February 28th: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Carolina Hurricanes
The Pittsburgh Penguins play the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Charlotte, NC this evening. The Hurricanes (9-8-1) lead the Southeast division while the Penguins (13-7-0) lead the Atlantic division. Both teams have lost their most recent game and have not faced off against one another yet this season. They have the same goals against totals (54) however the Penguins have about 10 more goals than the Hurricanes.
The real story behind this game is the fact that this is Jordan Staal’s first time playing against his old team. Staal was instrumental in both of Pittsburgh trips to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009. He now joins his brother, Eric Staal, on the team. This game is also Brandon Sutter’s first time playing against his former team. With Evgeni Malkin out due to a concussion, Sutter will be given much more responsibility on the ice. His lackluster performance as of lately will hopefully be put to an end in this matchup, fueled by his fire against the Hurricanes.
While the two teams are have similar stats in leading/trailing categories and others, the Penguins ability to score on the power play could be a distinguishing and determining factor for their success this evening
Pick: Penguins 4, Hurricanes 3
Men of the Hour: Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, James Neal, The Staal Bros., Tim Brent, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk