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Game Day Hurricanes at Penguins: Black (and Gold) Friday Edition

Take a break from all that Black Friday shopping and tune in for a Metro match-up as the Canes and Pens meet for their first of two this weekend.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Penguins
November 28, 2014 - 7:00 pm ET
CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Pensburgh

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Penguins
Record 6-12-3 15-4-2
Points 15 32
Division Rank 7th Metro 1st Metro
Conference Rank 14th EC 2nd EC
Streak Lost 3 Won 2

Power Play % 19.1% 33.3%
Penalty Kill % 82.0% 88.3%
Goals/Game 2.29 3.52
Goals Against/Game 2.90 2.29
Shots/Game 29.1 31.4
Shots Against/Game 28.6 29.6
ES Goals For % 43.4% 60.0%
ES Corsi For % 51.5% 52.1%
PIM/Game 8.6 14.1

Goaltender Ward Fleury
Record 6-8-1 13-3-1
ES Save Percentage .911 .929
GAA 2.61 2.14

Goaltender Khudobin Greiss
Record 0-4-2 2-1-1
ES Save Percentage .899 .918
GAA 2.97 2.46

Game Notes

  • After starting November on a positive note, and despite having a relatively healthy roster, the Carolina Hurricanes have lost three in a row and six out of their last ten. They've been held to one goal twice and shut out twice in that span. They are on pace for 59 points. Seems like a perfect time to play back-to-back games against one of the best teams in the NHL.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins trail the Ducks and Canadiens by one point, but they have played two fewer games that the NHL points leaders, and they have the best points percentage in the games they have played. They rank first in total goals scored, goals per game, and power play percentage (33.3%). Three out of the top 10 points leaders in the NHL are on the roster, and Sidney Crosby, who just earned his 800th career NHL point Wednesday night, occupies the top spot. Just one game prior, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury celebrated his milestone 300th career NHL win.
  • This will be the first time the Hurricanes will face former general manager Jim Rutherford, who up until six months ago was the only general manager ever known to this franchise. The fellow who replaced him, Ron Francis, won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins.
  • The Canes traveled to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night after their shutout loss to the Florida Panthers. They held an afternoon practice yesterday prior to a team Thanksgiving dinner. The only practice report indicated a flip flop at right wing. Elias Lindholm skated with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty, and Alexander Semin skated with Riley Nash and Nathan Gerbe.
  • Jay Harrison was a healthy scratch on Wednesday, and head coach Bill Peters had indicated earlier in the week that he would be in the line-up against the Penguins, but there was no update from practice as to who he would replace. [UPDATED 3:45 pm: Canes will dress 7 D, Boychuk and Malone are the healthy extras at forward. Also here is Bill Peters audio after this morning's skate].
  • Peters also intends to split the goaltending duties between Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin over the weekend. Though not confirmed, Peters said he was leaning to starting Ward tonight, which would be his fifth consecutive start.
  • The Penguins didn't practice on Thursday after their 4-3 home win in overtime against the Maple Leafs Wednesday night. Blake Comeau was the overtime hero with his second career hat trick, and Evgeni Malkin had a three point night (1g, 2a) and has points in his last six games.
  • Winger Beau Bennett won't be in the line-up after suffering a lower body injury in a game Monday. He'll be replaced by Jayson Megna, who was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. If Megna's name sounds familiar, last season he earned first star honors with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against the Canes in his second career game.
  • The Canes might want to consider showing up on time for this match. The Penguins are 12-3-2 this season when they score first.

Projected line-ups

Hurricanes (from Friday's pre-game skate)

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil
Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason - John-Michael Liles
Ron Hainsey - Michal Jordan

Jay Harrison

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Staal (IR broken fibula), Brett Bellemore (IR lower body), Brad Malone (healthy), Zach Boychuk (healthy)

Penguins (from Friday's pre-game skate)

Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Steve Downie - Brandon Sutter - Jayson Megna
Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Marc-Andre Fleury
Thomas Greiss

Injuries and Scratches: Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), Beau Bennett (lower body), Robert Bortuzzo (healthy)