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Game Preview: Pens-Preds

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

The Penguins return to Nashville for the first time since clinching the Stanley Cup on June 11 at Bridgestone Arena.

MATCH: Penguins vs. Predators

TIME: 8 p.m. ET

PLACE: Bridgestone Arena

TV: AT&T SportsNet

RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X

5 THINGS:

1. Dating back to the start of last season, the home team has won eight of the nine meetings between the Pens and Preds. The lone exception was Pittsburgh's 2-0 win in Game 6.

2. Jake Guentzel had four goals and an assist in the six-game series against Nashville last year, and followed that up by scoring in the Oct. 7 meeting, a 4-0 Pens win at PPG Paints Arena. He'll be a player to watch tonight.

3. Both teams have centers who are struggling to score. Sidney Crosby is currently in the midst of a 10-game goalless drought, his last tally coming on Oct. 20 at Florida. Meanwhile, Ryan Johansen has yet to find the back of the net this season. He has zero goals in 15 games.

4. This will be the Pens' first look at Kyle Turris in a Preds jersey. He was acquired last week as part of the blockbuster deal that sent Matt Duchene from Colorado to Ottawa in a three-team trade. Turris, who set up the tying goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Sens, is centering the second line with Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith.

5. Tonight concludes the Pens' sixth set of back-to-backs. They are still looking for their first win in the second game, as they are 0-4-1 in that situation thus far. A lot of the players said the biggest key for them will be having the right mindset. "You can't look for an easy first period or try to get a feel for the game," Crosby said. "You've got to be ready to play a hard game regardless of whether you haven't played for three days or it's a back-to-back, you've got to keep that mindset. Hopefully that's something we can do a better job with."

INJURIES:

PIT - Matt Hunwick  (concussion), Carter Rowney  (hand)

NSH - Nick Bonino (lower body), Ryan Ellis (knee)

MORNING SKATE:

* The Pens did not hold a morning skate with this being the second of back-to-back games. Mike Sullivan will speak to the media at 6 p.m. ET with lineup updates.

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