PenguinsExperience.com - A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009

Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Nashville Predators

Game Time: 8:00pm/ET
From: Sommet Center, Nashville, TN
Penguins Record: 20-17-4 (9th in Eastern Conference)
Predators Record: 17-19-3 (14th in Western Conference)
Last Meeting: February 6, 2007 @ Pittsburgh (4-1 Pens)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Tyler Kennedy - Sidney Crosby - Jordan Staal
Miroslav Satan - Evgeni Malkin - Petr Sykora
Alex Goligoski - Maxime Talbot - Matt Cooke
Tim Wallace - Dustin Jeffrey - Eric Godard

Brooks Opik - Ryan Whitney
Mark Eaton - Phillipe Boucher
Rob Scuderi - Kris Letang

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Marc-Andre Fleury (12-9-2 / 2.92 GAA / .905 SV%)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS INJURIES:
Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (shoulder) - on injured reserve
Ruslan Fedotenko (hand) - day-to-day, will miss tonight's game
Pascal Dupuis (undisclosed) - day-to-day, will miss tonight's game


NASHVILLE PREDATORS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Vernon Fiddler - Jason Arnott - Martin Erat
J.P. Dumont - David Legwand - Joel Ward
Antti Pihlstrom - Rich Peverley - Jordin Tootoo
Jerred Smithson - Radek Bonk - Wade Belak

Shea Weber - Ryan Suter
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Zanon
Greg de Vries - Kevin Klein

NASHVILLE PREDATORS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Dan Ellis (10-14-3 / 2.83 GAA / .903 SV%)

NASHVILLE PREDATORS INJURIES:
Steve Sullivan (back surgery) - on injured reserve
Scott Nichol (concussion-like symptoms) - on injured reserve


PENGUINS LEADERS:
GOALS: Malkin (16)
ASSISTS: Malkin (48)
POINTS: Malkin (63)
+/-: Malkin (+18)

NASHVILLE PREDATORS LEADERS:
GOALS: Arnott (15)
ASSISTS: Dumont (25)
POINTS: Dumont (32)
+/-: Weber (+8)


This is another "must-win" for the Penguins. The Nashville Predators are not a powerhouse by any means, but the Penguins cannot afford to take them lightly. Every loss from now on leaves the Penguins falling further out of the playoffs.

The Penguins have once again changed their lines. If these lines last, they look very interesting. First of all, newly re-signed Jordan Staal moves onto Sidney Crosby's wing, leaving Maxime Talbot to center the third line. Alongside Talbot will be Matt Cooke and Alex Goligoski. Goligoski moves from defense to forward once again.

I think these are great moves, if they last. First of all, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy played quite well together earlier in the season when they were the third line with Matt Cooke. Hopefully they mesh well with Sidney Crosby.

Secondly, on a team with a plethora of offensive defensemen and a lack of goal scoring wingers, it makes sense to try Alex Goligoski at wing. If he succeeds there it could solve two problems for the Penguins.

Staal and Goligoski succeeding at their new positions could mean a lot for the Penguins. If the two can transform themselves into capable wingers the Penguins may not need to look outside of the organization for help.

The Nashville Predators have lost their last five games, and seven of their last ten, so they are in a slump similar to the Penguins. The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost against weak teams this year already, so hopefully they do not continue the trend tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal once again following a great performance on Tuesday night.

Prediction: 5-3 Penguins

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