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Penguins vs. Hurricanes, Game 42: Lines, Notes & How to Watch

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes game

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Pittsburgh Penguins need a victory.

The Carolina Hurricanes look like they need, well, a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins, coming off a 4-1 loss at home to Winnipeg Friday night, are trying to claw back into the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference playoff races, while Carolina is attempting to pull out of a skid that had swollen to 0-3-1 before the Hurricanes’ 6-2 victory at Columbus Thursday.

Now, Carolina’s slump hardly has been catastrophic — it continues to sit atop the Metro — but it’s a significant drop-off from how the Hurricanes had been rolling before that.

Until its 5-3 loss at Madison Square Garden Jan. 3, Carolina had been on a 15-0-1 tear that included no fewer than three one-goal victories — including a pair in overtime at PPG Paints Arena — against the Penguins, who the Hurricanes will face tonight at 7:08 at PNC Arena.

Now, the victories over the Penguins Nov. 29, Dec. 18 and Dec. 22 were among the most difficult victories the Hurricanes earned during their surge, but the bottom line is that they always have found a way to end up with a couple of points when the game was over.

Limiting the Penguins to seven goals in three games (only four of which were scored in even-strength situations) obviously was part of Carolina’s success, and the Hurricanes have been able to overcome being outperformed on special teams.

The Penguins did not allow a goal in 10 shorthanded situations during the first three meetings (and actually got a goal from Brock McGinn while killing a penalty) and scored two of their own in 10 tries with the extra man.

Special-teams play often provides the margin of difference in highly competitive games like those the Penguins and Hurricanes have played, but thus far, having the edge there has not worked out for the Penguins.

McGinn and Sidney Crosby lead the Penguins with two goals against Carolina, while Jordan Staal and Martin Necas each have a pair against the Penguins.

Although Carolina doesn’t have anyone with 20 goals yet, its forward lines are deep and balanced. All four are capable of contributing to the offense.

But a healthy percentage of the Hurricanes’ offense comes from their defense corps, which contributed the team’s first five goals during its victory over the Blue Jackets Thursday.

Defensemen have scored 25 of Carolina’s 136 goals this season; the Penguins, conversely, have gotten just 11 of their 134 goals from the blue line.

It will, then, behoove the Penguins to be alert to the likes of Brent Burns, Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin joining the Hurricanes’ offensive rush and otherwise getting aggressively involved in the offense.

Keep them from getting too involved in Carolina’s attack, and the Penguins just might have a chance to get those two points they crave. Even if they have to take them from a team that’s found a way to score one more goal than the Penguins every time they’ve met in 2022-23.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines

Guentzel-Crosby-Rust

Zucker-Malkin-Rakell

O’Connor-Carter-Kapanen

Heinen-Blueger-McGinn

Defense

Dumoulin-Friedman

Smith-Ruhwedel

Joseph-Rutta

Goalie

DeSmith

Expected Carolina Hurricanes Lines

Teravainen-Aho-Jarvis

Svechnikov-Stastny-Necas

Martinook-Staal-Fast

Stepan-Kotkaniemi-Noesen

Defense

Slavin-Burns

Skjei-Pesce

de Haan-Chatfield

Goalie

Andersen

Special Teams

Penguins power play: 30 for 146, 21%, 19th

Penguins penalty kill: 21 for 131, 84%, 2nd

Hurricanes power play: 28 for 149, 18.8%, 26th

Hurricanes penalty-kill: 29 for 148, 80.4%, 12th

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

Because they played Winnipeg Friday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins will not conduct a game-day skate at PNC Arena today. Mike Sullivan is scheduled to meet with reporters about two hours before the opening faceoff, at which time he is expected to identify his starting goaltender (presumably, Casey DeSmith) and provide any pertinent updates about injured/ill players. That includes defenseman Marcus Pettersson, who did not play against Winnipeg because he was sick.

Jason Zucker’s career-high eight hits Friday raised his total for the season to 109, tying Josh Archibald for the team lead.

The Penguins are 2-4-2 in the second game when playing on consecutive days this season and 2-4-4 in their past 10 games against Carolina.

Teddy Blueger does not have a goal in 15 games or a point in six.

The Penguins, Arizona, Nashville, Detroit and New Jersey are the only teams that haven’t allowed at least one 5-on-3 goal this season.

Jeff Carter’s teams are 15-0-3 against the Hurricanes when he records at least one point.

Carolina goalie Fredrik Andersen missed 29 games because of an unspecified lower-body injury before being activated from injured-reserve and stopping 21 of 23 shots to get the win at Columbus.

Staal, who did not participate in Carolina’s game-day skate but is expected to be in the lineup this evening, has six goals and nine assists in 30 career games against Pittsburgh, the team that drafted him second overall in 2006.

Burns, who spent most of his career in Minnesota and San Jose, has eight goals and 11 assists in 25 career games against the Penguins.

Carolina has been outshot only six times this season, going 2-2-2 in those games.

Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty, who will sit out tonight’s game because of an unspecified lower-body injury, has 14 goals and 12 assists in 31 career games against the Penguins. He played most of those with Montreal.

How to Watch

TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: 105.9 the X

Penguins Bets

The $200 DraftKings promo has returned. Bet $5 on any game and instantly win $200, regardless of whether your team wins. Click here to sign up.

The Puck Line is Penguins (+1.5) -170, Carolina (-1.5) +145. The over/under is 6.5. The Moneyline is Penguins +150 and Carolina -715.

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