The Carolina Hurricanes, (5-8-3) return home for the second half of a back-to-back sequence as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins, (10-3-3) tonight at the RBC. The Canes have lost four in a row and five of their last six. The Pens have a 7-1-1 record in their last nine games.
Pittsburgh also played last night, a 3-1 win over Dallas, so they will be a bit weary as well. Neither team had a morning skate today, so at this time we do not know who the starting goaltenders will be at either end of the rink.
Cam Ward faced 40 shots last night, so one would assume that Brian Boucher would get the nod for Carolina. But we will not know for sure until that information is released. The lines used last night may or may not be changed:
- Skinner, Jokinen, Ruutu
- Boychuk, Staal, Ponikarovsky
- Dwyer, Sutter, LaRose
- Stewart, Brent, Tlusty
- Gleason, Allen
- McBain, Pitkanen
- Harrison, Kaberle
The Pens are led in scoring by James Neal, who was acquired from Dallas in a trade last season. Evgeni Malkin, who had been recovering from an injury, is back in the lineup.
|2011 - James Neal||16||11||5||16||-3||8||5||0||2||68|
|2011 - Kris Letang||14||1||13||14||3||10||1||0||0||36|
|2011 - Evgeni Malkin||9||4||7||11||-1||12||2||0||1||31|
|2011 - Jordan Staal||14||6||4||10||4||8||2||0||0||30|
Marc-Andre Fleury went the distance last night, but only faced 20 shots. Brent Johnson is the backup and could see action.
|2011 - Marc-Andre Fleury||12||737||9||2||23||1.87||339||316||.932||1|
|2011 - Brent Johnson||4||246||1||1||10||2.44||109||99||.908||0|
For more up to date information about the Pens, check out Frank and friends over at Pensburgh.com.
Many are expecting some kind of change for the Hurricanes because the team has to find it's way out of the downward spiral they are in. At the very least, will Jim Rutherford visit the dressing room?
Rumors are out there the team is trying to trade a defenseman for a forward. While the club would love to get Justin Faulk back to Raleigh and into the mix, you have to give up quality to get quality and the defensemen are not exactly on top of their games at the moment.
Last night's contest was close until midway through the third period, but similar to what has happened in the past, the team seems to give up and fold after facing adversity in that deciding period. The Canes have allowed 24 third period goals, most in the league.
Zach Boychuk now has points in two straight games.
The Penguins went 3-0-1 against Carolina last year.
The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by FS Carolinas. 99.9 The Fan will have Chuck Kaiton and we will have an open game thread with comments from press row starting at 6:30.