Penguins-Hurricanes Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 27, 2013
The Pittsburgh Penguins remain one of the NHL's best teams on the power play, but they haven't always benefited from that success because of the many power-play opportunities they surrender. Jordan Staal surely would like to take advantage of one. Pittsburgh will try to maintain better discipline Wednesday night when it travels to play the Carolina Hurricanes, who hope Staal can lead them to victory in his first game against his old team. The Penguins (13-7-0) weren't a very highly penalized team last season, finishing 16th in the NHL as they were short-handed an average of 3.3 times per game. They've already been down a man 80 times in 20 games this season, and their 84:54 of time on the penalty kill is among the league's highest totals. "We have to do a better job of staying out of the box," Sidney Crosby told the team's official website. "I think that's pretty clear." They haven't been able to weather opponents' power plays nearly as well, either. Pittsburgh finished third last season, killing 87.8 percent of power plays, but that number has fallen to 78.8 percent this winter. The loss of Staal could have something to do with that drop-off considering he was one of the Penguins' top penalty killers. He turned down a 10-year extension with Pittsburgh after last season and would get traded to the Hurricanes, with whom he signed a 10-year deal worth $60 million. Staal has been featured on both special-teams units for Carolina, though he's gone 39 straight regular-season games without a power-play goal. Staal, drafted second overall in 2006 by Pittsburgh, does have three goals in the last six games after scoring one through his first 12 in a Carolina uniform. He recorded 248 points in six seasons with the Penguins, helping them win a Stanley Cup title in 2009. Pittsburgh appears to be a title contender again, tied for the second-most points (26) in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins had won five of six before a 6-4 loss at Florida on Tuesday, allowing four goals on seven power plays by a Panthers team which had been 0 for 17 over its previous five games. "I think we have to adjust a bit," said Crosby, who has 13 points in his last seven games. "Most of the penalties were penalties. I think they were probably the result of the way we were playing." Twelve of Crosby's league-leading 30 points have come on Pittsburgh's power play, which has scored at least one goal in 12 straight games. The Penguins are 16 for 48 in that span and at 27.8 percent overall, though that unit will be missing Evgeni Malkin (concussion) for a third straight game after he was placed on injured reserve Monday. Pittsburgh's power play could face a tough test against Carolina, which has yielded one goal in 18 short-handed situations over the past five games. The Hurricanes (9-8-1), though, have dropped four of those games, a slump that coincides with the absence of Jeff Skinner (concussion). The club has nine goals in five games since losing Skinner, who is tied for third on the team with 14 points. Carolina also has been missing injured defenseman Jamie McBain in the last four. "Fatigue kicks in," coach Kirk Muller said after a 3-0 loss at Washington on Tuesday. "Some guys are playing more minutes than they probably should, and it catches up." Also hurting Muller's team is a slump by Staal's older brother. Captain Eric Staal has two points in the past five games after recording 17 during an 8-2-1 surge. He's pointless in the last three meetings with Pittsburgh - all Carolina losses.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Rick Pitino says school should be penalized, 'but not this team'

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defends hack-a-player strategy

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

$40,000 in Super Bowl tickets stolen from San Francisco hotel

Rams fan makes Super Bowl commercial ripping Stan Kroenke

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker