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Carolina Hurricanes @ Pittsburgh Penguins: Game Preview

Lucky 13: the Hurricanes look to pick up a win to get points in their 13th consecutive game.

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Pittsburgh Penguins v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images

Carolina Hurricanes (20-6-6) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (19-9-4)

2022-23 Regular Season — Game 33
Thursday, December 22, 2022 — 7:00 pm ET
PPG Paints Arena — Pittsburgh, PA

Watch: Bally Sports South
Listen: 99.9 The Fan

SBN Opposition: Pensburgh

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If you find yourself thinking “wow, didn’t we just play the Penguins?”, well, don’t worry. You haven’t actually lost track of time. The Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins are indeed meeting for the second time in a week, and the third time in under a month.

Both previous games were 3-2 wins for the Hurricanes. Pyotr Kochetkov has both wins; one went to overtime, just for fun. In the game earlier this week, ex-Penguin Jordan Staal notched the game winner; ex-Hurricane Brock McGinn briefly gave the Penguins the lead earlier in the game.

The Penguins have moved past some early struggles, including shaky goaltending from Tristan Jarry, to put together an impressive run of games. There aren’t many weak spots on their roster this year, but if there’s one thing the Hurricanes may want to take advantage, it’s the struggling third line. The trio of Jeff Carter, Kasperi Kapanen, and McGinn have struggled to generate offense. In their last game against the Rangers, they were regularly outshot by the opposing line. The folks at Pensburgh have a deeper dive into the numbers but suffice it to say that the Hurricanes may want to do their best to exploit that line’s weaknesses.

Game Notes

  • Both teams are coming off of one-goal games (Pittsburgh’s last game was a 3-2 win over the Rangers). The Hurricanes are 11-0-6 in such situations, the Penguins are 5-2-4 this season.
  • For the third consecutive season, Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins in scoring. (He shared the lead in 2021-22 with Jake Guentzel.) Since Crosby joined the league in 2005-06, he’s led the Penguins in scoring 13 times (including this year). Evgeni Malkin led in scoring in all remaining seasons during that time period.
  • Stefan Noesen currently has the longest points streak for the Hurricanes, recording points in four consecutive games.
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s next point will be his 100th career NHL point. If he delays scoring it by a game, he could hit the milestone during his 100th game in a Hurricanes jersey. (Tonight will be game number 99 for him.)
  • This will be Calvin de Haan’s 100th game for the Hurricanes. Overall, he’s a veteran of 545 NHL games.
  • The Hurricanes currently have points in 12 consecutive games, tied for third-longest in franchise history. They also have an active 10 game road point streak.
  • Pyotr Kochetkov continues to put up some truly wild numbers; he has points in all 13 road games he has played in the NHL; he’s the second goaltender in NHL history to record a point in each of his first 13 road games. (The recently retired Andrew Hammond is the other.)