The Nashville Predators briefly return home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. The Penguins are scrapping with the New York Rangers to for the second spot in the Metropolitan Division, while the Preds are trying to work their way up out of wild-card positioning.
Jake Guentzel leads the team in points with 59 and goals with 28, while Kris Letang is the assists leader with 45. Sidney Crosby is second in each of those categories, with 58 points, 38 assists, and 20 goals (he ties Bryan Rust in that statistic). Evan Rodrigues and Jeff Carter have also been major contributors, while Evgeni Malkin has 24 points in the 24 games he’s played this season. Crosby and Rust have also missed a fair bit of time, with Crosby making his contributions in 48 games and Rust in just 38.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins are injured to heck and still producing massively” is a well-worn storyline by this point, but it does keep happening.
In goal, Tristan Jarry has a very respectable .922 sv% on the season, while Casey DeSmith has been having a rougher year with a .905. The Penguins have played good defense in front of their goalies, both 5v5 and on the penalty kill, and have been rewarded with good goaltending. They’ve needed it, since despite a good 5v5 offense and an exceptional power play, they’ve had bad shooting luck that has kept their goal-scoring to levels their opponents might find reasonable.
It’s a lost cause asking the Preds not to take penalties at this point. It might be worth noting that in addition to having a great penalty kill, the Penguins are the least-penalized team in the NHL this season, but who can really say—in a single game, anything can happen.
How to Watch
The game airs at 7 PM Central (really this time) on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.