NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 2nd
(All times eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (34-20-9) at Carolina Hurricanes (32-27-7), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will shoot for their second
consecutive victory this evening, when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at
the RBC Center.
Pittsburgh, which is fifth in the Eastern Conference with 77 points, had lost
two straight and three of its four previous games before earning a shootout
victory at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Sidney Crosby had no points in the game, but scored the game-winner in the
final segment to give Pittsburgh the 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers.
After Petr Prucha, the third shooter for New York, sent a wrist shot over the
net, Crosby skated in and snapped a wrister between the pads of Henrik
Lundqvist for the win.
Crosby, who leads the league with 97 points, was held off the scoresheet for
the second straight game and is still stuck on 199 points for his career. The
19-year-old phenom is trying to beat Wayne Gretzky as the youngest player in
NHL history to reach the 200-point plateau.
Gretzky achieved the feat during the 1980-81 season at the age of 19 years and
347 days old. Crosby won't turn 20 until August 7.
Colby Armstrong had a goal and an assist on Thursday and Jordan Staal and
Sergei Gonchar also lit the lamp for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped
32 shots for Pittsburgh, which is three points behind Ottawa for the fourth
spot in the East.
Both Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque, who the Penguins acquired in trades
before Tuesday's deadline, made their debuts with Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Tonight marks the end of a brief two-game swing for Pittsburgh, which is
16-11-5 on the road this year.
The Hurricanes will try to snap a two-game slide this evening after getting
swept in a home-and-home series with the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators earned a 4-2 victory in Raleigh on Tuesday and followed that with
Wednesday's 2-0 home win over the 'Canes.
Ray Emery was the hero for Ottawa in Wednesday's tilt, as he stopped 27 shots
for his fifth shutout of the season. Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza notched the
goals for the Sens.
Cam Ward made 24 saves in the loss for the Hurricanes, who have dropped three
of their last five and were shut out for the eighth time this season.
With 71 points, Carolina is currently outside the Eastern Conference playoff
picture. The Montreal Canadiens hold the eighth and final postseason berth in
the conference with 72 points.
Carolina is 16-13-4 as the host this season, but has dropped three of its last
four home tests. The Hurricanes will begin a three-game road trip this Sunday
The Hurricanes have taken two of three meetings with Pittsburgh this season
and has won five of the last seven overall encounters between the teams.
03/02 10:32:26 ET