Game Preview: at Carolina Hurricanes - January 20, 2017



Pittsburgh Penguins (28-11-5; 3rd Metro) at Carolina Hurricanes (21-16-7; 6th Metro)
January 20, 2017 @ 7:00 PM - PNC Arena
TV: Root Sports Pittsburgh


The Penguins have rebounded from their first three game losing streak in over a year, winning their last two games against the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals and the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens. They'll look to make it three games in a row in the win column when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

After concussions threatened to derail a promising young career, Jeff Skinner has gotten healthy and returned to the level of play that saw the 7th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft win the Calder Trophy as an 18-year-old in 2010-11. After leading Carolina with 28 goals and 51 points last season, Skinner has been even more productive through the first half of the 2016-17 season. Through 43 games, Skinner has 17 goals and 18 assists, putting him on pace for the third 30 goal season of his career and in a position to potentially set new career highs.

Carolina still has some pieces to add in addition to developing their young players, but while the overall talent level still leaves them behind in the Eastern Conference they have managed to put together a dangerous third line this year. Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho are joined by journeyman Lee Sempniak to form a line that has managed to control 54.0% of all shot attempts and has scored 64.7% of all goals while together on the ice. Teravainen (10g, 14a) has had a solid sophomore season after being acquired along with Brian Bickell from the Blackhawks in the offseason, While only 19, Aho had had a strong rookie year. The 2nd round in 2015 from Finland, Sho also has 24 points (11g, 13a) to tie Teravainen for 3rd on the team in scoring. And while Stempniak inexplicably finds himself on his 7th team in four seasons, he continues to score at a good clip, chipping in 9 goals and 14 assists to tie for 5th on Carolina, one point behind his linemates.

Notes

- With one more goal, Evgeni Malkin will take sole possession of 4th place on the franchise's all time goal scoring list. He's hot too, entering the game with an active 5 game point streak.

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