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Pens have good chance to bump slump versus Preds

Nov 15, 2013, 2:59 PM EST

Evgeni Malkin AP

In theory, the Nashville Predators seem like the perfect opponent for the Pittsburgh Penguins to try and jump-start their struggling offense against.

Not only are the Preds languishing in the goals-against department without injured star goalie Pekka Rinne, they’ve also played six straight road games ahead of tonight’s at Consol Energy Center.

“They have been on the road for what to us would seem like forever,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said, per NHL.com. “They’ve been on the road an awful lot and now they’re coming into our building.”

On top of that, the Pens are expected to have Paul Martin back in the lineup after the veteran defenseman missed a pair of games with a lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh could use an offensive breakout. With a mere three goals (none even strength) in their last three games (each of them regulation losses), the Pens find themselves just one point ahead of Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The club’s two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, Evgeni Malkin, has gone 11 games without scoring a goal, managing just six shots in his last five games.

  1. curioustraveler13 - Nov 15, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I am looking forward to seeing Seth Jones tonight. Hopefully the pens get back on the winning track tonight, but more importantly i hope they start playing up to their potential. Its crazy how much better the western conference is then the eastern conference.

  2. muckleflugga - Nov 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    look up the term overrated…you’ll find the pittsburgh penguins

    all those draft lottery wins, the cagy acquisition of those rock-solid veterans including perennial never was or will jarome iginla by professor shero, who in the moment was anointed manager of the year and pens cup winners, one would think they’d actually be able to ice a contender?

    look past the ballyhoo and you’ll see a sickness on that team, and it goes by the name of envy cloaked in robes of jealousy…

    i’ve never seen players so purposefully ignored by teammates as are crosby and malkin…there must be reason

    • curioustraveler13 - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      Haha wait the pens can’t i”ice a contender” yet were in the eastern conference finals last year. Your hatred for the pens plus your lack of basic intelligence is amusing. I really do love people who hate the pens. You guys make me smile .

      • stakex - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        How did the Pens do in the Eastern Conference Finals last year?

        I’m not going to rag on the Pens or anything, but if you want to talk about them being finishers…. I’m not sure I would bring up last years ECF’s.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        Top 4 teams in the NHL still qualifies as a contender last time I checked. When was the last time the rangers were “finishers”? Lundqvist has never been one so far.

    • killerpgh - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      “All those draft lottery wins”. What does that even mean? The only lottery the Pens won was the Crosby lottery. They “lost” the Draft lottery and the Caps got Ovechkin. The Pens traded up to get MAF with the 1st overall pick. So if by “all those lottery wins” you mean “the 1 time that all 30 teams had a chance at the 1st overall pick” then I guess it makes sense.

  3. laxman1944 - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    They’re missing something though.

    Kind of reminds me a bit of when Lindros/Leclair were playing in that everybody is waiting for them to do all the scoring.

    And when they are not scoring……well….you lose.

    Losing Cooke/Kennedy/Talbot/Staal……not so easily replaced.

    • drone501 - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      as a pens fan, i think you hit the nail right on the head. just seems like there is something missing on this team. after all the trades last season i thought they locked up the cup. something just doesn’t seem right. hope im wrong.

  4. jmikeymania - Nov 15, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    The quality of the role players is what is missing. Cooke-Kennedy-Staal could push the team through rough patches. Losing Scuds hurt a lot too. It’s like the defense went with him when he got hurt & we regressed to last years defense. Playoff Fleury still scares me as well. I wouldn’t mind a power forward also…like Stevens/Malone & sit in front of the net & pick up rebounds. I could go on…

  5. steelers88 - Nov 15, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Jmikeymania
    I agree with you that the role players NEED to step up for the Penguins. Sutter to me has been a huge disappointment since he came to the Penguins. Losing Cooke and Kennedy didn’t help either. I bet if Ray Shero had to do it again he would have kept Jordan Staal and would have gotten rid of Kris Letang. However I don’t think the defense has been greatly effected by the Scuderi injury.

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