The Pittsburgh Penguins (10-10-0) launch into the second quarter of the season Tuesday with a game against the Predators in Nashville.
They are coming off a 3-2 win Saturday over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs but have lost four of their past six games.
Nashville (10-10-0) is coming off a 3-2 win Sunday over the Winnipeg Jets.
The game starts a little after 8 p.m. Eastern.
The Penguins are still looking for a high level of consistency.
One thing that could help is the expected return of top-line right winger Bryan Rust. He has missed the past three games because of an unspecified injury.
Rust practiced in a full capacity Monday. Coach Mike Sullivan said Rust probably will be classified as a game-time decision.
Perhaps Rust can help the woeful power play, which is 0-for-18 over the past seven games.
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The Predators have the same record as the Penguins and have also struggled with consistency, but this sets the teams apart for this game: Nashville has won five games in a row.
The Predators on Sunday got defensemen Luke Schenn back after an 18-game injury absence.
Expected Penguins Lines
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Alex Nylander
Radim Zohorna-Lars Eller-Drew O’Connor
Matt Nieto-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter
Ryan Graves-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson
Ryan Shea-John Ludvig
Expected Predators Lines
Filip Forsberg-Ryan O’Reilly-Gustav Nyquist
Kiefer Sherwood-Juuso Parssinen-Luke Evangelista
Cole Smith-Michael McCarron-Philip Tomasino
Yakov Trenin-Colton Sissons
Ryan McDonagh-Roman Josi
Jeremy Lauzon-Alexandre Carrier
Spencer Stastney-Tyson Barrie
Penguins Special Teams
Penguins power play: 12.5%, 26th
Penguins penalty killing: 85.7%, 8th
Predators power play: 20.7%, 15th
Predators penalty killing: 72.7%, 30th
Penguins Game Notes
The Penguins are 8-2-1 in their past 11 games against Nashville and are 3-1-0 in their past four road games against the Predators.
This is the Penguins’ first game in a stretch of five of six, and seven of nine, on the road. They are 5-4-0 on the road and have won four of their past six away from PPG Paints Arena.
Sidney Crosby’s 13 goals are two off the NHL lead.
Crosby has 1,526 career points (563 goals, 953 assists), and is one goal shy of moving into the top 25 all-time. He would be in a three-way tie with Mats Sundin and Joe Nieuwendyk. With a hat trick, he would tie Patrick Marleau for 23rd.
Evgeni Malkin has 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) in 18 career games against Nashville.
How to Watch
TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh
Radio: 105.9 FM The X
Also visit sister site Nashville Hockey Now