The Carolina Hurricanes, (16-24-7) are presently in the Iron City and will do battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins, (23-17-4) tonight at the CONSOL Energy Center. This will be the fourth and final regular season meeting between these clubs this season. The Canes have lost two of the three previous matchups.
In the last game in Washington, Jeff Skinner took the ice again and coach Kirk Muller put him in at center, to limit his work along the boards. He's expected to play center again tonight.
The lines have been fluid but could start out as follows:
- Ruutu, Staal, Tlusty
- Jokinen, Skinner, Ponikarovsky
- Dwyer, Sutter, Nodl
- Sutter, Brent, Stewart
In the last game, Nodl and Tlusty switched up at times. Jaroslav Specek will remain out, meaning that Derek Joslin will stay in at the blueline.
Cam Ward will get the start and will face Marc-Andre Fleury at the other end of the rink. Ward has been playing better as of late and has improved his stats from what they were a couple of weeks ago.
|2011 - Cam Ward||40||2309||16||17||118||3.07||1211||1093||.903||1|
|2011 - Marc-Andre Fleury||37||2168||21||12||82||2.27||934||852||.912||2|
The Pens put up 52 shots against the Canes the last time these two teams met. The have won two games in a row, but dropped six straight before that. The Canes have won two of their last there, with a very good showing in all three for the most part.
For more information about the Penguins, check out our fine partners over at Pensburgh.com.
The Canes powerplay has picked up steam recently and is scoring at a 36.5% clip over the last nine games. They have climbed from last in the league to number 20.
The game will be broadcast locally by FS Carolinas starting with a game preview at 6:30. We will have our open game thread also ready at 6:30.