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RECAP: Penguins Salvage One Point in Shootout Loss to Predators

The Penguins met the Nashville Predators in the Music City for the first time since raising the Stanley Cup on Nashville’s ice back in June.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


The Penguins (9-7-2) were finishing off a back-to-back by facing the Predators (8-5-2) in Nashville for the first time since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final way back in June.

Head Coach Mike Sullivan announced some changes before the game: Tristan Jarry would be in net and Kris Letang would be taken off of the first power-play unit in favor of Justin Schultz.

With that, here was the Penguins’ lineup for tonight:

And the Predators rolled out this starting lineup:

One final note on the Predators’ lineup: this was the Predators debut for the newly-acquired Kyle Turris since he was traded from the Senators in the Matt Duchene deal.

1st Period

54 seconds into the game, Craig Smith was called for hooking. The Pens weren’t able to generate anything here, and even-strength hockey recommenced.

This was a playoff-like atmosphere and hits were flying from both teams.

The pace of play in the period could be described like that of a tennis match; both teams were flying back and forth into the opposing zones and taking shots at will.

With 9:02 left in the first period, Conor Sheary was sent off for holding the stick of Matt Irwin.

Bryan Rust scored a short-handed goal one minute into the Preds power-play to give the Pens the 1-0 lead. The Sheary penalty was successfully killed as well.

At the 16:14 mark of the period, Ryan Johansen was called for cross-checking and Jake Guentzel was called for roughing.

The two minors expired to resume 5-on-5 action and time would soon expire to end the first period.

Some numbers after 20 minutes:

2nd Period

2 minutes in, Kyle Turris scored his first as a Predator and tied the game at 1 after a failed clearing.

With 16:11 left, Jarry was forced out of his net to try and clear the puck, but in the process was called for tripping. 3 seconds later, off the face-off, P.K. Subban gave the Predators the lead.

At 5:16, Kris Letang was sent to the box for roughing to give the Predators another power-play. 13 seconds into the PP, Craig Smith would give the Predators a 3-1 lead. 3 goals were scored in 3 minutes and 28 seconds.

Near the halfway point of the period, Mattias Ekholm was sent to the sin bin for high-sticking Bryan Rust. The Penguins created a few good scoring chances here, but Pekka Rinne kept the door shut.

The Penguins found some life with 7:33 left in the period. Evgeni Malkin fed Phil Kessel beautifully to cut the goal deficit to 1.

Soon after the goal was scored, Subban was called for holding, giving the Penguins a chance to even out the game. Jarry stood tall in a quick shorthanded opportunity for Nashville, but the Predators were able to kill off the penalty. There was a net-front scrum at the end of the power-play where Ekholm took a very noticeable cheap shot to the head of Jake Guentzel. No penalty was called here. 5v5 resumed.

There was a hold called on Justin Schultz with 55.2 seconds left in the period. Time would expire and the Preds would take some carry-over power-play time into the final 20 minutes.

Here are the numbers through two periods of play:

3rd Period

Jake Guentzel tied game on breakaway. He fooled the poor Rinne via the 5-hole.

Calle Jarnkrok curled and dragged to take a lead with 15:13 left in the 3rd period.

Brian Dumoulin then tied the game at 4 with first goal of the season. He took a wonderful pass from Conor Sheary.

With 9:44 left in regulation, the Penguins were awarded a power-play, but couldn’t find a way to break the tie. With 1:24 left on the Pens’ PP, 4-on-4 hockey was called for when Kessel was called for slashing Austin Watson.

Tied at 4, scoring chances were created by both teams, but they would go into overtime to try and settle their differences.


Sidney Crosby had a quick breakaway, but couldn't bury it. The frantic pace and open ice did not fool Pekka Rinne, though. The Penguins really dominated the 3-on-3 OT session, but never found the back of the net. With 20.2 seconds left, tripping was called on Malkin.

The brief power-play amounted to nothing and this game was officially decided in the shootout.


Nashville - Kyle Turris - NO GOAL

Pittsburgh - Malkin - NO GOAL

Nashville - Kevin Fiala - GOAL

Pittsburgh - Crosby - GOAL

Nashville - Filip Forsberg - GOAL

Pittsburgh - Letang - NO GOAL

Nashville wins this one by a score of 5-4.

Final Thoughts

  • Jarry looked pretty sound in net, making huge saves to keep the game close.
  • The resilience of the Penguins was on full display tonight; coming back and tying the game twice was no easy task.
  • 1 point from 2 games certainly isn’t ideal, but given the bad luck the Penguins have had with back-to-backs, the Penguins will have to take it.
  • The Pens are back in action on Tuesday when they return home to face the Buffalo Sabres.