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Penguins Game 31 vs. Hurricanes: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Carolina Hurricanes

The Pittsburgh Penguins (14-13-3) will try to build some momentum Thursday coming off a confidence-boosting win when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at PPG Paints Arena.

Following a 7-0 loss Saturday at Toronto that left the Penguins using words like ashamed and embarrassed, they ran up a three-goal lead Monday against Minnesota, only to have the Wild come back and tie it. However, team captain Sidney Crosby quickly restored the lead, and the Penguins played well enough to preserve the one-goal edge for a 4-3 win.

The Hurricanes (17-12-3) ended a two-game losing streak (0-0-2) Tuesday by beating the top team in the Western Conference, Vegas, 6-3.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 7 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The Penguins have been here before in an inconsistent season – looking to try to make sure a positive turn in the season doesn’t become fleeting. To do that, they will have to avoid any sort of backsliding against the Hurricanes.

They are 3-3-2 in their past eight games.

One burden that seemingly has been lifted is the monstrous power-play drought that plagued the Penguins for 13-plus straight games. In three of their past four games (the exception, of course, being the Toronto fiasco), they have scored two power-play goals, going 6 of 13 in those three games.

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Carolina sits six points ahead of the Penguins, who have two games in hand, going into the Metropolitan Division showdown.

The Hurricanes have a five-game point streak (3-0-2), their longest of the season, but goals goals have been hard to come by at times.

They are 4-4-2 in December. In those six losses, they have scored 13 goals, and five of those came in the same game.

Tuesday, Carolina got a goal from Andrei Svechinkov, who returned after a six-game absence because of an upper-body injury.

One bright spot has been goaltender Pytor Kochetkov, who is 3-0-1 in his past four starts. He has filled in admirably for Frederick Andersen, who has been out since late November because of a blood clot issue.

Penguins Expected Lines

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell

Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Valttieri Puustinen

Radim Zohorna-Lars Eller-Drew O’Connor

Jansen Harkins-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter


Ryan Graves-Erik Karlsson

Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang

John Ludvig-Chad Ruhwedel


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Hurricanes Lines

Stefan Noesen-Sebastian Aho-Seth Jarvis

Michael Bunting-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Martin Necas

Jordan Martinook-Jordan Staal-Jesper Fast

Andrei Svechnikov-Jack Drury-Teuvo Teravainen


Jacob Slaven-Brent Burns

Brady Skjei-Brett Pesce

Dmitri Orlov-Jalen Chatfield


Pyotr Kochetkov

Yaniv Perets

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.4%, 26th

Penguins penalty kill: 81.6%, 11th

Hurricanes power play: 81.4%, 13th

Hurricanes penalty kill: 23.9%, 9th

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins are 12-8-4 in their past 24 games against Carolina, 1-0-2 in their past three home games against the Hurricanes.

Sidney Crosby has 62 points (22 goals, 40 assists) in 56 career games against Carolina; Evgeni Malkin has 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 47 career games against them; and Jake Guentzel has 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 19 career games against them.

Malkin, with 482 career goals, is one shy of tying Sergei Fedorov for the second-most in the NHL by a Russian-born player. He tops the list of Russian-born NHLers with 773 assists.

Sidney Crosby is two goals shy of becoming the second active player (Alex Ovechkin) and 22nd player overall to reach 20 goals in 16 seasons.

Erik Karlsson has 599 assists and would become the second active defenseman to reach 600. The other is Carolina’s Brent Burns (602).

Rookie winger Valtteri Puustinen has five points, all assists, in his first six games. That includes two assists Monday against Minnesota.

The Penguins will wear their third jerseys for the game.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X