The Nashville Predators were one team that probably did not want to go into the All-Star break due to the level of play they were getting from the roster. The Predators had received a point in five straight contests, and winners of four of the last five matches. The team was playing as well as they had been all season. Filip Forsberg was producing at high levels with four goals in five contests and four game winning goals in the last eight games. James Neal, coming off of injury, had returned to his high-scoring form with three goals in five match-ups. The Predators must keep up their pre-break intensity and scoring. It is necessary to keep pace as the push for the playoffs continue.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are an interesting squad to evaluate regarding their home vs away record. At home, they are one of the best teams in the NHL with a record of 20-3-2 on home ice. Away from Pittsburgh, the team is 10-10-3, including a 5-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville earlier this season. The Predators will go into the Steel City against a very talented, determined squad. Before the All-Star break, the Penguins lost two straight and needed the time off to get healthy and recuperate from a physically demanding first half. Nashville will need to be ready to perform at their optimum level against a tough Eastern Division opponent.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will likely be without Evgeni Malkin in tonight’s contest. The Magnitogorsk, Russia native is currently listed on injured reserve for a lower-body injury. In 47 games this season, Malkin has amassed 22 goals, 32 assists for a total of 54 points. He is one of the best offensive players in the world, along with Sidney Crosby. The Preds are at an advantage with the possibility of not have Malkin on the ice, but this team is still a dangerous squad.
Tonight, the Predators will get back on the ice for the second half of this season. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 6:00 pm!