Penguins eye 3-0 start vs. Hurricanes

( - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to remain unbeaten when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes for Tuesday's Metropolitan Division battle at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins are opening this season on a three-game homestand and have outscored the opposition by a combined 7-1 margin in the first two tilts of the residency.

After opening the season with a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh posted a 4-1 decision in Saturday's test against the Buffalo Sabres. The Penguins are 2-0 for the third straight season, but the club hasn't won three in a row to begin a campaign since going 7-0 at the start of the 1994-95 season.

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been hot in the early going and he posted 20 saves to help anchor Pittsburgh's win over the Sabres. Fleury, who found himself benched in favor of Tomas Vokoun during last spring's playoffs, came 4:54 away from his second shutout in as many games. He led the Penguins to a 3-0 whitewash of New Jersey on Thursday.

Sidney Crosby and Chuck Kobasew each had a goal in the first period against Buffalo, while Chris Kunitz scored on a penalty shot in the third period and Craig Adams added an empty-netter for Pittsburgh.

"When we've had to play defense, we've had five guys defending in the house and allowing Marc-Andre to see the puck," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "That's a huge key to our team and it's been a great success to this point."

The Penguins will play their next two games in the Sunshine State, visiting the Florida Panthers on Friday before taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Carolina is 1-0-1 on the young season after opening the year with an overtime loss to Detroit before posting a 2-1 regulation win in Sunday's game against Philadelphia.

The Hurricanes will begin their road schedule on Tuesday, as Carolina centerman Jordan Staal takes on his former teammates. Staal was drafted by the Penguins in 2006 and helped the franchise win a Stanley Cup in 2009 before being traded to Carolina at the 2012 draft.

This will be Staal's second trip to Pittsburgh since the trade. The Hurricanes lost an 8-3 decision in the Steel City on April 27 of last season, giving Carolina losses in five straight visits to Consol Energy Center. Pittsburgh has won two in a row and five of six overall in this series.

The Hurricanes posted a 2-1 win over the Flyers on Sunday, as Radek Dvorak netted the winner early in the second period and Anton Khudobin made 17 saves. Jay Harrison registered a first-period tally and Jeff Skinner added a pair of assists for the Hurricanes.

"Guys came ready to battle tonight, worked hard and played the right way," said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller. "The end result was a nice victory."

Khudobin, who bested the Flyers for his first NHL win as a starter while playing for Minnesota in February of 2010, was similarly successful in his Carolina debut.

The Hurricanes, who will visit Washington in their next game on Thursday, were 10-11-3 as the road team in 2013.