The Pittsburgh Penguins broke their three-game slump at the expense of the Nashville Predators by a score of 4-1 on Friday, extending Nashville’s losing streak to four games.
It was also a night in which some struggling Penguins bounced back. James Neal scored his first goal of 2013-14, possibly showing that he’s over the injury issues that have limited him to just four games. Evgeni Malkin looked strong and Pascal Dupuis ended his month-long goalless nightmare.
The Predators must feel like the ultimate rebound generator right now. The Winnipeg Jets had lost seven of nine before trampling Nashville 5-0. New Jersey just ended a slump of its own before beating the Predators. The New York Islanders’ only win in their last six games came against Nashville and now Pittsburgh broke its dry spell tonight.
Nashville isn’t just losing; the Predators are getting pummeled. They’ve been outscored 17-2 in their last four games. Even golden rookie Seth Jones seems to be struggling; he played in less than three minutes in the first period and didn’t log his usual hefty amount of ice time (17:23 overall).
Considering the big changes in Buffalo and Florida this past week, Preds head coach Barry Trotz and maybe even GM David Poile might be feeling the heat.