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Preview: Hurricanes at Penguins

Carolina seven points back of wild card in East; Pittsburgh aims to move into second in Metropolitan

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

HURRICANES (35-28-14) at PENGUINS (47-19-11)



Hurricanes team scope

The Carolina Hurricanes will look to pull within five points of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes are seven points behind the Ottawa Senators. Carolina's 13-game point streak (9-0-4) ended with a 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. Goalie Eddie Lack could start after backing up Cam Ward on Saturday. Lack (neck strain) was stretchered off the ice following a collision on the final play of 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on March 27. He was released from the hospital the following day. "I think he'll be good to back up and be an option moving forward," coach Bill Peters said before the Hurricanes played the Stars. Ward allowed one goal on 22 shots against Dallas. Defenseman Ryan Murphy (lower body) missed his third consecutive game on Saturday.

Video: CBJ@CAR: Hanifin cranks home one-timer for the OT win


Penguins team scope

The Pittsburgh Penguins will attempt to move into second place in the Metropolitan Division with a win. Center Evgeni Malkin (upper body) is expected to miss a ninth consecutive game. The Penguins are also likely to be without forward Chris Kunitz, who did not practice Saturday because of a lower-body injury. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan could not provide a specific timeframe for Kunitz's recovery. "Whatever happens as far as injuries are concerned, I think [Sullivan] expects us to be competitive and to go out there and play the way we're capable of," captain Sidney Crosby said Saturday. Pittsburgh recalled forward Josh Archibald from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet skated on fourth-line right wing Saturday, which makes it likely Archibald will play there against the Hurricanes. Pittsburgh is 1-2-2 in its past five games entering Sunday after winning eight of its previous 10 (8-1-1).

Video: PIT@NYR: Crosby banks puck home from below goal line


Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Joakim Nordstrom -- Victor Rask -- Teuvo Teravainen

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak

Brock McGinn -- Lucas Wallmark -- Phillip Di Giuseppe

Noah Hanifin -- Justin Faulk

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Klas Dahlbeck -- Matt Tennyson

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: None

Injured: Ryan Murphy (lower body), Jay McClement (lower body)


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Bryan Rust -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Patric Hornqvist

Scott Wilson -- Carter Rowney -- Josh Archibald

Brian Dumoulin -- Ron Hainsey

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Mark Streit -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Cameron Gaunce

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Trevor Daley (knee), Kris Letang (upper body), Carl Hagelin (lower body), Tom Sestito (upper body), Chris Kunitz (lower body)


Status report

The Hurricanes reassigned goalie Alex Nedeljkovic to Florida of the ECHL on Saturday. He was recalled on an emergency basis to back up Ward. … Hainsey did not practice Saturday but is expected to play. He returned from an upper-body injury Friday that kept him out since March 15.


Who's hot

Skinner has 12 points (nine goals, three assists) during a nine-game point streak. … Crosby has 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his past 11 games. He leads the NHL with 43 goals, five more than Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov. … Sheary has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his past 14 games.

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