PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will wrap up a three-game home stand to start the season tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Pittsburgh has taken full advantage of the home cooking, having allowed just one goal while banking four points in the standings.
On Saturday, the Penguins dominated the Buffalo Sabres en route to a 4-1 win. Thomas Vanek ruined Marc-Andre Fleury’s bid for a second straight shutout by batting a puck out of the air with 4:56 left in the third period.
Sidney Crosby, Chuck Kobasew, Chris Kunitz and Craig Adams scored for the Penguins.
While the season is brand new, first place in the Metropolitan Division is on the line tonight.
Carolina is just one point behind the division-leading Penguins having posted a 1-0-1 record so far. They have also scored four goals and allowed four goals.
The Hurricanes enter tonight’s game on a high note after dropping the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Sunday. Radek Dvorak’s goal at 8:20 of the second period would prove to be the game-winner.
Anton Khudobin barely had to break a sweat while turning aside 16 of Philadelphia’s 17 shots.
The loss would be the last for Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, who was fired on Monday. Craig Berube has already been named as his replacement.
Getting back to tonight’s opponent, Jeff Skinner leads the Hurricanes with three points (zero goals, three assists). Dvorak, (two goals, zero assists), Jay Harrison (one goal, one assist) and Justin Faulk (zero goals, two assists) all have two points.
Cam Ward (0-0-1, 2.86 GAA, .921 save percentage) would be the likely candidate to get the start in goal against Pittsburgh. Ward made 38 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings in their season-opener.
Ward holds a 12-5-3 record against the Penguins with a 2.27 GAA and a .926 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, Matt Niskanen currently leads the team with three points (zero goals, three assists). Five Penguins are tied for second with two points each ( Adams, Pascal Dupuis, Kobasew, Crosby and Brandon Sutter).
Adams, Kobasew and Crosby have scored in each of the first two games. Kobasew also has both game-winning goals.
In goal, Fleury (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .979 save percentage) has allowed just one goal on 48 shots through two games.
Fleury is 9-6-2 with a 2.74 GAA and .905 save percentage against Carolina in his career.
Evgeni Malkin only has one assist so far this season, but he enjoys playing against the Hurricanes. In 22 career games, Malkin has nine goals and 18 assists.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.
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