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preVIEW: An early look at Penguins at Carolina (guest host: Josh Yohe)

Greetings from Raleigh, hockey fans.
Should be a good one tonight, as the Hurricanes are relatively well rested and the Penguins, as you may have guessed, are a little surly following their three-game losing streak.
Here’s a look at what to expect:

Tonight’s probable lines and defense pairings:


Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis


Jussi Jokinen-Evgeni Malkin-Matt D’Agostini  


Tanner Glass-Brandon Sutter-Chuck Kobasew


Dustin Jeffrey-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams


Matt Niskanen-Kris Letang


Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin


Olli Maatta-Robert Bortuzzo


Marc-Andre Fleury


With Rob Scuderi out of the lineup, the Penguins will try defenseman Matt Niskanen together with Kris Letang. The two have played together in the past, with mixed results occurring in their time on the same pairing. Niskanen plays well on the left side, which should make him comfortable with Letang, who hasn’t looked himself during his first two games. Olli Maatta was so comfortable with Robert Bortuzzo early in the season that it makes perfect sense putting them back together. The Glass-Vitale-Adams line has been quite effective this season, so it seems logical keeping it together.


Injury update



There wasn’t a big announcement regarding the status of injured defenseman Rob Scuderi. It seems that the Penguins won’t know how severe his lower-body injury is until this afternoon at the earliest, and when the knowledge because public is anyone’s guess. What we know is that Scuderi did return to Pittsburgh on Monday to have tests done.

Watch For This N’ At


= Our old friend Jordan Staal is really struggling this season. Although his team is off to a reasonably good start, Staal has produced just one goal and two assists so far this season. Obviously, Carolina is expecting more.

= The Penguins haven’t lost four games in a row in almost two years, and that streak coincided with a Sidney Crosby injury. Tonight appears a glorious chance for them to get back on the winning side of things, as Carolina will start backup goaltender Justin Peters, who is playing for the injured Cam Ward.

= The Hurricanes believe Marc-Andre Fleury is vulnerable to plays that develop from behind the net. Look for that to be part of their plan.


The Read

Here’s a look at the Penguins’ impressive work in the faceoff circle.


Enjoy the hockey game, dear readers.


-          Yohe




Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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