Penguins at Hurricanes Preview: The Rollercoaster Continues
The Pens' wild ride of a season goes on as they face the NHL's second best team.
The up-and-down, helter-skelter ride of the 2022-23 Pittsburgh Penguins has continued. After two solid wins the Penguins put up an inexcusably awful performance against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night in the first game of this weekend's back-to-back series. They ultimately lost 4-1 with the lone goal coming from youngster Drew O'Connor.
More problems are piling up off of the ice too. Marcus Pettersson is now sidelined due to illness. He did not play on Friday and did not travel to play against Carolina either. He joins Kris Letang and Jeff Petry on the list of unavailable defensemen for the Pens. Those happened to be their top three defensemen.
They are not the only men M.I.A. right now. Pittsburgh's starting goalie Tristan Jarry and bottom-six defensive forwards Ryan Poehling and Josh Archibald all being out due to injury have caused a massive deficit in the middle of the team's counter-attacking capabilities. And their play against the Jets showed it as Winnipeg dictated every aspect of the game.
Now the Penguins face the second-best team in the league: the Carolina Hurricanes. A franchise they have not beaten all year while playing on consecutive days and while Carolina is almost fully healthy
They have a tall task ahead of them and the Hurricanes play a hard-charging, high-checking system. Tonight is a real test of the mettle of the Penguins. It might be the point in the season where they finally are forced to look in the mirror and address their shortcomings.
Pens Game #42: Pittsburgh Penguins at Hurricanes Carolina
Date: January 14, 2023
Time: 7 PM (ET)
Place: Raleigh, NC
Venue: PNC Arena
Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN
Social Media Hashtags #: #LetsGoPens #LetsGoCanes
Records- PIT: 21-14-6, CAR: 26-9-7
Last 10- PIT: 3-5-2, CAR: 6-3-1
Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, CAR: 1 Win
Standings- PIT: 16th, CAR: 2nd
Points- PIT: 48, CAR: 59
Season Series: 3-0 CAR
Series Goals For- PIT: 7, CAR: 10
Team Analytics Comparison:
Confirmed starting goalies-
-CASEY DESMITH- #1
Bio Info: 6' 0", 181 lbs. DOB: 8/13/1991 (31). From: Rochester, NH.
Drafted: Undrafted; Experience: 5th Season.
Record: 5-8-2, 3.17 GAA, .904 SV%
Career vs. CAR: 1-1-1, 2.33 GAA, .934 SV%
-FREDERIK ANDERSEN- #31
Bio Info: 6' 4", 229 lbs. DOB: 10/2/1989 (33). From: Herning, Denmark.
Drafted: 2012: Rd 3, Pk 87 (ANA). Experience: 10th Season.
Record: 6-3-0, 2.64 GAA, .893 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 5-5-0, 2.47 GAA, .924 SV%
The Pens have a 2-4-2 record in games on consecutive days this season, back-to-backs have been an issue all year.
After a two-goal breakthrough vs. Vancouver, the Penguins' power play stalled again against Winnipeg going 0 for 2.
-Josh Archibald (F): lower body, day-to-day.
-Tristan Jarry (G): lower body, undisclosed.
-Jeff Petry (D): IR, upper body, week-to-week.
-Marcus Pettersson (D): illness, day-to-day.
-Ryan Poehling (F): undisclosed, game-time decision.
The projected Penguins lines for Saturday, January 14, 2023, at the Carolina Hurricanes:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Rickard Rakell
Drew O’Connor - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Danton Heinen - Teddy Blueger - Brock McGinn
Brian Dumoulin - Mark Friedman
Ty Smith - Chad Ruhwedel
P. O. Joseph - Jan Rutta
PP1: Malkin, Crosby, Guentzel, Rakell, Smith
PP2: Carter, Rust, Heinen, Kapanen, Joseph
PK1: Blueger, McGinn, Dumoulin, Rutta
PK2: Carter, Rust, Ruhwedel, Friedman
Carolina thus far has commanded the season series against the Penguins by 3-0. They're looking to sweep tonight in the final meeting of these teams for the year.
Scouting the opposition: the Hurricanes are 1-3-1 in their last five games so they're trying to find a return to form against the Pens as well.
-Jake Gardiner (D): LTIR, hip, out for 2022-23.
-Ondrej Kase (F): LTIR, concussion, out until 1/19.
-Max Pacioretty (F): lower body, day-to-day.
For The Penguins: Sidney Crosby. When the Penguins are down it's always the Captain who comes through. If they're going to bounce back tonight against Carolina who have dominated their series against the Pens all season, Sid will be the man driving that charge. He was held without a shot on goal against Winnipeg which is a rare occurrence and something that's definitely going to put a chip on his shoulder for Saturday. Crosby also has five points in the last four games overall so he is producing right now. That point tally includes 2 two-point games as well. So look for Sid to come out with a lot of hop against the Hurricanes.
For The Hurricanes: Brett Pesce. The defender isn't the first name that sticks out as one to watch on this strong Carolina roster but against Pittsburgh, he's an easy pick. Like Crosby, Pesce has five points in his last four games. He put two goals alone during his last game against Columbus. And he already has one goal and one assist against the Penguins this season while being a +4. He's also not a well-tracked star player by opposing teams as other Canes take those higher-priority assignments. So Pesce tends to be left open and available to strike when the opportunity arises.