Pittsburgh at Carolina
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Friday, January 20, 2017
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to ride the momentum of their first road victory of the new calendar year into Friday's tilt with the host Carolina Hurricanes, who have won four in a row at home and boast a 14-1-1 mark in their last 16 games at PNC Arena. Evgeni Malkin failed to record a point in Pittsburgh's 3-2 win over Carolina on Dec. 28, but extended his point streak to five games (five goals, two assists) with an assist in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over Montreal.
Malkin has 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in his past 24 contests and moved into a second-place tie with teammate Sidney Crosby with 50 points (21 goals, 29 assists), trailing only Edmonton's Connor McDavid. Crosby was kept off the scoresheet against the Canadiens, but scored in the first encounter with Carolina to give him 45 points (13 goals, 32 assists) in 36 career meetings. Veteran Cam Ward has seen his fair share of Malkin and Crosby over the years and, perhaps surprisingly, enjoyed considerable success with a 16-8-4 career mark versus Pittsburgh, but coach Bill Peters dismissed the notion that the workhorse goaltender has shown signs of slowing down after surrendering four goals in each of his last two outings. "He's fine," Peters said on Thursday. "We need to play better in front of him, limit the quality of the shots. We were a step behind on a lot of those plays."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), FSN Carolinas
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (28-11-5): Carl Hagelin hit the ground running with Pittsburgh last season, erupting for 10 goals and 27 points in just 37 games since coming over in a deal with Anaheim and playing an integral part of the vaunted "HBK Line" to boot. The 28-year-old Swede has found the going much tougher in 2016-17 and has been limited to just one assist in his last six games, but perhaps a date with Carolina will reinvigorate him. Hagelin scored the go-ahead goal with 4:15 remaining in the third period of the first encounter for his 20th point (six goals, 14 assists) in 21 career encounters with the Hurricanes.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (21-16-7): Former Penguin Jordan Staal is looking to put Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Columbus in his rear-view mirror, as he lost eight of 10 faceoffs and registered a minus-2 rating. Linemates Brock McGinn and Elias Lindholm were singing a familiar tune after posting minus-3 performances, although Lindholm did score in the last meeting with Pittsburgh. Rookie Sebastian Aho, who is tied for third on the team with 24 points, had an assist in the contest and scored for the fourth time this month in the loss to the Blue Jackets.
1. Carolina, which is 0-for-12 on the power play in the last six games, did not have an opportunity with the man advantage in the first meeting with Pittsburgh.
2. Pittsburgh's top-ranked offense has scored 12 goals in its last two contests after mustering half that total during its three-game losing skid.
3. Hurricanes LW Teuvo Teravainen has a goal and two assists in his last two games after being held to just one point in his previous five.
PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Hurricanes 2
Stats and Records