May 30, 2023

While the New York Rangers vs. the Chicago Blackhawks takes center stage with ESPN’s Sunday Night Hockey, the game with the most implications will take place in North Carolina when the Pittsburgh Penguins take on their Metropolitan Division rival Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. This will be the second of three matchups in North Carolina this season, with Carolina winning the first game in overtime in November.

The two teams will be matched up with multiple streaks on the line. The Hurricanes have a 4-game winning and a 10-game point streak for Carolina, which has propelled them to second place in the division behind the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins are riding a 7-game winning and 8-game point streak, which has seen them climb up in the standings after struggling in October and early November.

Pittsburgh currently sits fourth in the division and the two teams will meet again on Thursday night in Pittsburgh,

Betting Odds

The Penguins are 12-5-3 in their last 20 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to January 2016, and Pittsburgh has points on the road against Carolina in four straight games (2-0-2), but the teams have played 5-5 hockey over their last ten games against each other.

Pittsburgh will be starting Casey DeSmith in net, while Carolina will play red-hot Pyotr Kochetkov, as Antti Raanta started on Saturday against the Dallas Stars. Kotchetkov stopped all 27 shots for his second straight shutout in a win over Detroit in his previous start. The 23-year-old has been incredibly replacing the injured Freddie Andersen with his 7-1-4 record, 2.01 GAA, two shutouts, and a .926 SV%.

The bookmakers at Outplayed have the Hurricanes as the -125 favorites on the moneyline and -1.5 (+200) on the puck line. Pittsburgh is +105 and +1.5 (-240). The over-under is six goals.

Game Notes

  • In their last meeting, Kris Letang was out with an illness later revealed to be a minor stroke, his second in eight years. This will be Letang’s fourth game back after missing time recovering. Letang scored his fifth career shorthanded goal on Thursdaysurpassed Larry Murphy (4) and Randy Carlyle (4) for most in team history among a defenseman.
  • In his career, centerman Evgeni Malkin is averaging almost a point per game against the Hurricanes. Malkin has 41 points in 43 games against Carolina.
  • Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns is just one point shy of 800 career points. Only 16 other NHL defensemen in history have scored more points.
  • Jake Guentzel’s five empty net goals are tied with Washington Capital’s Alex Ovechkin for most in the NHL this season.
  • Sebastian Aho will miss his fifth-straight game with a lower-body injury, and Freddie Andersen, who is working his way back from a lower-body injury of his own, will also not dress. Aho had two points in the first meeting between the two teams.
  • Pittsburgh has points in nine-consecutive road games (8-0-1), the longest road point streak in franchise history. The previous record was eight road games from Mar. 14-Apr. 14, 1993.
  • On Saturday against Dallas, Hurricane general manager Don Waddell won his 500th game as an NHL General Manager. Waddell has been with Carolina for five seasons after previously serving as General Manager for the Atlanta Thrashers from 1998-2010.

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