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Pittsburgh Penguins
Overall:
40-22-4-84
Home: 19-12-1-39
Carolina Hurricanes
Overall:
27-31-8-62
Home: 17-12-3-37

 
Pittsburgh Penguins (40-22-4-84) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (27-31-8-62)

Where: RBC Center
When:
Thursday, March 11, 7 p.m.
Radio:
WXDX Radio, FM 105.9
TV:
FSN Pittsburgh, the game will be broadcast in HD, available on Armstrong 179, Atlantic Broadband 782, Citizen 737, Comcast 226/774, DISH 428, DirecTV 659 and Verizon Fios 576.

Carolina battled early-season injuries to Cam Ward, Eric Staal and Erik Cole, resulting in the team falling from Eastern Conference Finalists in May to the cellar this season. As many of their key components have rejoined the lineup (although Ward is injured again), Carolina has begun resembling the squad which finished last season as one of the hottest teams in the league down the stretch. They have currently won eight of 10 to climb within nine points of the final playoff spot heading into Wednesday’s games.
   
   
Pittsburgh visits Carolina for the final time in 2009-10. The Penguins defeated the Hurricanes, 3-2 in overtime, at RBC Center back on Oct. 14. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist while Chris Kunitz had the game-deciding tally in the shootout. Carolina responded with a 3-2 victory at Mellon Arena on Dec. 7. Mike Rupp has scored in both games for Pittsburgh while Ray Whitney has three goals in two contests for the Hurricanes. Pittsburgh and Carolina conclude their series in Pittsburgh on March 20.
PIT CAR PIT CAR
G
Crosby (44) Jokinen (27)
PP
Crosby (12) Staal/Jokinen (10)
A
Malkin (45) Pitkanen (34)
SH
Staal/Crosby/Malkin (2) Kostopoulos (2)
PTS
Crosby (84) Jokinen (54)
W/L
Fleury (31-16-4) Legace (9-5-3)
PIM
Rupp (85) Kostopoulos (90)
GAA
Johnson (2.60) Legace (2.72)
+/-
Staal (+18) Jokinen/Kostopoulos (+4)
SVP
Johnson (.913) Ward (.913)
 
    
Set the Tone: Pittsburgh is a perfect 4-0 since returning from the Olympic break. One of the keys to such a hot start has been the way the team has come out and taken control of the game from the first period. The Penguins are forcing teams to play at Pittsburgh’s pace. Also, a victory over the Hurricanes would allow the Penguins to set the tone for the five-game road swing.

Keep Rolling Four Lines:
Head coach Dan Bylsma has done a great job rotating through all four of his forward units as the Penguins return from the break. Continuing with such a strategy, particularly early in the game on Thursday, will be beneficial against the Hurricanes as Carolina will be coming off a game the previous night in Washington.
Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Ponikarovsky-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Dupuis
Rupp-Talbot-Adams

Defense
Gonchar-Eaton
Orpik-Letang
Leopold-Goligoski

Netminder
Johnson
 
    
F Eric Godard, groin (1-2 weeks)
F Bill Guerin, back (day-to-day)
G Cam Ward, back (indefinitely)

Alex Goligoski

The Penguin No. 2 scorer among defensemen has picked up three points (1G-2A) and is a plus-2 since the Olympic break.


Brandon Sutter

Carolina’s 21-year-old pivot took a six-game point streak into Wednesday’s matchup at Washington. He has eight points (4G-4A) during the span.


 
 

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