Game Preview: Predators @ Penguins
The Nashville Predators head into Pittsburgh tonight (6 CT) to face a red hot Penguins team that has picked up 19 of 20 points over the last 10 games putting heavy pressure on the New York Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead. The Preds look to rebound after a clunker against Edmonton on Tues that saw all World Goalie Pekka Rinne pulled after giving up 3 goals on just 7 shots.
This will be the only regular season matchup between the two teams, so you can expect a wide open game as both teams look to solidify playoff positioning. The Preds defense will have to be strong as Sidney Crosby is back & coming off a 4 point game, not to mention probable Hart Trophy nominee Evgeni Malkin, who leads the NHL in scoring with 93 points (12 points in last 5 games).
This game will also feature a battle in the net between Rinne & Marc-Andre Fleury, who are tied for most wins in the NHL with 39 & could both be battling for a Vezina trophy nomination. The Preds will appear on National Television tonight & again on Sunday against Chicago, so get ready for some scrutiny from the NBC crew.
The Great Radu…
Alexander Radulov was introduced to the media & presented his new gold jersey yesterday before participating in a full practice where he skated on a line with David Legwand & Patric Hornqvist. He did travel to Pittsburgh with the team & will be a game time decision according to Head Coach Barry Trotz.
All players were listed as healthy going into tonight’s game.
The bottom line…
The Nashville Predators are 42-23-8 (92 Pts) with 9 games remaining and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 8 Pts behind St Louis (8 GR) & 1 Pt behind Detroit (8 GR).
-In the Western Conference the Predators are in 5th, with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (92 PTS 7 GR), 7 Colorado (85 7 GR), 8 LA (84 9 GR) & 9 Phoenix (84 8 GR).
-The Predators next will return home to face Winnipeg on Sat 6 CT.
-F Patric Hornqvist leads the team in Goals with 24.
-F Martin Erat leads the team with 39 Assists & Points 57.
-D Shea Weber leads the team in shots on goal with 203 & Hits 161.
-F Jordin Tootoo leads the team in Penalty Minutes with 87- D Kevin Klein has only 4 PiMs in 57 games.
-G Pekka Rinne has now played in 65 games (previous high 64 last season).
Leg-watch 500- With 2 Goals Vs Edmonton on Tuesday, David Legwand now has 496 points in his career (187 G 309 A) with the Predators.