Pens Prep For Predators

Mar 20, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing James Neal (18) reacts after scoring his third goal of the night against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Penguins play the Nashville Predators in Pittsburgh Tomorrow night.     Pens are coming off an 8 goal night against the Winnipeg Jets during which several players had opportunities for a hat trick though only 1 did get one, and that was James Neal.   Do not expect that same kind of game tomorrow as the Pens will be playing a much more disciplined defensive team.   

The Penguins were able to rest Malkin and Joe Vitale today and Brent Johnson was on the ice for the second day in a row but before practice.     Bylsma is looking for the defense to tighten up after that last game.    That he said was one of a few items the team needs to work on.

The Lines will remain the same as far as the top three go and the coach does not plan to change them though he does flop them around during a game.     He did say that the line combinations are not set in stone and that should be expected with Sidney Crosby still on the 3rd line.     I do not think Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy are currently complaining though.

Evgeni Malkin is coming off of a 5 point night and he currently has a 9 point lead over Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.     Malkin is 7 goals behind Stamkos in the goals lead  with 43.    Steven Stamkos has scored 84 points and scored 50 goals on a team that is on the outside looking in with little chance to make the playoffs.

Nashville comes into tomorrow nights game 5-4 and 1 in their last 10 games.    They have a balanced scoring attack with no real superstars.   Defensively, they are as stout as is gets and are  led by defense men Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.     The Goal scoring leaders on this team are Paric Hornqvist and Mike Fisher with 24 and 23 goals respectively.     Expect the Predator defense to continue to play tight against the vest tomorrow night.

The Penguins will have their hands full and it will be interesting to see how this offensive juggernaut plays against one of the Better Defenses in the Western Conference.      The Puck drops at 7pm tomorrow.

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Topics: Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

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