The Pittsburgh Penguins ride into Raleigh, North Carolina tonight to take on Jordan Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes. Pittsburgh will be looking for a win tonight to clinch the Atlantic Division and they’ll have to do it without James Neal, who will at least be missing this entire road trip with a concussion.
The Hurricanes have struggled as of late and come into tonight’s contest on a five-game losing streak and are just 1-9-0 in their last ten games. However, the last time the Hurricanes and Penguins met, it was Carolina who skated off with a 4-1 victory.
“I have lots of really good friends on that team (Carolina) and I know them really good. The first couple of shifts will be weird, but obviously after those couple shifts, I’ll be able to settle in.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Jussi Jokinen returns to Carolina for the first time since being traded to the Penguins. In his career, Jokinen has played 8 games against the Hurricanes; he has 2 goals and 4 assist in those games.
Pittsburgh will be without a host of big-named players. NHL scoring leader, Sidney Crosby will miss yet another game. Kris Letang skated in practice today on a pairing with Simon Despres, but will not play with a lower-body injury. Paul Martin is still out with a wrist injury, and James Neal will miss at least the next three games with a concussion. Can the Penguins continue to play at a high level with so many key players on the shelf?
Alex Semin has missed the Hurricane’s last two games with an upper-body injury, though he is expected to return to the lineup tonight.
Carolina has lost seven straight games at home, tying a franchise record. The Hurricanes are just 7-12-0 on home ice this season with one of those wins coming against the Penguins.
Justin Faulk was activated off of the IR earlier today and is expected to be in the lineup. Faulk has has missed Carolina’s last nine games with a sprained MCL.
The Hurricanes have scored just seven goals in the month of April.
PROBABLE HURRICANES LINES
PROBABLE PENGUINS LINES
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