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Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Nashville Predators 11/28/2023 - Lines, how to watch

Expect yet another new version of the power play as the Pens work to spoil a five-game win streak for the Preds.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (10-10-0, 20 points, 6th place Metropolitan Division) @ Nashville Predators (10-10-0, 20 points, 5th place Central Division)

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: SportsNet Pittsburgh for the visitors, Bally Sports South for the home team, streaming on ESPN+

Pens’ Path Ahead: The Pens have another road game coming up against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday before returning home Saturday for the first game of a home-and-away set against some old friends from Philadelphia.

Opponent Track: The Predators have the exact same 10-10 record and 20 points as the Penguins, but are on a notably different trajectory. After going 5-10 in the first 15 games of the season, Nashville has now won five straight, righting the ship to a .500 record. The Predators staved off a last surge from the Winnipeg Jets Sunday to win 3-2 in regulation at home and improve to 7-4 at Bridgestone Arena.

Season Series: The Pens won’t see this team again until the penultimate game of the season, and the last home game of 2023-24, when the Predators visit PPG Paints Arena on April 15.

Hidden Stat: Tristan Jarry ranks fourth among all active goaltenders (with minimum three games played against Nashville) with a 1.72 GAA and .938 save percentage in four games against the Predators. (Pens PR)

Getting to know the Predators

Lines from Sunday’s game

FORWARDS

Filip Forsberg - Ryan O’Reilly - Gustav Nyquist

Kiefer Sherwood - Juuso Pärssinen - Luke Evangelista

Yakov Trenin - Colton Sissons - Cole Smith

Michael McCarron - Philip Tomasino

DEFENSEMEN

Ryan McDonagh - Roman Josi

Jeremy Lauzon - Alexandre Carrier

Spencer Stasney - Tyson Barrie

Luke Schenn

Goalies: Juuse Saros, Kevin Lankinen

Possible scratches: Liam Foudy, Dante Fabbro

IR: Cody Glass, Thomas Novak

  • The Preds skated with seven defensemen Sunday night after activating Luke Schenn from an 18-game stint on the IR, sitting Liam Foudy as a healthy scratch. From head coach Andrew Burnette on the decision to ice seven defensemen (h/t The Hockey News’ Ann Kimmel):

“We haven’t practiced a lot [with Schenn]. I would like to see him practice for a week straight, but our schedule right now is so condensed and we need some rest, so it’s hard to get him in the flow of practice. We thought we’d give him a look tonight, let him play. Let him feel his way in.”

Given the return of blueliner Ryan McDonagh from injury, and the move of forwards Cody Glass and Thomas Novak to IR, the Preds have a deeper defense than offense and could decide to go with seven defensemen again tonight if Schenn is good to go (he didn’t play in the final nine minutes of the Preds’ one-goal Sunday win.)

  • The Preds are leaning heavily on Juuse Saros, who has started 16 of their 20 games so far this season. He put up 33 saves in Sunday’s win and was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week on Monday thanks to a 3-0 record, 2.35 GAA and .921 save percentage in his last three starts.

Player stats

(via hockeydb)

  • Predators captain Roman Josi has points in four consecutive games (two goals, three assists.)
  • Gustav Nyquist is on the second-longest production streak of his NHL career with points in eight straight games (two goals, eight assists.)

Getting to know the Penguins

Infographic courtesy of Pens PR

Projected lines

FORWARDS

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust (?)

Reilly Smith - Evgeni Malkin - Drew O’Connor

Radim Zohorna - Lars Eller - Vinnie Hinostroza

Matt Nieto - Noel Acciari - Jeff Carter

DEFENSEMEN

Ryan Graves / Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson / Erik Karlsson

Ryan Shea / John Ludvig

Goalies: Tristan Jarry (Alex Nedeljkovic started last night)

Potential scratches: Jansen Harkins, Alex Nylander (if Bryan Rust can go)

IR: P.O. Joseph (lower body injury), Rickard Rakell (upper body injury), Chad Ruhwedel (lower body injury)

Season opening IR: Will Butcher

  • P.O. Joseph skated before practice for the first time since hitting the IR, per DK Pittsburgh Sports’ Alex Stumpf.
  • Bryan Rust, who was been sidelined for three games with a lower-body injury, was back with the Penguins for practice Monday and will be a game-time decision tonight, per Mike Sullivan and Pens Inside Scoop. Speaking of Rust...
  • The (12.5% successful) Penguins power play is set for (more) changes after what Stumpf described as a “very power play-heavy practice” with no line rushes:

Here’s some good news for the Penguins: the Predators boast one of the least effective penalty kills in the NHL (72.7% success rate) and have allowed power-play goals against in 13 of their 20 games so far.

  • Streak watch: Sidney Crosby has goals in five straight away games, tying the Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar for the longest active road scoring streak in the NHL. He has eight goals over that span. (Pens PR)
  • Milestone watch: Erik Karlsson needs one more game-winning goal to reach 35 in his career and take sole possession of second place in the category among all active defensemen. He is currently tied with the Florida Panthers’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson at 34, two ahead of Kris Letang (32) and trailing the Carolina Hurricanes’ Brent Burns (42) for the league lead. (Pens PR)