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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators

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GAME: Pittsburgh Penguins (9-20-5-3) at Nashville Predators (16-14-4-2).

TIME: Thursday, 3 p.m. EST.

A game against one of the worst teams in the league could prove to be pretty important to the Nashville Predators.

The Predators hope to avoid a letdown against the Pittsburgh Penguins as they prepare for a stretch against some of the top teams in the league.

Nashville, which is coming off a four-game road trip, faces one of its toughest tests in the coming weeks. After taking on visiting Pittsburgh, Nashville has successive games against New Jersey, Toronto, Detroit, Colorado and St. Louis, five of the top eight teams in the NHL.

The Predators, who are in ninth place in the Western Conference, probably can't spare the points against the lowly Penguins. Nashville has just two wins in its last 11 games (2-4-3-2), and is coming off a 5-2 loss to San Jose on Monday.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz pulled goalie Tomas Vokoun after the Predators fell behind 3-0 in the first period. Vokoun will enter this game still one win shy of matching Mike Dunham's franchise record of 81.

"The first period wasn't a good period, not good at all," Trotz said. "We sat and watched as San Jose skated by us. We gave them too much respect. I wasn't happy with our defense."

Marek Zidlicky and Rem Murray scored in the loss for the Predators

On Wednesday, the Predators claimed forward Jason Morgan off waivers from the Calgary Flames. Morgan had two assists in 13 games with Calgary this season, and six goals and 12 assists in 18 games with Lowell of the AHL.

Last season, Morgan led Lowell with 40 assists. He also scored 13 goals.

The Penguins, meanwhile, are coming off a 6-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Penguins goalie Sebastien Caron, who had 31 saves Monday in shutting out Chicago 1-0, was pulled after allowing five goals on 22 shots in the first two periods.

"You're going to have nights like this in the course of the season," Olczyk said. "One of these nights is tough to overcome."

The loss left the last-place Penguins with just one win in their last seven (1-4-1-1).

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