WHO. Pittsburgh Penguins (21-14-6, 48: points, 5th place Metropolitan Division) @ Carolina Hurricanes (26:–9-7, 59 points, 1st place Metropolitan Division)
When?: 7:00 PM Eastern
How to watch?AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh in the western PA viewing market, Bally Sports for the South Caniacs, NHL Network outside the local market
Traces of the enemyAfter an 11-game winning streak, the Hurricanes have run out of steam and have recently lost four in a row, although they have collected enough points to stay comfortably atop the Metropolitan Division. They stayed out of the slump on Thursday by scoring six goals against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
Pen track aheadBrace yourself for a lot of hockey over the next two weeks as the Penguins play every other day until the All-Star Break after completing a back-to-back set this weekend.
Season Series:It’s been a painful season series so far against the Hurricanes, with the Penguins picking up two points and three heartbreaks. On Nov. 29, Jake Guentzel’s goal with less than a minute left wasn’t enough to keep the Hurricanes from taking the lead in OT. On Dec. 18, the Hurricanes erased a 2-1 third-period lead by the Penguins in time to win 3-2 in regulation. Four days later, the Penguins repeated a third-period lead and lost 23 seconds into overtime.
Familiarize yourself with hurricanes
SB Nation partner. Canes Country:
Max Pacioretty (?) – Sebastian Aho – Seth Jarvis
Andrey Svechnikov – Paul Stastny – Marin Nekas
Jordan Martinuk – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast
Tevo Teravainen – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Stefan Noesen
Jacob Slavin / Brent Burns
Brady Skjei / Brett Pesce
Calvin De Haan / Jalen Chatfield
Goalkeepers. Frederik Andersen, Piotr Kochetkov
Scratches. Derek Stepan, Dylan Coughlan, Antti Raanta
IR: Ondrej Kase, Jake Gardiner
- After missing 29 games with a lower-body injury, Frederik Andersen returned to the Hurricanes net on Thursday. (It’s perfect timing for the Canes, as backup Pyotr Kochetkov, while a noted Penguins killer, has struggled of late, allowing four goals in each of his last three starts.) beat the blue jackets.
- Matt Pacioretty left Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury (unrelated to the Achilles, per Hurricanes PR ) after being activated from IR after recovering from surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon. It is unclear if he will play tonight. .
- The Penguins have one defenseman with more than 15 points so far this season (Kris Letang). The Hurricanes have three points (Brent Burns 29, Brady Skjei 19 and Brett Pesch 17). That makes them one of the most. highest scoring blueliners in the NHL. The defenseman scored five goals for the Hurricanes on Thursday, including a shortstop by Jalen Chatfield.
And now about pens…
Possible game lines
Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Brian Rust
Jason Zucker – Evgeni Malkin – Ricard Raquel
Drew O’Connor – Jeff Carter – Kasperi Kapanen
Danton Heinen – Teddy Bluger – Brock McGinn
Brian Dumoulin / Mark Friedman
Ty Smith / Chad Ruhwedel
PO Joseph / Jan Rutta
Goalkeepers. Casey DeSmith (Dustin Tokarski started last night against the Jets)
Scratches. Taylor Fedun, Marcus Peterson (illness)
No name listKris Letang (family vacation)
IR: Jeff Petry (upper body, LTIR), Josh Archibald, Tristan Jarry, Ryan Pauling
- The Penguins flew to North Carolina after last night’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets. We’ll get word on Markus Petersson (who missed Friday’s contest due to illness) at some point today.
- Jeff Petry, Ryan Pauling and Jeff Petry Anne all skated before practice.
- Mike Sullivan put the defensive pairings in the blender last night in the absence of Peterson, which led to Mark Friedman putting in the first pairing. The mystery of what we’ll see on the blue line tonight is one of the many joys of watching Penguins hockey.
- After Tokarski started last night, Casey DeSmith will start for the first time since he scored three goals in seven minutes against the visiting Canucks earlier this week. Head coach Mike Sullivan compared DeSmith’s play to that of the team as a whole: inconsistent. Through Sports IllustratedNick Hornwat.
“Probably like our team, the volatility. He had moments where he was really strong and gave us a chance to win. Others where you’d like him to bring a little more consistency.” — Mike Sullivan on Casey DeSmith