Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 5-1 loss against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.
*The Pens were killed tonight by odd-man rushes, particularly in the second period. The Predators scored four goals in the middle frame, and all of them came off of odd-man rushes. The problem originates in puck management, as turnovers and a quick-strike response by Nashville created those rush opportunities. A second problem was the Pens not getting back in time to negate the advantage. The Predators were also opportunistic in finishing off those chances and deserve credit.
*Marc-Andre Fleury may take some heat for this loss, but it can't be put on his shoulders. He faced only 23 shots in the game, but 20 of them were high-quality chances. He was beaten on four odd-man rushes and while killing a penalty. Even though he gave up five goals, Fleury is not the reason the Pens lost this game.
*The Pens are really missing Kris Letang on defense and it really showed tonight. He eats so many minutes (26-28 a game) and is so reliable every time he's on the ice. Letang is arguably the team's most irreplaceable player. And right now Pittsburgh is hurting without him.
*Mike Condon made his Pens' debut in the third period. It was the right call by the Pens. Fleury has seen a lot of rubber and logged a lot of minutes in the early going this season. He needed a break, the game was out of hand and Condon gets to come in for a low-pressure situation to break in.