Jake Guentzel is preparing for his first experience as an opponent in the city where he grew up as a professional.

Guentzel will play against his former team when his new one, the Carolina Hurricanes, visit the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SN-PIT, BSSO).

"It's obviously really exciting," Guentzel told reporters after practice in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday. "Family is still there so I'll get to see them tonight. It'll be nice to see some of the guys. But it's just going to be a fun game and hopefully get the two points."

The Hurricanes acquired Guentzel in a trade with the Penguins on March 7. Guentzel has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in eight games with the Hurricanes, who are 6-1-1 since the forward debuted March 12. He missed two games after the trade because of an upper-body injury and hadn't played since Feb. 14. 

Carolina (45-20-7) is one point behind the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh (30-30-10), which is 2-5-2 since the trade, is nine points behind the Washington Capitals for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh selected Guentzel in the third round (No. 77) of the 2013 NHL Draft, and he made his debut during the 2016-17 season. In eight seasons, primarily skating as the left wing on Sidney Crosby's line, he had 466 points (219 goals, 247 assists) in 503 games and won the Stanley Cup in 2017.

"It'll be a little weird," Crosby said Tuesday. "It's always a little different. But I think once you settle into the game, things become a little more normal. But yeah, it'll be weird seeing him on the other side."

Crosby said he has been in contact with Guentzel and defensenman Chad Ruhwedel, who was sent to the New York Rangers on March 8, since they moved on.  

"Oh yeah, I've been talking to him. Especially early on when guys go to different teams and things, you always want to see how things are going and make sure they're adjusting," Crosby said. "Especially with 'Guentz,' obviously, with our relationship. 'Rudy' as well. You're always wondering how things are going."

Crosby said he is not surprised how well Guentzel has fit in with Carolina. 

"Regardless of the team he went to, he was going to help them. He's a great player. I think he's had a great time with them," Crosby said. "Obviously, he was hurt the first few games there and looks like he's settled in nicely and is producing a lot. So he's playing good hockey for them."

The Hurricanes should know what to expect from the home crowd Tuesday, having gone though center Evgeny Kuznetsov's return to Washington last week.

Carolina acquired Kuznetsov in a trade with the Capitals on March 8. Kuznetsov and the Hurricanes played against the Capitals at Capital One Arena on Friday, the center skating 16:21 in a 7-6 shootout loss in his first game against his former team.

CAR@OTT: Guentzel increases Hurricanes' lead in 3rd period

"It's tough," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We already kind of talked about it and there's going to be a lot of emotion there. It's obviously a tough game to play for the player, no doubt about it. [Guentzel] had a great career there and did a lot of great things. It's a special night."

Kuznetsov received a video tribute encapsulating his 11 seasons with the Capitals, including a Stanley Cup championship in 2018. The sellout crowd of 18,573 cheered for him and shouted "Kuuuuuz!" after the video tribute. Then they booed him during the shootout.

Guentzel said he hasn't thought about the video tribute that likely will be awaiting him during the first television timeout of the first period Tuesday.

"It's going to be emotional," Guentzel said. "It's going to be fun. It's a special place in our family's hearts. It'll be a cool experience."

Guentzel's wife, Natalie, and their son, Charlie, stayed in Pittsburgh after the trade. He said the city means a lot to his family.

"I think in warmup you'll soak it in, it's a new experience, but once the puck drops it's just back to hockey and just playing, doing what you've been doing your whole life," Guentzel said. "It's going to be different, but it'll be fun."

Michael Bunting, who was traded from Carolina to Pittsburgh as part of the Guentzel deal, is also prepared for an emotional night. 

"It is weird. I just saw all the trainers and equipment staff over there when I walked in this morning," Bunting said Tuesday. "It definitely was a weird feeling. I've never been through something like this. But it's going to be a fun night."

NHL.com independent correspondent Wes Crosby contributed to this report