The Pittsburgh Penguins close out a memorable 2013 regular season tonight at CONSOL Energy Center against Jordan Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes. Today’s game is meaningless for the Penguins in regards to playoff seeding. They’ve had that top spot on lockdown for weeks now. However, after losing two-straight games, the Penguins would like to get back in the win column and end the season on an up note. Returning to the lineup will be two guys that will help to ensure they skate off with a victory – Forward James Neal and defenseman Paul Martin.
Tonight couldn’t come quick enough for the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina would love to end their disappointing season in Pittsburgh with a win and look forward to next season. The Hurricanes were expected to be playoff contenders after making a couple of big moves in the offseason, trading for Jordan Staal and signing Alexander Semin. However, they failed to put together any sort of cohesion together on the ice and floundered around in mediocrity for much of the season until they lost starting goaltender, Cam Ward, to a MCL sprain – thus sending their season into a tailspin.
“Any time you get back in the lineup, you’re ready to go and ready to get back out there with the guys. So, I’m feeling pretty good and I’ll be ready to have some fun tonight.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Even though they’ve had a lot of injury problems, the Penguins haven’t lost three in a row all season.
James Neal has missed the last eight games after suffering a concussion and still ranks third on the Penguins with 18 goals.
Alexander Semin has a concussion and will miss tonight’s season finale.
Pittsburgh hasn’t been the only team nursing a lot of injuries. Carolina has multiple injuries also. Jay Harrison (concussion), Alexander Semin (concussion), Joni Pitkanen (heel), Drayson Bowman (upper body) and Cam Ward (knee).
Corvo is listed as “day-to-day” and may be ready to rejoin the Hurricanes lineup tonight.
The Penguins have won four straight against the Hurricanes on home ice.
Jussi Jokinen has turned into a Point-Per-Game player in Pittsburgh. Jussi has five goals and four assists in nine games with the Penguins.
This is Jordan Staal’s first game in Pittsburgh since being traded this past offseason.
Sutter – G: 11 A: 7 +-: 2
Staal – G: 10 A: 20 +-: -17
Sutter/Staal Head to Head:
Staal – G: 0 A: 1
Sutter – G: 0 A: 0
PROBABLE HURRICANES LINES
Brent-Blanchard- Jared Staal
PROBABLE PENGUINS LINES
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