Game Day Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Carolina Hurricanes (15-11-7) vs Pittsburg Penguins (23-8-5)

The Carolina Hurricanes will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.  This is the first meeting between the two divisional opponents this season, and will be a good test for the Hurricanes.  After a rough start to the season, the Hurricanes turned things around and are four games above .500 for the first time this season.  They are playing well-rounded hockey, and need to beat teams that are ahead of them if they want to make it to the post season.

The Penguins are playing in the second night of a back to back since coming back to the break. Back to back games usually wear a team down, however this may serve to keep the Penguins sharp coming into tonight’s game against the Hurricanes.

Game Day By the Numbers

Hurricanes Penguins
Record 15-11-7 23-8-5
Last Result 3-2 W @ BOS (OT) 5-2 W @ NJD
Last 10 6-2-2 7-1-2
FO% 51.1% 48.1%
ES CF% 51.38% 52.04%
GF/GP 2.61 3.44
PP% (Goals) 20.4% (20) 22.5% (29)
SH% (Goals) 90.6% (5) 79.7% (2)

Who’s Hot

Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen are both starting to settle in for the Hurricanes.  Teravainen has taken some time to fit into the system that Bill Peters has in place, but he is finally starting to buy in and its paying off.  Aho is coming along nicely as a nineteen year old rookie and is starting to flourish alongside his countryman Teravainen.  Not only are the two starting to put up points, but they also put up good possession numbers.  At even strength Teravainen holds a 55.59 CF% and Aho is not far behind with a 54.70 CF%.  These are great numbers for two you blossoming players. The chemistry between the Aho and Teravainen is growing stronger and the pair has eight points over their last six games.  The two young Finnish players will be a part of any success the Canes hope to have this year.

Cam Ward has continued to play well for the Hurricanes.  Since November 1, Ward has posted a 1.92 GAA and a .929 Sv%.  That puts him in second behind Sergei Bobrovsky for both of those stats over that period of time.  Ward isn’t playing a flashy game, but he is playing a steady game and that has helped the Hurricanes play with more confidence.

Storylines

Justin Faulk suffered a lower-body injury in the game against Boston before the holiday break. The Hurricanes announced that he is week-to-week and Ryan Murphy will slot into his line up spot.

The Hurricanes currently sit seven points out of a playoff spot with three games in hand on several teams ahead of them.  While games in hand don’t count for anything until you have played them, it is a good sign that this team is right in the thick of things.

The Canes are on a three game win streak, and will look to continue that against the Penguins tonight.

Lineup

Hurricanes
Forwards
Skinner Rask Ryan
Nordstrom Staal Lindholm
Aho Teravainen Stempniak
McGinn McClement Stalberg
Defense
Slavin/Pesce
Murphy/Hainsey
Hanifin/Tennyson
Goalies
Ward
Leighton

How To Watch

PPG Paints Arena: Puck Drop at 7:00 pm ET

Watch: Fox Sports Carolinas / Fox Sports Go app

Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan / WRALsportsfan.com

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