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Game Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 4-9-13

The Hurricanes return to PNC Arena trying to snap a seven-game home losing streak tonight against the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

Photo by Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins
April 9, 2013 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas HD - Radio - 99.9 The Fan

SB Nation Capitals Blog: Pensburgh (twitter @Pensburgh)

Hurricanes Record: 16-20-2 (34 pts.)
Penguins Record: 29-10-0 (58 pts.)

Game Notes

The Penguins are in first place in the Eastern Conference and are the only Eastern Conference team to have mathematically clinched a spot in the post-season.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are in 13th place with 10 games remaining and are 1-11-1 over their last 13 games. In those 13 games they have given up 52 goals and scored 20, despite averaging over 40 shots on goal over their last four games.

The Hurricanes are currently riding a seven-game home ice losing streak, their longest in team history.

The Hurricanes are undefeated against the Penguins this season (one previous meeting, 4-1 Canes win on February 28). The Penguins have a 13-5 road record this season.

The Hurricanes are playing the second game of a back-to-back, coming off a 6-2 loss to the Bruins last night. Justin Peters faced four shots on goal last night and allowed two goals, while Dan Ellis allowed four goals on 32 shots.

The Penguins haven't played since Friday night, a 2-1 shootout win against the New York Rangers, where Jussi Jokinen scored the regulation goal and shootout winner for the Penguins in his first game after being traded by the Hurricanes. Marc-Andre Fleury had 34 saves on 35 shots and was the game's first star.

Other newcomers to the Penguins line-up (via the trade deadline) are former team captains Brenden Morrow (Dallas) and Jarome Iginla (Calgary). The Penguins are, of course, also home to ex-Hurricane alternate captain Brandon Sutter.

Team captain Sidney Crosby, the current NHL points leader, is out of the line-up after suffering a broken jaw. Also out of the line-up are James Neal (concussion), Paul Martin (hand), and Kris Letang (lower body).

Justin Faulk (IR, knee) and Alex Semin (upper body) may be able to return for the Hurricanes tonight. Cam Ward (IR, knee) and Joni Pitkanen (IR, heel) remain out indefinitely. The Canes won't be holding a pre-game skate this morning (the Penguins skate at 10:30 am) so there won't likely be any additional news regarding the line-up until shortly before game time.

UPDATE - 12:30 pm: The Hurricanes have activated Justin Faulk from IR. Brett Bellemore has been reassigned to Charlotte. Press release [here].

Keys to the game:

1. Collect underpants from the Penguins locker room.
2. ?
3. Profit.

The open game thread will be ready at 6:30 pm. See you at the rink.