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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, January 20th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (22-20-5) at Pittsburgh Penguins (23-20-4), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins continue an important homestand with this evening's matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes at Mellon Arena.

After starting off the five-game residency with a loss to Southeast Division leader Washington, Pittsburgh has posted victories over Anaheim and the New York Rangers and received strong play between the pipes from goaltender Marc- Andre Fleury in both outings.

Fleury stopped 21-of-22 shots in the Penguins' 3-1 decision over the Ducks last Friday, then registered his second shutout of the season two days later against the Rangers. The former No. 1 overall pick made 33 saves in leading Pittsburgh to a 3-0 triumph.

Petr Sykora notched a goal and an assist to lead the Penguins offensively in Sunday's win, which marked the return of Sidney Crosby to the Pittsburgh lineup following a one-game absence. The All-Star center sat out the Anaheim game after injuring his left knee in last Wednesday's loss to the Capitals.

Pittsburgh enters tonight's tilt in fourth place in the competitive Atlantic Division, nine points behind front-running New Jersey. The Penguins will be playing their final contest before this weekend's All-Star break, with a January 28 home date with the Rangers next on the docket.

The Penguins own an 11-10-2 record at the Igloo this season and have won three of their last four home games.

Carolina put an end to a season-long five-game losing streak on Monday behind a stellar performance from goaltender Cam Ward. The 24-year-old turned aside all 35 shots he faced in the Hurricanes' 2-0 win at Toronto, helping his team avenge a home loss to the Maple Leafs last Thursday.

Joe Corvo and Chad LaRose had the goals for Carolina, which also snapped a string of four consecutive defeats on the road with Monday's victory. The Hurricanes are 10-10-4 as the visitor in 2008-09.

Carolina will be playing the third installment of a four-game trek tonight. Following the All-Star break, the team visits New York's Madison Square Garden to take on the Rangers on January 27.

These teams will be meeting for the third time this season, with the Penguins taking the first two encounters. The Hurricanes have lost in four straight trips to the Steel City since a 5-1 decision on October 14, 2006.

01/20 10:34:19 ET

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