Gameday: Canes vs. Pittsburgh
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“That series wasn’t overly vicious,” said Hurricanes Coach Paul Maurice. “I don’t think there was too much left in that. Maybe a few guys have something they’d like to square away, but for the most part it was a pretty cleanly played series.”
"It's not going to be about last year," said Eric Staal, who added that he is feeling much better and will play tonight as expected. "We're just looking for two points here."
However, a little motivation for the Canes based on last season’s exit could go a long way, as they found out firsthand in a 7-2 road loss to the Boston Bruins on the second game of the season.
“We were on the other side of that dynamic in Boston and didn’t enjoy it too much,” said Maurice. “Hopefully there’s something there.”
The Penguins bring mostly the same team from last spring into Raleigh this time around, with Jay McKee coming into the lineup in place of Rob Scuderi, who has since signed with Los Angeles, ranking as the biggest change.
Loved this partial quote from Bill Guerin in response to a question from the Penguins’ official site about the secret to the team’s success away from home:
”First of all I think we’re good,” said Guerin.
Confidence is never a bad thing. However, the Pens are 1-4-1 in their last six games in Raleigh, not including the most recent postseason.
Pittsburgh’s only loss of the season is to the Phoenix Coyotes, a game they may have taken lightly in anticipation of their victorious trip to Philadelphia the following night. Also impressive was the Penguins’ season-opening win against the New York Rangers, who have won five in a row since and are off to their traditionally fast start.
Eric's brother Jordan Staal is among the hottest Penguins players with goals in each of his last three games.
- Associated Press: Game preview
- CarolinaHurricanes.com: Staal, Pitkanen miss Tuesday practice
- News and Observer: Canes focus on new season
- Canes Now: Canes just after a win, not payback
- WRAL: Pitkanen out for Canes’ game against Pens
- WRAL: Good thing Mike Keenan isn’t coach of the Flames anymore
- PittsburghPenguins.com: Penguins enjoy early success on the road
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Kunitz’s scoring slump not an issue for Penguins
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: How much action will Brent Johnson see?
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Fleury, Ward stand out among NHL goalies
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Pens coach Bylsma looks back at playoffs