Connect with us

Penguins

Penguins Power Play Failures, Saros Swipes Nashville Win 4-1

Published

on

PIttsburgh Penguins game, lose Nashville Predators 4-1

The Pittsburgh Penguins (36-16-9) were the best road team in the NHL, but missed chances and power play flubs gave way to grinding Nashville goals. Roman Josi had three assists to up his season total to 69 points, and Nashville beat the Penguins 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.

The Penguins power play was 0-for-5 with only five shots.

The first period was a slog and a harbinger of things to come. The game was the opposite of the high-tempo and skating clinic between the Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Carolina frequently dropped four players to defend, and notorious Nashville ice played to the slow game.

Nashville had only one high-danger scoring chance, according to NaturalStatTrick.com, and they didn’t get that chance until about 19:58 of the first period. However, it counted.

Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith tried to play a puck that he initially covered. Officials blew the whistle as he played it forward. That’s important because Nashville executed a slick three-pass play from the offensive zone faceoff. Mattias Ekholm (4) was undetected on the weak side for an easy snapshot into a yawning cage.

Head coach Mike Sullivan juggled his lineup again. For the first time this season, he moved Bryan Rust off Sidney Crosby’s line and placed Bryan Rust with Evgeni Malkin while moving Evan Rodrigues (known as E-Rod to Jim Colony) to Crosby’s line.

Like Nashville did in the first period, the Penguins scored from slick passing following an offensive zone faceoff. Crosby won a faceoff back to defenseman Kris Letang as winger Jake Guentzel slipped away from defensemen. Letang zipped a cross-ice pass to Guentzel (29), who whipped a shot to the far post past Juuse Saros.

However, 100 seconds after Guentzel scored, Roman Josi blasted a shot from the point. Tanner Jeannot (19) got his stick free of Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel and deflected it past DeSmith.

Less than two minutes later, the Penguins’ miscommunication became another Nashville goal. Defensemen Mike Matheson and Kris Letang played, “I got it, you take it,” at the offensive blue line. Eeli Tolvanen (8) snared the loose puck for a long breakaway chance and beat DeSmith.

“When Tanger and Mike Matheson came together, it’s just one of those fluky plays. That’s hockey. Sometimes those circumstances arise, and it ended up in the back of our net,” Sullivan said.

The Pittsburgh Penguins again limited Nashville to just one high-danger chance but yielded two goals.

Yakov Trenin (14) scored the empty netter to salt the game.

DeSmith was solid. The Penguins backup goalie made the saves he was supposed to and a couple of difficult ones. DeSmith stopped 21 of 24.

Saros lived up to his hype. He stopped 35 of 36 shots, including Kasperi Kapanen on a potentially game-changing breakaway in the middle of the third period.

Subscribe to PHN+
7 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

7 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jason.C
Jason.C
8 months ago

Pens have no answers when the opposing teams get physical they just lose there minds and take dumb penalties or take are star players off the ice. Pens need to address a net front presence and physical players on both sides of the blue lines or there not going far. There no longer the fastest team on the ice so the mantra just play won’t work. The 3rd goal against DeSmith was soft got to have that one.

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
8 months ago

I agree sadly Hextall is not JMR so look for no real changes quick playoffs exit then maybe change will come.

Scott Maloni
Scott Maloni
8 months ago

This is why the Pens can’t get out of the first round. Good goaltending and timely goals by a bigger and more physical team.

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
8 months ago

I was just glad Simon was there to witness another loss, hyuk.

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Matheson + Letang = really bad idea.

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul
ric jefferies
ric jefferies
8 months ago

More than 1 way to play and win a hockey game with goal scoring; speed, quickness or/and creativity in offensive zone. I see none of it aside from a few of maybe 5 penguins. OR defending, which is a METHOD and all can learn and execute as ONE unit. Changing lines is not going to fix the problem IF the players AND coaches don’t understand what the underlining issues are/ is, which it appears to be (it is NOT bad goalkeeping)

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Todd Reirden, you plane is boarding . . .