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Preview: Hurricanes at Penguins

Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk out with lower-body injury; Brian Dumoulin of Pittsburgh sidelined 4-6 weeks

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

HURRICANES (15-11-7) at PENGUINS (23-8-5)

7 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-CR, NHL.TV

Hurricanes team scope

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk will not play and is week to week with a lower-body injury sustained during a 3-2 overtime win against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 23. Faulk scored four goals and nine points in his past eight games after starting the season with seven points in 22 games. Defenseman Ryan Murphy, who has one assist in four games, will replace Faulk alongside Ron Hainsey and should be the only lineup change. Murphy recently played seven games on a conditioning stint with Charlotte of the American Hockey League before being recalled Dec. 5. "He played well down there and played better as it went," coach Bill Peters said. "Now it's time to do it at this level." Goalie Cam Ward, who has allowed four goals on 80 shots in three straight wins, is expected to start. Carolina resumes its schedule on a three-game winning streak. "It's been kind of growing. It hasn't been one thing," forward Jordan Staal said. "We're finding ways to win. We may not have played our best game in our last game against Boston, but good teams find ways to win." The Hurricanes are 5-1-1 in their past seven games but 5-8-6 on the road. Carolina's NHL-leading penalty kill (90.6 percent) could be tested against the Pittsburgh Penguins' fifth-ranked power play (22.5 percent). The Hurricanes allowed one goal on three power-play attempts against the Bruins.


Penguins team scope

Defenseman Brian Dumoulin will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery for a broken jaw, general manager Jim Rutherford said Wednesday. Dumoulin played 22:07 of a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday before taking a shot to the face in the third period. The Penguins are already without defensemen Kris Letang (lower body) and Olli Maatta (illness). Trevor Daley, who has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury, will return to the lineup in place of Dumoulin. Defenseman Justin Schultz has remained hot with seven goals and 17 points in his past 14 games. He scored four goals and 18 points in 63 games with the Edmonton Oilers and Penguins last season. "We're certainly encouraged by his play," coach Mike Sullivan said Tuesday. "He seems to being getting better with each game he plays." Forward Evgeni Malkin scored a goal and two points Tuesday, giving him 801 NHL points. Malkin, who has five goals and 13 points in his past nine games, became the ninth Russian player to reach 800 points. Goalie Matt Murray should start a day after Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves against the Devils. Murray is 6-1-1 with 17 goals allowed in his past nine appearances. Pittsburgh did not skate Wednesday.


Hurricanes projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Victor Rask -- Derek Ryan

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen -- Lee Stempniak

Joakim Nordstrom -- Jay McClement -- Viktor Stalberg

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin -- Matt Tennyson

Ron Hainsey -- Ryan Murphy

Cam Ward

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck, Andrej Nestrasil

Injured: Bryan Bickell (illness), Justin Faulk (lower body)


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Derrick Pouliot -- Trevor Daley

Chad Ruhwedel -- Steve Oleksy

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: David Warsofsky

Injured: Kris Letang (lower body), Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body), Olli Maatta (illness), Brian Dumoulin (broken jaw)


Status report

Carolina activated Lack from injured reserve on Dec. 21. He has not started since Nov. 6 against New Jersey. … Letang, Daley and Kuhnhackl each wore a yellow no-contact jersey during Pittsburgh's morning skate Tuesday. Letang last played Dec. 14 while Daley and Kuhnhackl have not played since Dec. 16. ... Warsofsky was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. 


Who's hot

Skinner has four goals in his past five games. He leads the Hurricanes with 13 goals, three more than Rask. … Crosby has scored one goal four straight games. He has four goals and eight points on a five-game point streak.

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