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Preview: Penguins at Predators

Nashville hit by food poisoning; injuries force Pittsburgh to break up 'HBK Line'

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (3-1-1) at PREDATORS (1-3-0)

8 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 

Penguins team scope

The Pittsburgh Penguins will break up the "HBK Line" of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday. Kessel was moved to the top line alongside forwards Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin, and forward Bryan Rust joined Hagelin and Bonino on the second line. "[Rust] will get in on the forecheck, he'll push their [defense] back," Bonino said. "He's one of the faster guys on the team, too. He's got a good shot. You saw that in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs] last year. He's a smart player. Hopefully we just get the puck in their zone and play in the offensive zone." Defenseman Derrick Pouliot could be out long-term with a lower-body injury and defenseman Kris Letang remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. Captain Sidney Crosby (concussion) skated Saturday, and Sullivan said Pittsburgh will see how he responds. Defenseman David Warsofsky will be in the lineup after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

 

Predators team scope

The Predators are battling food poisoning heading into the game. Forwards Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith missed more than half of a 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday because of illness, and Predators general manager David Poile said several players have been affected. "Last night we got into a situation where we suspect that we're dealing with some food poisoning in Detroit," Poile said. "I can't be too specific. Obviously we have a game tonight and we're doing some roster management right now. We'll have some more clarity, obviously, when we get closer to the game and at warmup, but we've got a lot of guys that are sick right now." It is unclear who will be available to play for the Predators on Saturday. Forward James Neal and defensemen Roman Josi and P.K. Subban addressed the media and said they felt good. Eight of Nashville's 10 goals this season have come on the power play.

 
Penguins projected lineup

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Bryan Rust

Scott Wilson - Matt Cullen - Patric Hornqvist

Tom Sesito - Eric Fehr - Tom Kuhnhackl

Brian Dumoulin - Trevor Daley

Ian Cole - Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta - David Warsofsky

Marc-Andre Fleury

Mike Condon

Scratched: None

Injured: Sidney Crosby (concussion), Kris Letang (upper body), Matt Murray (hand), Derrick Pouliot (lower body), Conor Sheary (eye)

 
Predators projected lineup

Calle Jarnkrok - Ryan Johansen - James Neal

Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Viktor Arvidsson

Cody Bass - Colton Sissons - Kevin Fiala

Roman Josi - P.K. Subban

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Matt Carle - Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Marek Mazanec

Scratched: None

Injured: Anthony Bitetto (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (upper body)

 
Status report

Fleury was the first goaltender off the ice for the Penguins at the morning skate and is expected to start. … The Predators did not hold a morning skate.

 
Who's hot

Malkin has five points (two goals, three assists) in five games for the Penguins. … Fisher has three goals in four games for the Predators.

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