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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: Game Preview and Discussion

The Hurricanes take on the Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh looking to take the season series.

Jamie Kellner

The Hurricanes take on the Penguins on the second half of a back-to-back set in a game with heavy playoff implications for both teams. A Hurricanes win would tip the season series in Carolina’s favor, and a regulation win would propel them to a tie for the 3rd Metropolitan playoff spot. However, a loss would give Columbus or Montreal the opportunity to gain valuable ground.

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 8-6 11-5
Goals/Game 2.79 3.31
Goals Against/Game 2.71 2.06
Shots/Game 30.9 34.3
Faceoff % 49.1% 53.3%
Power Play % (Rank) 10.0% (14) 31.9% (1)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 70.8% (14) 85.7% (4)
ES Corsi For % 55.61% 51.66%
ES PDO 101.2% 101.0
PIM/Game 8:38 6:30

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 Curtis McElhinney Jaroslav Halak
Category Curtis McElhinney Jaroslav Halak
Record 3-1 0-0
Save % .943 N/A
GAA 1.70 N/A

Game Notes

  • Tonight’s game is the fourth and final matchup between the two teams this season. The Hurricanes lead the season series with a record of 2-1-0 (PIT 1-1-1).
  • The Penguins picked up a shutout win in Carolina in December. The Hurricanes returned the favor in February with a shutout win in enemy territory of their own, and picked up a shootout win in Raleigh a few weeks ago.
  • A Hurricanes win in any fashion would ensure them the head-to-head tiebreaker between the teams if it came to that. If the Penguins win in regulation, the head-to-head tiebreaker would be deadlocked.
  • The Penguins currently sit in the third Metropolitan Division playoff spot with 95 points, while the Hurricanes are close behind with 93 and one more ROW win. A win in regulation would leapfrog the Hurricanes over the Penguins today into the top three in the Metro.
  • With Kiss playing in PPG Paints Arena last night, the Hurricanes had nowhere to air out their gear last night when they arrived in Pittsburgh. It ended up in enemy territory over night.

Projected Lineups

After a successful effort yesterday afternoon, it’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing the same lines and pairings. With Mrazek playing yesterday against his former team, Curtis McElhinney, who shut the Penguins out in this arena in February, is the confirmed starter for today’s matchup.


Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Justin Williams

Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen

Micheal Ferland - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook

Warren Foegele - Greg McKegg - Brock McGinn

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce - Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Curtis McElhinney

Petr Mrazek

Injuries and scratches: Saku Mananlanen (healthy)


The Penguins are still short up the middle with Evgeni Malkin out nursing an upper-body injury. It’s likely that we’ll be seeing Matt Murray tonight, who last played Friday night against Nashville in a Penguins loss.

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jared McCann - Teddy Blueger - Phil Kessel

Dominik Simon - Nick Bjugstad - Patric Hornqvist

Adam Johnson - Matt Cullen - Garrett Wilson

Olli Maatta - Brian Dumoulin

Jack Johnson - Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson - Erik Gudbranson

Matt Murray

Casey DeSmith