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Hurricanes at Penguins preview

Carolina looks to tie Pittsburgh for third in Metropolitan

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

HURRICANES (43-28-7) at PENGUINS (42-25-11)



The Game

The Carolina Hurricanes will look to move into a tie for third place in the Metropolitan Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they face them at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

Carolina is one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes are fourth in the division, nine points behind the Washington Capitals, six behind the New York Islanders and two behind the Penguins.

Carolina defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Saturday after losing two straight games.

The Penguins are third in the division, seven points behind the Capitals and four behind the Islanders. They are three points ahead of the Blue Jackets and Canadiens.

Pittsburgh had a three-game winning streak end with a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday. The Penguins are 9-3-2 in their past 14 games but have lost their past three at home (0-2-1).


Players to watch

Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen has 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in his past 18 games, including a goal and an assist Saturday.

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 14 games.


They said it

"We're not always going to be great in the execution and this and that, but the effort, I really haven't had to worry about too much." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour

"At the end of the day, we have to find a way to win a game. ... Every point is important, but especially against a team that's right there with us." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby


Hurricanes projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams

Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Micheal Ferland -- Lucas Wallmark -- Jordan Martinook

Brock McGinn -- Greg McKegg -- Warren Foegele

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Curtis McElhinney

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Saku Maenalanen

Injured: None


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Jared McCann -- Teddy Blueger -- Phil Kessel

Dominik Simon -- Nick Bjugstad -- Patric Hornqvist

Adam Johnson -- Matt Cullen -- Garrett Wilson

Olli Maatta -- Brian Dumoulin

Jack Johnson -- Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson -- Erik Gudbranson

Matt Murray

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Zach Trotman

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Chad Ruhwedel (upper body), Zach Aston-Reese (lower body), Kris Letang (upper body)


Status report

McElhinney could start after Mrazek made 30 saves Saturday. ... Malkin is expected to miss a seventh straight game with an upper-body injury. He practiced Saturday for the first time since being injured March 16 and wore a no-contact jersey.


Stat pack

Carolina's 43 wins are tied for the third-most in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history. The Hurricanes won 52 games in 2005-06, 45 in 2008-09 and 43 in 2007-08; the Whalers won 43 in 1986-87. ... Crosby has two assists in his past seven games after having 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in his previous 17.

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