VERIZON GAME DAY REPORT
Sam Kasan has all the latest from Nashville... --Michelle Crechiolo
PENSTV INTERVIEWSSidney Crosby Matt Niskanen --Michelle Crechiolo
Pens talk the Predators and more...--Michelle Crechiolo
Here's what Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma had to say following morning skate...
- There are no injury updates. Beau Bennett, Chris Conner and Tomas Vokoun skated after the team practice. The closest to return to practice is Conner.
- Marc-Andre Fleury is starting in goal tonight vs. Nashville. The rest of the lineup will be a game-time decision.
MORNING SKATE PICS
The Pens hit the ice at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time for their morning skate...
Captain Crosby surveys the scene
Amazing action shot by Sam Kasan, catching Fleury's stick in mid-air after he apparently hurls it at Neal
Not sure if this was taken before or after the stick throwing...
Assistant coach Tony Granato talks to his penalty killers
Assistant coach Todd Reirden gets his closeup
Rookie Olli Maatta lines up a shot
Adams and Neal
Does Fleury see Geno sneaking to the back door?
He certainly sees Geno here--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE DEETS
All the healthy Penguins players were present and accounted for at their morning skate in Nashville. The team used the following workflow...
The six defensemen rotated with three at each end.
PP1: Malkin, Niskanen on top. Crosby, Neal, Kunitz down low.
PP2: Maatta, Despres on top. Sutter, Jokinen, Gibbons down low.--Sam Kasan
RINNE TO RETURN
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne will return to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 22. He underwent surgery to clean an infection in his hip and has missed the last 51 games. His first test back: the Pittsburgh Penguins. --Sam Kasan
The Pens don't make it down to Nashville too often. Check out Michelle Crechiolo's scouting report on the Preds below... --Sam Kasan
START THE DAY
Good morning hockey fans! Tonight the Pens continue their season-long five-game road trip with a stop in the Music City. They'll battle the Nashville Predators, who will have Pekka Rinne in goal for the first time since October 22 due to an infection in his surgically repaired hip. Pittsburgh will take the ice at 11:30 a.m. Central time (12:30 p.m. Eastern time) for their morning skate. Here are some game notes to get you started...
- The Penguins continue along their five-game road swing against the Nashville Predators (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at Bridgestone Arena.
- The Penguins are hoping to end a season-high-tying three-game winless stretch tonight (0-1-2). Pittsburgh is also looking to avoid losing back-to-back regulation games for the first time since dropping three-straight regulation contests from Nov. 6-13.
- The Penguins ended that three-game losing stretch in November by posting a 4-1 victory against the Nashville Predators at CONSOL Energy Center on Nov. 15.
- Pittsburgh has a three-game winning streak against the Predators and it is unbeaten in four-straight contests against them (3-0-1).
- Nashville’s last regulation win against the Penguins came on Jan. 8, 2009 (5-3) here at Bridgestone Arena.
- In Pittsburgh’s most-recent visit to Nashville on Oct. 21, 2010, Sidney Crosby forced overtime by tying the contest at 3-3 last in the third period and Kris Letang tallied the overtime winner to secure a 4-3 win. Crosby (2G-1A), Letang (1G-2A) and Evgeni Malkin (1G-1A) combined to register eight of Pittsburgh’s 12 points.
- The Penguins have been perfect on the PK in three straight road games (8-for-8).
Stick tap: Pens PR
Since we are in the Music City it would only be appropriate to open the day with some country music. Here is a favorite of mine, Zac Brown Band doing "Chicken Fried."
Enjoy. --Sam Kasan