Sunday, March 31, 2019

NHL Game Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 3/31/2019 - 5:05 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - Date: 3/31/2019 Time: 5:00 PM EDT Venue: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219 / In a game that will help shape the final Metropolitan Division standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes will meet Sunday at PPG Paints Arena. Carolina (43-28-7) can pull even with the third-place Penguins (42-25-11) in the division at 95 points each -- and would leapfrog into third place on tiebreakers, pushing Pittsburgh into an Eastern Conference wild-card spot -- with a regulation win. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, can stiff-arm the Hurricanes to at least some extent with a win." At the end of the day, we've got to find a way to win a game. It's an important one," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Late in the season like this, every point's important, but especially against a team that's right there with us." Carolina holds the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference entering the game and is coming off a rousing 5-2 win over Philadelphia on Saturday that eliminated the Flyers from playoff contention and helped the Hurricanes bounce back after being swept in a home-and-home series against Washington. Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour described his team as "devastated" following the two losses to the Capitals, when a spot in the playoffs didn't look all that promising, but the mood is different now." You want to play in these games, and in the playoffs, and it's a lot more fun now to be doing that," Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton said. Pittsburgh is 10-4-2 against Carolina in the coach Mike Sullivan era but is 1-1-1 this season, including a 3-2 shootout loss March 19. NBA Handicappers. The Penguins' three-game winning streak was snapped Friday when Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne starred w ith 42 saves as the Predators won 3-1, but Pittsburgh still has hopes of earning home ice for at least the first round of the playoffs." We're in a tight race here," said Penguins winger, who led his team Friday with six shots. "We have to learn from it and move on, worry about our next game against Carolina." Against Nashville, Pittsburgh failed to prevail in a game that mimicked the style of a playoff clash." It's tight hockey this time of year," said Crosby, who had five shots. "We competed. We worked to get chances. ... Game Fixing. That's hockey sometimes. You've got to be able to turn the page." Pittsburgh was 0 for 4 on the power play despite accumulating 15 shots." Our power play had probably four grade-A chances," Sullivan said. "Usually when we get those kinds of looks, we score." The nature of the game at this time of year .. . is they tend to be tighter scoring games and lower scoring games, and so we've got to find a comfort level in playing in those games. It's not always about trying to score four or five goals; it's making sure we're hard to play against so that we can win a game 2-1 or win a game 3-2. Hot Sports Handicappers. That, for me, is the important part because that's the playoff mindset or playoff type of hockey, and that's what we're in right now." --Field Level Media

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