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Penguins at Predators preview

Pittsburgh has won four of five; Josi tries to extend goal streak to six games

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

PENGUINS (21-11-4) at PREDATORS (18-12-6)



The Game

Roman Josi will try to extend his goal streak to six games when the Nashville Predators host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.

Josi has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in his past five games. His five-game goal streak is an NHL career high and is the longest by a defenseman since Mike Green scored in an NHL-record eight consecutive games with the Washington Capitals from Jan. 27-Feb. 14, 2009.

The Predators are 4-0-1 in their past five games and 9-3-3 in their past 15.

The Penguins are 4-1-0 in their past five games and are 10-4-0 in their past 14. Defenseman Kris Letang has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games.


Players to watch

Penguins forward Bryan Rust has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past six games.

Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"I just know that they're a hard team. I think they've won six of their last 10 games, so they're feeling good about themselves. It's going to be a strange game. Both teams have been off for three or four days each, so it might be a little bit of a slop fest to start." -- Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese on facing the Predators

"Obviously [Sidney Crosby] isn't playing, but they've got [Evgeni Malkin] and a couple of big guys who can score a lot of goals. Every time you play them, they're a dangerous team. They're fast. They're skilled. It's always an up-and-down game." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi on playing the Penguins


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jared McCann -- Dominik Kahun

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Sam Lafferty -- Joseph Blandisi -- Dominik Simon

Jack Johnson -- Kris Letang

Juuso Riikola -- John Marino

Marcus Pettersson -- Chad Ruhwedel

Tristan Jarry

Matt Murray

Scratched: Thomas Di Pauli, Kevin Czuczman

Injured: Sidney Crosby (core muscle), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Brian Dumoulin (lower body), Patric Hornqvist (lower body), Justin Schultz (lower body)


Predators projected lineup

Calle Jarnkrok -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Filip Forsberg -- Matt Duchene -- Mikael Granlund

Rocco Grimaldi -- Kyle Turris -- Craig Smith

Colton Sissons -- Nick Bonino -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- Dante Fabbro

Dan Hamhuis -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Yannick Weber, Jarred Tinordi, Colin Blackwell

Injured: None


Status report

Hornqvist participated in the morning skate but will not play. … The Predators recalled Blackwell and Tinordi from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Friday.


Stat pack

Malkin has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 12 games against the Predators. … Rinne is 3-5-3 with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in 11 games against the Penguins.

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