The Nashville Predators take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on national TV, Thursday night, in an inter-conference showdown. The Nashville Predators' record this season is 42-23-8 with 92 points and ranked 4th in the Western Conference. The Pittsburgh Penguins' record this season is 45-21-6 with 96 points and ranked 4th in the Western Conference. Puck drops at a special start time, 6:08 PM CT.
Coverage in Nashville: FS-TN and 102.5 The Game
Coverage in Pittsburgh: ROOT and 105.9 The X
Coverage in the States: NHL Network-US
Line Up News
Projected Starting Goalie:
Projected Nashville Scratches: #23 W Brian McGrattan, #59 D Roman Josi (Upper Body), #49 D Ryan Ellis, #28 C Paul Gaustad (Upper Body), #72 W Jack Maclellan, #33 C Colin Wilson (Groin) and #18 W Brandon Yip
Projected Pittsburgh Scratches: #6 D Ben Lovejoy, #1 G Brent Johnson (Undisclosed), #12 W Richard Park, #15 C Dustin Jeffrey and #46 C Joe Vitale (Undisclosed)
Pittsburgh Penguins Players To Watch:
|#71 Evgeni Malkin||43||50|
|#18 James Neal||35||37|
|#87 Sidney Crosby||2||19|
Games to Watch For: Flames @ Wild at 7 PM, Canucks @ Stars at 7:30 PM, Avalanche @ Coyotes at 9 PM, Blues @ Kings at 9:30 PM and Bruins @ Sharks at 9:30 PM
Thoughts on Both Teams
It is no secret everyone, the Pittsburgh Penguins are good. Good goaltending, good defense, and great scoring. The scoring talent in that roster is just phenomenal. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, "The Real Deal" James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Jordan Staal, Pascal Dupuis and former Pred, Steve Sullivan. The last game the Penguins played was Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, where they had to outscore their opponent to win the game, 8-4. Pittsburgh is the hottest team in the NHL with a 9-0-1 record in their last ten games. The Penguins want this game bad, because they want to take the number one spot in the Eastern Conference. For the Penguins to win Thursday night, they will have to play a lot better defensively and not rely on outscoring the Predators and Pekka Rinne.
The Nashville Predators enter this game off a terrible, 6-3 loss, to the Edmonton Oilers. The Predators' record in the last ten games is 5-4-1. Nashville is falling behind as they can't seem to win enough. They are dropping down the standings right now, and Barry Trotz can't have that. Thursday night is an important game, but for a different reason. The Nashville Predators rarely get nationally television air-time. A win against Pittsburgh, has to boost their coverage. Also, Alexander Radulov returns to the Nashville Predators line-up. More on that down the page. IN order for the Predators to win, they have to play expert defense, score a lot of goals and Rinne has to stand on his head.
Alexander Radulov Back in the Line-Up
For the first time in a very long time, Smashville will be able to watch Alexander Radulov play in a Predators uniform. Nashville Predators fans, and David Poile, have been waiting for him to return to Nashville ever since he's left. In this past month, there have been a heavy press on Alex Radulov coming back. March 15 was supposed to be the date we heard from him, but that was deemed impossible. Now, March 21, we know for sure, that Radulov is a Predator. Welcome back Alex!
Here is the projected line-up for the Nashville Predators, by me, since Alex Radulov is back in the line-up.
|Alexander Radulov||David Legwand||Patric Hornqvist|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||Mike Fisher||Martin Erat|
|Gabriel Bourque||Craig Smith||Andrei Kostitsyn|
|Matt Halischuk||Nick Spaling||Jordin Tootoo|
Here is the Press Conference of Radulov and Poile, in case you missed it.
All I want to know is, Are you ready for #RadsWatch?
Best Goalies on Showcase
Thursday night, we all get to see the two arguably best goalies on the NHL. The Nashville Predators have goalie, Pekka Rinne, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury. Both goalies have 39 wins and are tied for the league lead. Winner of this game will be the league leader in the wins department, which is a big deal for the Vezina Trophy. I would like to see a goalie showdown, where both goalies allow less than three goals each. Although, with these two high-powered offenses, I highly doubt that.