NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 2nd (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (26-24-4) at Pittsburgh Penguins (28-19-4), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will go for their third straight win tonight when they visit Pittsburgh and Mellon Arena for a test against the Penguins.
Carolina has won its first two games following the All-Star break and four of its last five overall after Thursday's 3-2 overtime win against Toronto. Rod Brind'Amour scored the game-winning goal with 1:40 left in the extra session.
In overtime and on a power play after a Nik Antropov hooking minor with 2:26 left in overtime, Carolina's Cory Stillman banked the puck off the left-wing boards to Ray Whitney, who hesitated, then slid a pass to a charging Brind'Amour, who one-timed the puck past Vesa Toskala for the game-winner.
The 37-year-old Brind'Amour is third on Carolina with 47 points, and his 19th goal of the season helped the Hurricanes avoid a big let down after allowing Toronto even the game and force extra time with just 11.4 seconds left in regulation.
Scott Walker and Tim Gleason each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, Cam Ward made 24 saves in the win, and Whitney added a pair of helpers.
Carolina is in first place in the Southeast Division with 56 points, two ahead of second-place Atlanta. The club begins a five-game road swing tonight and is 13-13-2 as the visiting club this year.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is just 2-2-1 since losing Sidney Crosby for an extended period of time due to a high right ankle sprain suffered in a game against Tampa Bay on January 18.
The Penguins were last in action on Wednesday, losing to Atlanta 4-1. Ryan Whitney provided the lone offense for the Penguins, who have dropped three of four overall.
Starter Ty Conklin took the loss by allowing four goals on just 20 shots. Dany Sabourin made seven saves in just over 16 minutes in relief to close out the game.
Conklin is starting to struggle since winning his first nine starts of the season. The netminder, thrust into action when Marc-Andre Fleury went down with a high ankle sprain on December 6 and Sabourin struggled replacing him, is 2-3-2 over his last seven appearances, and has a 3.23 goals-against average over his past five outings.
Colby Armstrong missed his second straight game on Wednesday due to the flu, but could return tonight.
Pittsburgh is hoping for a quick turnaround, as it has slipped to second in the Atlantic Division, a point back of Philadelphia.
The Penguins bring a 13-9-3 home mark into tonight's test, but will be in New Jersey on Monday.
The Penguins and Hurricanes have split a pair of meetings so far this season, with Pittsburgh posting a 4-3 shootout win in the Steel City on October 19. Carolina has won five of the last seven meetings, but has dropped two straight at Mellon Arena.
02/02 10:53:25 ET