The Pittsburgh Penguins (36-15-9) return to the scene of their triumphant 2017 Stanley Cup championship. Patric Hornqvist scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes, and a celebration on enemy ice ensued as the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators. The current Penguins have won two in a row as head coach Mike Sullivan had made significant changes to the Penguins lineup.
“This is an exciting building to play in. When you win a Stanley Cup in a building, there’s a certain attachment to that. It’s hard not to let your mind go there for a fleeting moment,” Sullivan said. f
The Predators (34-21-4) are between one and five points ahead of the Dallas Stars for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The puck drops tonight at 8 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena.
Marcus Pettersson, Dominik Simon, and Kasperi Kapanen have been recent healthy scratches. Kapanen got back into the lineup when Brock McGinn suffered an upper-body injury. Pettersson will likely be a scratch for the second consecutive game in favor of scrappy defender Mark Friedman.
The Penguins trail the Carolina Hurricanes by six points, and Carolina has one game in hand for the division lead. On Sunday afternoon, the Penguins outlasted Carolina 4-2 at PPG Paints Arena. Brian Boyle and Danton Heinen scored even-strength goals. Sidney Crosby and Zach Aston-Reese added empty netters.
Nashville gets plenty of scoring from the blue line. D-man Roman Jossi leads Nashville with 66 points (17-49-66) in 59 games. Matt Duchene leads Nashville forwards with 59 points, including 31 goals.
Casey DeSmith will take the pipes for the Penguins. Juuse Saros will take the other crease.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jason Zucker||Evgeni Malkin||Rickard Rakell|
|Danton Heinen||Ryan Poehling||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Brock McGinn||Sam Poulin||Drew O'Connor|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||Jeff Petry|
|P.O Joseph||Jan Rutta|
Expected Predators Lines, per Puckpedia.com:
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:
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*The Penguins power play slipped to 15th (21.4%), and the PK improved to third (85.3%). Nashville has a solid power play that is seventh (24.4%), but their PK is middling (16th, 79.8%).
*The Penguins face Nashville for the first time since Dec. 28, 2019 – a 6-4 Penguins win at PPG Paints Arena.
*The Penguins have just one regulation loss in their last eight visits to Nashville (6-1-1).
*Sidney Crosby (877) is one assist shy from tying Nicklas Lidstrom (878) for 22nd place on the NHL’s all-time assist list.
*The Penguins are 14-5-5 versus Western Conference opponents.
*The Penguins are the best road team in the NHL with a league-best 19-6-4 record in 29 games.
How to Watch:
*TV: AT&T SportsNet; Radio: 105.9 The X)