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Hurricanes at Penguins: Preview

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Top o' the morning. The Canes take on the Penguins tonight, and wouldn't mind a wee bit of the luck o' the Irish on St. Patricks Day against a division rival to help them stay in the chase for the playoffs.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Penguins
March 17, 2016 - 7:00 pm ET
CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rival Blog - Pensburgh

Vital Statistics


Hurricanes Penguins
Record 31-26-13 37-24-8
Points 75 82
Division Rank 6 Metro 4 Metro
Conference Rank 10 EC 7 EC
Last 10 Games 4-3-3 7-3-0
Streak OT 2 Won 3



Goals/Game 2.43 2.71
Goals Against/Game 2.64 2.46
ES Goals For % 46.2% 53.3%
Shots/Game 30.1 32.7
Shots Against/Game 26.9 30.3
ES Corsi For % 52.4% 52.2%
Faceoff % 54.0% 50.6%
ES PDO 98.4 100.3
Power Play % (Rank) 17.5% (20) 18.3% (18)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 83.2% (8) 83.3% (7)
PIM/Game 06:33 07:55



Goaltender #1 Ward Fleury
Record 20-15-8 30.16.6
ES Save % .914 .929
GAA 2.44 2.32



Goaltender #2 Lack Murray
Record 11-11-5 3-2-1
ES Save % .908 .938
GAA 2.63 1.82

*Stats from NHL.com and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • One point ended up being wee bit of a letdown Tuesday night, as the Carolina Hurricanes, featuring a defense that on average was barely old enough to legally drink, stuck right with the best team in the NHL for over 60 minutes before eventually succumbing in overtime. Had a bit more luck been on their side they might have been the beneficiary of an overturned goal but alas, it was not to be.
  • The Canes have done a good job gathering points in every game they have played since the trade deadline, taking five straight games to overtime (a franchise record) and picking up 9 points out of 12 possible. That said, even a 75% points pace may not be enough to overcome the two teams on the hottest streaks at the moment in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers, who the Canes trail by five points, vaulted themselves over the Red Wings and into the last wild card spot last night with a win over the Blackhawks. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and on pace for 95 points. The other team the Canes are chasing is 7-3-0 in their last 10, on pace for 97 points, and just happens to be tonight's opponent.
  • Tonight's the rubber match between the Canes and Pittsburgh Penguins, wrapping up their five-game regular season series. Both teams have identical 2-1-1 records against the other, with the Canes winning the first two and the Penguins winning the next two. Both teams have one win on the other's home ice this season.
  • No Malkin? No problem. Despite losing the superstar center to an upper body injury on Mar. 11, the Penguins have won three in a row. Chris Kunitz is one player who has picked up the slack in Malkin's absence, with 21 points (9g, 12a) in his last 26 games. Sidney Crosby remains the Penguins leader in goals (29), assists (41) and points (70), tying him 5th overall in the NHL for points, and Kris Letang is ranked 4th among NHL defensemen with 53 points. Marc-Andre Fleury is shouldering most of the workload in net and reached the 30-win mark for the eighth time in his career with a 2-1 shootout win against the Islanders Tuesday night. The Penguins are playing the fifth of nine straight games against Metro division opponents and are 4-1-0 and 10-3-1 in their last 14 divisional games.
  • Former Penguin Jordan Staal was the only Canes player to pick up a point in Tuesday's game agains the Capitals, with an unassisted goal in the 2-1 overtime loss. Jeff Skinner and Phil DiGiuseppe broke four game point streaks but have been the hottest players on the scoreboard for the Canes since the trade deadline. Defenseman Trevor Carrick was solid in his NHL debut, part of a blue line averaging just 21.5 years in age. Ron Hainsey practiced with the team yesterday and may return to the lineup tonight after missing Tuesday's game due to illness. Head coach Bill Peters has not named a starting goaltender. Cam Ward has started three of four against the Penguins this season and is 2-0-1. Eddie Lack was very strong in net Tuesday night, stopping 31 of 33 shots in the overtime loss.
  • Got your brackets filled out?


Projected Lineups


Hurricanes (3/15 vs Capitals)

Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Chris Terry
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Brody Sutter

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Ryan Murphy
Trevor Carrick - Michal Jordan

Eddie Lack
Cam Ward

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Justin Faulk (lower body), Andrej Nestrasil (fractured vertebra), Ron Hainsey (illness)

Penguins (3/15 vs Islanders)

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel
Dominik Simon - Matt Cullen - Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl - Eric Fehr - Conor Sheary

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin - Trevor Daley
Ian Cole - Justin Schultz
Derrick Pouliot

Marc-Andre Fleury
Matthew Murray
Jeff Zatkoff

Injuries and scratches: Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Beau Bennett (upper body), Ben Lovejoy (upper body), Kevin Porter (ankle surgery), Scott Wilson (lower body)


Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday Hub [CH.com].
  • Ron Francis joined Joe Ovies and Chip Patterson to talk about the overtime call on Tuesday and about staying in the fight [WRALSportsFan].
  • Trevor Carrick jumps right in to his first professional game [CH.com].
  • Mike Maniscalco and Chuck Kaiton on the young players benefiting from a growth spurt [WRALSportsFan].
  • The Top 10 finalists for the NCAA's Hobey Baker Award have been announced, and new Canes prospect Andrew Poturalski is on the list [SB Nation].
  • The NHL presented expansion draft plans at the GM meetings earlier this week. There are still a lot of outstanding questions, but here's what we know so far [ESPN] [TSN] [SB Nation] [SportsNet].
  • Finally, the Canes rookies field the "tough questions" from a few of their youngest fans, and the players throw some serious shade at athletic trainer Doug Bennett with their March Madness brackets: