The Pittsburgh Penguins (8-7-0) are on the road Saturday to face the defending Metropolitan Division champion Carolina Hurricanes (9-7-0).
The Penguins will be looking to get back on track after they had their five-game winning streak snapped Thursday in a 5-2 loss at home against the New Jersey Devils.
Carolina is coming off its first home loss, 3-1 Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Penguins Game Time
The game starts a little after 7 p.m.
The Penguins were self-critical after the loss to the Devils because of issues that seemed all too familiar – mistakes that led to odd-man rushes, some lax defensive play, a power play that was 0 for 3 and gave up a shorthanded goal, among others.
The winning streak wasn’t going to last the season, but backsliding wasn’t acceptable, especially when the Penguins took early leads on two goals by Bryan Rust but then gave up tying goals on short order, and four unanswered overall.
As team captain Sidney Crosby said, “In any area, we weren’t really good.”
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Carolina, which has played one more game than the Penguins and has two more points, enters the game with a similar mindset to the Penguins.
That is, the Hurricanes have not consistently found their preferred game.
Long-time Carolina captain Jordan Staal, who won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins early in his career, called out his team following Wednesday’s loss. Among other things he warned that without everyone buying in, “it’s going to be a .500 club that wins some games and loses some games and (is) kind of ho-hum.”
Expected Penguins Lines
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Rickard Rikell
Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Radim Zohorna
Matt Nieto-Noel Acciari-Vinnie Hinostroza
Ryan Graves-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson
Ryan Shea-Chad Ruhwedel
Expected Carolina Hurricanes Lines
Andrei Svechnikov-Sebastian Aho-Seth Jarvis
Michael Bunting-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook-Jordan Staal-Teuvo Teravainen
Stefan Noesen-Jack Drury-Jesper Fast
Jaccob Slavin-Brent Burns
Brady Skjei-Brett Pesce
Dmitry Orlov-Tony DeAngelo
Penguins Special Teams
Penguins power play: 16.7%, 23rd
Hurricanes power play: 24.1%, 10th
Penguins penalty kill: 85.1%, 9th
Hurricanes penalty kill: 78.6%, 17th
Penguins Game Notes
The Penguins carry a four-game road winning streak into the game.
The Penguins were 2-1-0 against Carolina last season. They are 5-3-3 in their past 11 trips to PNC Arena.
Sidney Crosby has a 10-game point streak (7 goals, 8 assists).
Kris Letang is one point shy of 700 for his career.
At 777 points, defenseman Erik Karlsson is one point away from passing Rob Blake for sole possession of 20th place all-time among defensemen in NHL history.
Crosby has 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) in 55 career games against the Hurricanes; Evgeni Malkin has 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 46 career games; and Jake Guentzel has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 18 career games.
How to Watch the Game
TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh
Radio: 105.9 FM The X