Pittsburgh Penguins/Carolina Hurricanes Gameday Notes

By: Mike Vukovcan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Penguins will look to go for a season sweep versus the Carolina Hurricanes tonight in Raleigh, N.C.

The Pens are 3-0 against the Hurricanes this season.

Tonight will mark the return of Alexei Kovalev to the Penguins organization.

Here are some other news and notes prior to tonight’s game:
*Kovalev will wear No. 72 in his second tour with the Pens. Kovalev’s normal number is No. 27.

*Penguins general manager Ray Shero told The Fan’s Seibel, Starkey and Miller on Thursday that head coach Dan Bylsma plans on playing Kovalev on the top line with Jordan Staal and James Neal.

*With defenseman Brooks Orpik out for the next four to six weeks, the Pens will recall Brian Strait from Wilkes-Barre.

*The Penguins are 8-3-1 on the first night of back-back games.

*Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury for Penguins. Cam Ward for Carolina.

*Here were the line combinations Bylsma put together this morning at the skate:

Pittsburgh Penguins
Carolina Hurricanes
Kovalev Set To Return To Penguins
Penguins GM Ray Shero Talks Kovalev Trade
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  • Save the Iglue

    Isnt it time we call out Jordan Staal? I’ve not seen a #2 overall pick get such a pass by media/fans/analysts when doing so little on the score sheet. He has 6 goals, 9 assists in 23 games. With Crosby and Malkin out, a guy with Staal’s pedigree should be showing a lot more. A LOT MORE!. He’s a solid player, but Staal just will never produce the way a second overall pick should.

    • Jamie

      He’s known as arguably the best two-way offenseman in the game. He might not be Crosby or Malkin, but he is in the same general category as Toews, Backstrom, and Kessel, who were drafted right behind him.

  • Battleship

    two way centers are not as hard to find as 40 goal scorers. That’s what one should expect from #2 overall: 40 goals. Toews, Backstrom and Kessel all are all-stars. Dont see Staal ever doing that with his 20ish goals/ season average.

    Career points:
    Kessel -225
    Backstrom – 311
    Toews – 247
    Staal – 183

    Yeah, Staal doesnt play the first power play unit so that cuts into his total. But he also faces the opposing 3rd line most shifts. Those others are first line guys.

    Bottom line: Staal is a disappointment on the stat sheet. You cant use the “he’s still young” excuse anymore either. This is his 5th year in the NHL. I dont think Staal will ever top 30 goals unless he figures out how to live in front of the net on the PP. I see no signs of that happening.

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