Series (Game 3 of 4)

Carolina leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, October 7th
Game 2: Saturday, October 29th
Game 3: Friday, February 10th
Game 4: Saturday, March 4th

Penguins 4

(13-34-11, 37 pts)

Hurricanes 3

(38-14-4, 80 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 10, 2006

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
PIT 1 2 14
CAR 1 1 13

E. Staal (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

S. Caron (Penguins - G): Saves: 34, Save Pct.: .919

R. Whitney (Penguins - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Pittsburgh (12-34-11) at Carolina (38-13-4) 7:00 pm EST

Pittsburgh (12-34-11) at Carolina (38-13-4) 7:00 pm EST

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) - The top and bottom of the Eastern Conference meet Friday when the Carolina Hurricanes host the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Hurricanes are off to the best start in franchise history. Carolina's 80 points are tops in the East and just one behind Detroit for the most in the NHL - with the Hurricanes having a game in hand.

Carolina has lost just three times in its previous 18 games, but two of those losses have come in its last three games. The Hurricanes are coming off of a 5-3 loss at Southeast Division rival Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Despite the loss, Carolina still owns a 14-point advantage in the division, thanks in large part to league's best home record at 23-4-1.

Conversely, Pittsburgh has the worst record in the NHL and is a dismal 5-18-5 away from home. The Penguins have lost 17 of their last 18 games overall and need three points to catch St. Louis and get out of the league's cellar.

They are coming off of a 3-1 home loss against Boston on Wednesday. Pittsburgh was outshot, 38-17, and would have been blown out if not for the efforts goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Carolina won the first two meetings against Pittsburgh this season, a 3-2 shootout victory here October 7 and a 5-3 triumph in the Steel City October 29.