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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.

http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4954462-74/penguins-vitale-faceoffs#axzz2j2JqW52Z

 

Enjoy the hockey game, dear readers.

 

-          Yohe

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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