Found April 09, 2013 on
The visiting Pittsburgh Penguins will still be without a few key stars when they take the ice Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
With the way the Hurricanes have struggled lately, it might not matter.
Pittsburgh, recently receiving a spark from former Hurricane Jussi Jokinen, will try to hand Carolina a 13th loss in 14 games and top the only Eastern Conference team it has yet to beat this season.
The Penguins (29-10-0) became the first team from the East to clinch a playoff spot - their seventh straight postseason appearance - on Sunday due to Buffalo's win over New Jersey. Tuesday will be their first contest since a 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers on Friday. Jokinen, acquired from Carolina last week in a deadline deal, scored the Penguins' only goal and also provided the lone shootout score.
Pittsburgh is still without NHL points leader Sidney Crosby, who hasn't been cleared to return to practice and is out indefinitely after suffering a broken jaw against the Islanders on March 30.
James Neal will also be absent for the team's three-game road trip after he sustained a concussion Friday. Chris Kunitz will take Neal's spot on Pittsburgh's second line, playing alongside Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla.
Neal had just three points in his last 12 games but is third on the team with 32.
"There's definitely a void on the ice, in the locker room," Kunitz said. "He's the kind of guy that will come around and chirp guys, make things a little lighter in the dressing room. On the ice, his ability to create space for himself and shoot a puck is something this team hasn't seen for a while."
The Penguins did receive good news Monday as Kris Letang skated for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury and missing the last five games. Letang could return this week.
"There's no rush to get back, but at the same time it's a short season," said Letang, who has 28 points. "I want to start playing, being healthy and ready to go for the playoffs."
With an abysmal slide down the stretch, Carolina (16-20-2) appears set to miss the postseason for a fourth straight year as it sits eight points out of the conference's final playoff spot.
The Hurricanes, who have dropped seven straight at home, have scored 20 goals and allowed 51 in going 1-11-1 over the last 13 games. They have also fallen into three-goal deficits in their last three, including a 6-2 loss at Boston on Monday.
"We've got to find a way to dig deeper," left winger Drayson Bowman said. "It's very frustrating. We've got to come out and keep fighting; eventually we'll get the first goal."
Carolina has won three of four at home in the series, including 4-1 in the first meeting Feb. 28 as Jiri Tlusty scored twice and Eric Staal recorded a goal and two assists. Kunitz scored for the Penguins.
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After the Penguins practice today, Sidney Crosby gave his first interview since getting hit in the face with a slapshot. He did not take place in the practice but says he’s feeling much better. He has not been able to eat, is having a hard time keeping weight and is not setting a timetable for returning to the ice. His plan is to rely on the Doctor’s opinion about the...
CHOMPING AT THE BIT
The face of the NHL is finally the face of hockey. Sidney Crosby, who took a puck to the kisser last month, finally showed off his toothless smile in a PensTV interview, as pointed out by Puck Daddy. Crosby, said “it’s just one of those things that happens” and that he’s “not too worried” about his teeth anyways. Asked how many chompers he actually lost and how many teeth...
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby remains sidelined indefinitely and has not been cleared to practice. He remains on a liquid diet as he recovers from a surgically repaired broken jaw, which he sustained against the New York Islanders on March 30.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby’s broken jaw is healing and showing no signs of post-concussion syndrome. But he remains, as does elite winger James Neal – who is recovering from a concussion suffered against the New York Rangers.That is forcing the Penguins to shuffle their lines and give bigger roles to newcomers Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Jussi Jokinen during...
The Penguins have a few needs heading into the playoffs; Evgeni Malkin dominating isn't one of them.Does Malkin need to play better? Absolutely. He has more penalty minutes than points, and is averaging barely over a point per game. That is not the level of play everyone expects from a two-time MVP.But Evgeni Malkin dominating games in Sid's absence wont matter if the...
PITTSBURGH — Lacing on hockey skates is going to have to wait. At this point, Sidney Crosby would settle for a meal that didn’t require a straw.
The Pittsburgh Penguins star and his surgically repaired mouth remain on a liquid diet as he recovers from a broken jaw sustained in a win over the New York Islanders on March 30. The NHL’s leading scorer remains sidelined indefinitely...
Sidney Crosby says he's feeling pretty good but still isn't certain when he'll return from a broken jaw.
The Pittsburgh Penguins star addressed reporters Monday for the first time since taking a redirected slap shot off his face in a win over the New York Islanders on March 30. Crosby underwent dental surgery and spent two days in the hospital. He says he's not quite...
Chalk this one up in the surprise category as sophomore center Brendan Woods is forgoing the rest of his collegiate eligiblity to sign his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Just how surprising? Well, let's just say head coach Mike Eaves is less than pleased with the decision.
Eaves told the Wisconsin State Journal's Andy Baggot the following:
Pittsburgh Penguins (29-10-0) @ Carolina Hurricanes (16-20-2)
ROOT, FS-CR - 7:00 pm/et
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
Staal. Staal. Sutter.
Also, Jokinen returns to Carolina against his old team.
Season Series: 0-1-0
Last meeting that counted: February 28, 2013. Penguins lost 4-1.
What we said in our recap:
The Penguins aren't a bad...
If you understand swedish, here's an article I wrote on Carolina's Justin Faulk - his role on the team, his friends that keep him grounded and those luscious locks of his. If you don't understand Swedish, here's the english version...
The Carolina Hurricanes have hit a rough patch these past two weeks as they've won just one game since losing arguably their...
Once again, the Canes were facing a team that did not bring their best game but were on the receiving end of another blowout loss because they could get a timely save from either of their goalies or buy a goal at the other end. This is the same thing that has happened to them over the last four weeks or so and the whole process is getting tiring because the outcome of most of their...
The ailing Carolina Hurricanes visited North Station on Monday night and this would be a prime opportunity for Boston to regain some of their confidence. Wearing their all black alternates, the Bruins took to the ice welcoming back Alternate captain…
We know it's Staals tonight but we won't be drinking. We have more than enough to deal with. Look at this sad sadness:
We could drown our sorrows in vodka but we also might die. Homemade french dip will probably alleviate the sorrow.
MOST DOOMSAYINGEveryone hates the Canes and think they are awful, apparently. Canes got an early PP after Engo fought some asshole...