Tim Brent (lower body), Jamie McBain (upper body), and Tim Gleason (lower body) are all in the lineup for Kirk Muller and the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be interesting to see how the Penguins matchup up against a Hurricanes lineup that could be different than what they had in past games.
Penguins: C Evgeni Malkin (concussion)
Hurricanes: D Joni Pitkanen (lower body), C Tuomo Ruutu (hip)
Former Penguin alert: C Jordan Staal, RW Tim Wallace, C Tim Brent
-Marc-Andre Fleury is still tied with Tom Barrasso for the most shutouts in Penguins history.
-Jordan Staal is a former Penguin.
-Jordan Staal is still a former Penguin (in case anyone was wondering).
Penguins (via penguins.nhl.com)
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-18 James Neal
19 Beau Bennett-16 Brandon Sutter-9 Pascal Dupuis
24 Matt Cooke-15 Dustin Jeffrey-48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
2 Matt Niskanen-58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik (A)-7 Paul Martin
41 Robert Bortuzzo-5 Deryk Engelland
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
**Don’t be surprised if Zach Boychuk gets in the lineup since, he too, is a former Hurricane.**
Hurricanes (via hurricanes.nhl.com)
19 Jiri Tlusty-12 Eric Staal (C)-28 Alexander Semin
53 Jeff Skinner-11 Jordan Staal (A)-59 Chad LaRose
20 Riley Nash-36 Jussi Jokinen-39 Patrick Dwyer
29 Tim Wallace-37 Tim Brent-21 Drayson Bowman
27 Justin Faulk-44 Jay Harrison
77 Joe Corvo-4 Jamie McBain
6 Tim Gleason (A)-24 Bobby Sanguinetti
30 Cam Ward