Friday, December 27, 2013
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Preview: Penguins at Hurricanes

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[December 27, 2013]  The Pittsburgh Penguins come out of the holiday break Friday looking to start a new winning streak against an opponent they’ve enjoyed facing this season. The Penguins visit the Carolina Hurricanes, a team they have already defeated twice by a combined score of 8-2. Pittsburgh saw its season-high seven-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-0 setback to Ottawa on Monday, but holds a comfortable 13-point lead in the Metropolitan Division.

The Hurricanes are 1-3-3 in their last seven contests as they slide further out of playoff contention. Carolina has struggled at home by going 7-8-4 and dropping four of their last five, while the Penguins are 5-2-1 in their last eight road games. Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start on Friday after allowing a season-high five goals in his last start before the break.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ROOT, Fox Sports Carolinas

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (27-11-1): Evgeni Malkin has missed the last five games due to a lower-body injury and will skate Friday to evaluate his condition. Tanner Glass (hand) and defenseman Brooks Orpik (concussion) are both expected to return to the lineup, but Pascal Dupuis could miss time after appearing to suffer a knee injury in Monday’s game. Defenseman Deryk Engelland will be eligible to return to the lineup after serving a five-game suspension for a hit to the head of Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader.

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ABOUT THE HURRICANES (14-15-8): Goaltender Justin Peters has started four of the last five contests as starting goaltender Cam Ward has struggled mightily since returning from a lower-body injury in November, allowing at least three goals in eight of nine starts. Jeff Skinner has scored 10 of his 14 goals in December and has five in his last six games. Alexander Semin, who is in the first season of a five-year, $35-million deal, has three points in five games since returning from a concussion.


  1. Pittsburgh is 12-4-0 against divisional opponents.

  2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has 32 points — but just seven goals — in 24 career contests against Carolina.

  3. Pittsburgh has won seven of its last eight meetings with the Hurricanes.

PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1

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