PENGUINS (5-5-1) at HURRICANES (5-4-0)
TV -- FS-P (HD), FS-CR (HD)
Last 10 --
Season series --
This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. Carolina won three of the four meetings last season, most recently March 20 in Pittsburgh, when Jamie McBain
scored with less than one second left in overtime for a 3-2 victory.
Big Story --
What kind of energy will each team have after traveling following games Friday night? The Hurricanes at least should be in a better mood, thanks to their 4-3 win at the Rangers, while the Penguins ran out of time in a 3-2 home loss to the Flyers.
The Penguins have lost three of their last four, and they've scored a total of nine goals in those games. A big reason for that is their power play, which is 0-for-20 in its last four games.
"It's obviously frustrating," captain Sidney Crosby
Compounding the power-play woes is the shorthanded opportunities they've allowed in those games. Claude Giroux scored a man down Friday for the Flyers and the Pens allowed the Lightning to have a number of shorthanded chances Wednesday
"It's something that we're aware of," coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We're aware of situations where when you're a forward and you're back at the blue line, understanding that when there's a shot at the net or a rebound that goes to the weak side, you're responsible for being back."
Hurricanes -- Jeff Skinner
had one of those nights where you forget he's just an 18-year-old in the first month of his NHL career.
Skinner scored a pair of goals and had an assist to help the Hurricanes skate past the Rangers. Not a bad way to spend your first night in New York, eh?
"Before the game I told him, 'This is your first game at MSG, there's going to be a lot of people watching and they came to watch you, so you better put on a show,'" Carolina captain Eric Staal
told NHL.com. "He did. He wanted to put a stamp on the fact that he was playing here all year, and he did."
Who's Hot --
While most of the attention was focused on Skinner, Cam Ward
had another strong night in net. He made 40 saves to win for the third time in his last four games. … Penguins defenseman Kris Letang
had a goal and an assist Friday against the Flyers, giving him 3 points in his last two games and 7 points in his last five.
Injury Report --
Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin
missed the last part of the third period due to an injury. There was no update to his condition following the game. The Penguins played Friday without forward Eric Godard, who sat out due to illness, and he's questionable for Saturday's game. On a good note, center Jordan Staal
is closing on in his season debut. He's been recovering from surgery for an infection in his surgically repaired right foot. … Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty
played his first game Friday after recovering from a knee injury.
Stat Pack --
All four games between the teams last season were one-goal affairs, with two decided in overtime and one in a shootout. Carolina outscored the Penguins by a combined 12-9 margin.
Puck Drop --
Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice has gotten to the point that he no longer notices that every time he sends Skinner over the boards, he's sending out the youngest player in the League.
"The only thing that tells you he's 18 is the fact that he doesn't have to shave," Maurice said. "I don't think of it ever when I put him over the boards. He's just a really gifted player, but it's his compete level that's the difference. He stays on pucks, fights down low. He's the opposite of a perimeter guy. He's in the dirt all the time."