There's a lot of storylines in tonight's Pittsburgh Penguins
/ Nashville Predators
game tonight. Among some of the best:
-The return of Alex Radulov. The 25 year old Russian played two seasons in the NHL for Nashville, scoring 26 goals in his second year in 2007-08. But instead of finishing the third year of his entry level contract, Radulov bolted back to Russia in order to make a lot more money. Now he's back to bolster Nashville's playoff chances. His future past this spring is very unknown, but he's sure to be a difference maker while he's here.
-It'd be hard to beat the records of the two starting goaltenders. Pekka Rinne
is 39-15-8 with a 2.41 GAA and .923 save percentage. Marc-Andre Fleury's
boxcars are just as good with 39-14-4, 2.26 and .916, respectively. Whoever wins tonight will be the first goalie in the league this season to 40 wins. While Henrik Lundqvist
probably has the Vezina trophy all locked up for goalie of the year, either (or both) of these netminders in tonight's game could be finalists.
-Since returning from a knee injury on February 11th, Jordan Staal
has 7 goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 18 games. With Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
gobbling up all the credit, recognition and attention, Staal continues to click on and produce at levels unseen in his career.
-As usual, Nashville's strength is their balance as well. Six players have 43+ points so far this season. The Penguins, despite being tops in the NHL in goals/game, have only four players with 43+ points. Of course, the Pens have Malkin (93) and James Neal
(73) with a lot more points than the Preds leading scorer (Martin Erat
-A win or an OT/SO loss tonight and the Pens are officially, 100% clinched with a playoff berth. Since the Rangers
beat the Red Wings
last night, Pittsburgh is 3 points back of NYR with one game in hand for the Pens. Pressure is still on to get the top seed in the East.
-Nashville, for their part, sit 5th in the West, but would climb ov