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game recap

Josi goal streak ends at five in Predators' loss to Penguins

Defenseman has assist for Nashville; Pittsburgh has won five of six

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

Rust taps in beautiful feed

PIT@NSH: Rust scores on one-touch off Guentzel's pass

Bryan Rust sends the puck into an open net on a beautiful feed from Jake Guentzel, adding to the Penguins' lead in the 2nd period

  • 00:31 •

NASHVILLE -- Roman Josi's NHL career-high five-game goal streak ended, and the Nashville Predators lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.

The defenseman had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (seven goals, three assists). His goal streak was the longest by a Predators defenseman.

Juuso Riikola had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (22-11-4), who are 5-1-0 in their past six games. They will host the Predators at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-TN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV).


[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Predators highlights]


"When you get offense throughout your lineup like that, it gives you a much better chance to win," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "That's what it takes, especially given the circumstances that we're in right now. It's a good win for us. I thought our guys played hard. I think we've got to stay out of the penalty box a little bit more, but for the most part I thought it was a pretty solid effort."

The Predators (18-13-6) are 4-1-1 in their past six games.

"It's a wake-up call," said Josi, Nashville's captain. "We need to be better. Like I said, they scored most of their goals right in front of our goalies. There's nothing they can do. We need to be better and defend better."

Video: PIT@NSH: Riikola lifts puck to the top-left corner

Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson said, "We were in the [offensive] zone a lot in the second [period]. We didn't get to the net. We didn't get to rebounds and stuff like that. We need to be better."

Dominik Simon gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 2:17 of the first period on a wrist shot from the left circle.

Craig Smith tied the game 1-1 for the Predators at 4:30 of the first period on a redirection of a shot by Mattias Ekholm.

Alex Galchenyuk gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead at 14:16 of the first period on a redirection.

Video: PIT@NSH: Galchenyuk knocks in the rebound

"It's no secret, I want to produce more," Galchenyuk said. "Every game I'm going out there and trying to create something. I was good off today, but at the same time I've got to stick with it and keep working."

Teddy Blueger gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead 34 seconds later on a rebound.

"Everybody wants to make a highlight goal and score them, but goals like this win the game," Galchenyuk said. "There was a lot of them. Especially in this League, it's harder and harder to get a goal and you need to get some garbage ones sometimes."

Juuse Saros replaced Predators goalie Pekka Rinne after Blueger's goal. Rinne made three saves on six shots.

Bryan Rust gave the Penguins a 4-1 lead at 4:38 of the second period on a deflection from the slot.

"We showed our depth tonight," Rust said. "I think a lot of guys stepped up. We had a couple of lulls in the game where they pushed hard, and we had to defend hard. I mean you have to expect that. They have a good team. Once they get down, they're going to push back, and I think we did a good job of responding."

Riikola gave the Penguins a 5-1 lead at 18:04 of the second period.

Arvidsson scored on a redirect of a Josi shot for the Predators to make it 5-2 at 9:18 of the third period.

"I think we started off pretty good and then had a couple of tough goals I feel like," Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok said. "After that we couldn't really recover. We've got to be better defensively. I feel like that's what got us today."

Video: PIT@NSH: Arvidsson deflects puck past Jarry


They said it

"Especially coming out of the break, it's huge. Just to be able to kind of jump on a team early, get that lead and build momentum." -- Penguins forward Bryan Rust on getting off to a good start in the first period after the Christmas break

"I think that there's things that we can talk about doing tomorrow, both offensively and defensively that can help us be more successful. I thought our guys showed up with the right frame of mind, ready to compete." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette


Need to know

Predators forward Colton Sissons (lower body) and defenseman Dan Hamhuis (upper body) left the game in the first period. … Pittsburgh forward Patric Hornqvist participated in the morning skate Friday. He's been out the past nine games because of a lower-body injury. … Nashville recalled defenseman Jarred Tinordi from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Friday. He could play Saturday.


What's next

Penguins: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-TN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-TN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Video: PIT@NSH: Riikola notches two points in Penguins' win

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