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Hurricanes at Penguins: Game Preview, Notes, Statistics, How to Watch

The Hurricanes will take on the defending Stanley Cup Champions tonight in downtown Pittsburgh without defensive anchor Justin Faulk.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes (15-11-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (23-8-5)
Wednesday, December 27, 2016 - 7:00 pm
PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
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SB Nation Rival Blog: Pensburgh

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-15-7 29-9-4
Points 49 62
Division Rank 6 Metro 2 Metro
Conference Rank 9 EC 2 EC
Last 10 Games 6-4-0 6-4-0
Streak Won Loss 1
Goals/Game 2.77 3.31
Goals Against/Game 2.63 2.24
Shots/Game 30.6 30.3
Shots Against/Game 27.6 29.8
Faceoff % 51.7% 47.7%
Power Play % (Rank) 17.2% (18) 26.0% (1)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.7% (1) 83.0% (10)
ES Corsi For % 52.1% 55.1%
ES PDO 99.4 101.3
PIM/Game 05:95 08:93

Goaltender #1

Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Record 5-5 11-5
Save % .894 .939
GAA 2.73 1.96

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Anton Forsberg
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Anton Forsberg
Record 0-0-0 0-1-0
ES Save % .000 .852
GAA 0.00 4.10

Game Notes

  • This is the Hurricanes’ first meeting of the year with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. The division rivals will play a total of four times this season.
  • The Canes went 2-2-1 against the Penguins last season. Both games in Raleigh went to overtime, with the Canes winning in OT and the Penguins winning a shootout, and the Pens took two of three in Pittsburgh.
  • Alternate captain Justin Faulk was ruled out of tonight’s matchup as he is week-to-week with a lower body injury sustained on December 23 against Boston. Ryan Murphy will draw into the lineup in his place.
  • Penguins center Evgeni Malkin tallied his 800th NHL point last night with a goal against New Jersey, part of a two-point night. Malkin is fourth on the Pens’ all-time scoring list, trailing only Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, and Mario Lemieux. (Pretty good company.)
  • Malkin (10-22-32 in 30 games) and Crosby (12-32-44 in 35 games) have both averaged more than a point per game in their careers against Carolina.
  • Cam Ward is an impressive 16-7-4 against Pittsburgh all time with a 2.22 GAA, and he earned points for the Canes in all three games he started against Pittsburgh last season (2-0-1). Ward is expected to get the nod again tonight in PPG Paints Arena.
  • The Hurricanes carry an impressive 3 game win streak into tonight’s matchup. They've also gathered points in their last 5 games. They will certainly miss Faulk, who has tallied seven points (4g, 3a) in the last five games.
  • The Canes’ leading scorer last season against the Penguins, Elias Lindholm (0-3-3 in 5 games), holds an intriguing honor: this season, when Lindholm records an assist, the Canes are undefeated: 7-0-0.
  • Tonight is the first of three games in four nights to wrap up 2016. The Canes will return home for a Friday tilt against the Blackhawks before facing the Lightning in Tampa on New Year's Eve.
  • Meanwhile, a six-hour drive north of Pittsburgh, the World Junior Championships are in full swing and plenty of exciting Hurricanes prospects are performing on the biggest stage of their young lives. Stay tuned for daily Canes Country WJHC updates.