RALIEGH, N.C. (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to get back on track tonight when they take on a familiar face in Carolina.
The Penguins fell 6-4 to the Florida Panthers on Sunday, which snapped a two-game win streak. Now, their attention shifts to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Jordan Staal was traded to the Hurricanes at the NHL Draft this past summer for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and Carolina’s first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, which Pittsburgh used to select Derrick Pouliot.
In 431 games over six seasons with the Penguins, Staal racked up 120 goals and 128 assists.
Fans will never forget the monumental shorthanded goal he scored in Game 4 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.
Admittedly, it will be a bit awkward to see Staal not wearing black and gold tonight, but imagine the emotions for him. He broke into the league as a fresh-faced 18-year-old, earned his NHL stripes as a Penguin and won a Stanley Cup with them.
As for his new team, the Hurricanes enter tonight’s game in a three-way tie for first in the Southeast Division.
Carolina is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and lost their most recent game 3-0 to the Washington Capitals. They have also lost four of their last five games.
Eric Staal leads the team with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists), while Jordan is second with 15 points (four goals, 11 assists).
In goal, Cam Ward (6-6-1, 3.15 GAA, .900 save percentage) has been a little shaky this season.
Against the Penguins, he is 11-5-3 with a 2.33 GAA and .925 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, they will once again be without Evgeni Malkin who is out with a concussion. However, he did skate in Pittsburgh for about 30 minutes on Wednesday. There is no timetable for his return.
Sidney Crosby’s 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) are currently tied with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the league lead.
James Neal continues to lead the team with 13 goals and is only one behind Stamkos for the league lead.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (10-4-0, 2.27 GAA, .916 save percentage) took the loss against the Panthers on Sunday, despite only allowing one goal in relief of Tomas Vokoun.
Vokoun allowed four goals on 22 shots before being pulled in the second period.
In 16 games against the Hurricanes, Fleury is 7-5-2 with one tie and has a 2.61 GAA and .909 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.