Not much new news out of the Pens camp today as they prepare for their game tonight at Consol against the Hurricanes.
- James Neal is tied for 2nd in the league in goals with Phil Kessel, Jonathan Toews, and Steven Stamkos. Marian Gaborik flew by everyone and sits in 1st with 22 goals. Neal enters tonight’s game with a 7 game point streak. Hopefully he can keep the momentum going.
- Evgeni Malkin is also riding a 7 game point streak, with 16 points total.
- Jordan Staal broke a 7 game point/goal drought on Friday in Winnipeg. We’re looking for Staalsy to grab up more points tonight. He had 2 goals in the Pens first meeting against the Canes on November 12th, but didn’t register a point in their last meeting on December 3rd. Tonight is Staal’s 400th career game.
- Marc-Andre Fleury is in net tonight. Quote of the day from Fleury in response to the Hurricane’s Cam Ward being credited with an empty netter goal last night against the New Jersey Devils: “Just to get one would be pretty fun. It would still be better to put it in myself so you can celebrate a little more…I was thinking about diving on the logo. Was that (Darius) Kasparaitis that did that? A couple options there, I got to get one first though. “
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pens Jason Williams, Alexandre Picard and Simon Despres are still playing in Pittsburgh.
- The Hurricanes are 4-6-2 with new Head Coach Kirk Muller, who took over behind the bench on November 29th in a 3-1 loss to the Panthers.
- The Pens are looking to get their first win against the Canes this season. The last 2 games were in Raleigh. The Canes only have 4 road wins this season, so the Pens have a definite home ice advantage tonight.
- The Canes are still without the services of Jeff Skinner and Joni Pitkanen, who are out indefinitely with concussions.
- No injury updates given by Head Coach Dan Bylsma today for the Pens.
- Expect a whole lot of “brother Staal” tonight since J’s brother Eric will be in the building. His +/- has worsened since we last saw E. Staal. The Cane’s Captain is now at -20 on the season and has played in all 37 games. He is still at just 7 goals and has not registered a point since December 13th when he got an assist against Toronto. He didn’t get any points in his last game against the Penguins, but certainly drew a lot of obscene penalties.
Puck drops at 7:00. Pens won their last 3 games. Let’s Go Pens!