|Division Rank||7 Metro||4 Metro|
|Conference Rank||12 EC||8 EC|
|Last 10 Games||5-3-2||7-3-0|
|Streak||OT 1||Lost 1|
|ES Goals For %||47.0%||51.2%|
|ES Corsi For %||52.8%||51.8%|
|Power Play % (Rank)||16.2% (27)||19.8% (10)|
|Penalty Kill % (Rank)||81.3% (13)||83.6% (6)|
|ES Save %||.915||.926|
|ES Save %||.909||.925|
*Stats from NHL.com and War on Ice
- If the Canes are to make up ground in a tight Eastern Conference playoff race, they'll need to find success against this weekend's opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight and the New York Islanders tomorrow night. The Canes are currently four points out of the last Eastern Conference wild card spot and seven points out of the third spot in the Metro division, trailing both teams.
- After winning their first two head-to-head games by 2-1 scores (one in overtime), the Canes were trounced 5-0 by the Penguins on Jan. 17. Tonight is the fourth of five regular season games.
- The good news for the Canes is Brett Pesce seems to be ready to return to the lineup after missing three games with a foot injury. He'll need to be activated from injured reserve, which the team has room to do after sending Ryan Murphy to Charlotte on Monday. The bad news is the team may be without Justin Faulk, who limped off the ice at yesterday's practice at RCI after colliding hard with Brad Malone along the boards. Faulk was treated by team staff at the time but no information was made available as to the extent of the injury or whether he received further treatment or evaluation, so stay tuned to the morning skate (10:30 am and you can watch it live on the team website) for the latest information.
- There are no other reported changes for the Canes, who practiced for the most part (accounting for absences) the way they have played in their last several games. Kris Versteeg missed Tuesday's practice with flu symptoms, and Ron Hainsey was absent yesterday, but both are expected to be in the lineup tonight.
- Jeff Skinner has a five game point streak (2g, 4a) and Jordan Staal has nine points (2g, 7a) in his last seven games. Elias Lindholm is a point-per-game player against the Penguins with 10 points (3g, 7a) in 10 career games.
- The Penguins are dealing with significant injuries throughout their lineup. Already with four players on injured reserve, they suffered another blow earlier this week with the news that Evgeni Malkin will be out of the lineup at least through the weekend, suffering an upper body injury suspected to have occurred against the Senators earlier this month. His absence moved the ageless Matt Cullen to his spot centering the second line. Trevor Daley will be a game-time decision after crashing into the nets in a game against the Rangers Wednesday night; if he is unable to play Ian Cole will enter the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last seven games.
- Speaking of the Rangers, they shut out the Penguins 3-0 on Wednesday night, the first time they had done so in the regular season since 1971. That game snapped a seven-game goal streak and eleven-game point streak for Sidney Crosby, who now leads the team in goals (24), assists (29), and points (53).
- Despite Wednesday's loss the Penguins have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL of late, 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and 9-4-3 since the first of the year. After dropping out of the playoff standings they are now back in a wild card spot and are four points ahead of the Canes with one game in hand. And as if they needed any extra motivation, their dads are with them on the trip to Raleigh.
- Tonight's game kicks off the Canes' Stanley Cup 10th Anniversary weekend. Members of the 2005-06 championship team will arrive to a red carpet welcome at PNC Arena at 5:00 pm, and doors will open early at 5:30 pm. For all the details about this weekend's celebration, check out the Canes website or our fan guide here at Canes Country.
Hurricanes (2/7 vs Canadiens)
Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phil Di Giuseppe
Nathan Gerbe - Jay McClement - Riley Nash
Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles - Jaccob Slavin
Noah Hanifin - Michal Jordan
Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Brett Pesce (IR foot)
Penguins (2/10 vs Rangers)
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin - Matt Cullen - Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl - Oskar Sundqvist - Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson - Kevin Porter - Conor Sheary
Kris Letang - Olli Maatta
Trevor Daley - Brian Dumoulin
Ben Lovejoy - Derrick Pouliot
Injuries and Scratches: Beau Bennett (IR upper body), Nick Bonino (IR hand), David Warsofsky (IR concussion), Eric Fehr (IR lower body), Evgeni Malkin (lower body)