Tag: Pittsburgh Penguins

Detroit Red Wings v Nashville Predators

Preds’ Neal day-to-day after missing Saturday’s game

The Nashville Predators have been cold lately, but they picked up a big win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. James Neal wasn’t on the ice for Nashville though as he’s dealing with an upper-body injury that’s believed to be the result of cumulative strain rather than a recent event, per The Tennessean.

Neal, who also missed Saturday’s morning skate, is regarded as day-to-day. The one-time 40-goal scorer has 22 markers and 35 points in 63 games in 2014-15.

With Neal sidelined, Calle Jarnkrok came out of the press box after being scratched in two straight contests. Mike Santorelli assumed Neal’s place on a line with Colin Wilson and Mike Ribeiro.

Nashville acquired Neal from Pittsburgh in June in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. While Neal hasn’t been as prolific offensively as he was in Pittsburgh, the Predators have excelled this season with a 43-20-7 record. They’re tied with Anaheim for first place in the Western Conference ahead of Sunday’s game against the Ducks.

NHL on NBC: Slumping Wings hope to take advantage of wounded Penguins

Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Letang

NBC will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Detroit Red Wings at the Consol Energy Center at 12:30 p.m. ET today. In addition to NBC, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

Any time you suffer a 7-2 loss, it’s going to be embarrassing. However Detroit’s blowout defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday was particularly humbling given that it was the Red Wings’ fourth loss in five games.

“Disappointing. That’s a good word,” captain Henrik Zetterberg told the team’s website. “It’s too many games now where the opposing team is faster, stronger from the start. We’ve talked about it. We’ve addressed it after games but you can’t just talk about it. You’ve got to go out and show it. Enough is enough.”

Zetterberg added that he hoped the team hit rock bottom.

Playing a matinee against Pittsburgh is usually not an ideal way to snap out of a rough stretch, but the Penguins might be entering this game in a vulnerable position. Although Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff returned from a concussion on Saturday, captain Sidney Crosby (undisclosed) was scratched just before the start of play and Evgeni Malkin sustained a lower-body injury that prevented him from finishing the contest. With their two best players out, the Penguins suffered a 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

It’s not yet known if Crosby and/or Malkin will be available Sunday, but forward Andrew Ebbett has been summoned. If Pittsburgh is forced to play without one or both of its superstar forwards, then it would naturally be a significant break for Detroit.

At the same time, Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Penguins, so barring a last-minute surprise, they’ll at least have one of the best goaltenders of the 2014-15 campaign playing between the pipes. He has a 2.17 GAA and .924 save percentage in 53 contests this season. After Jimmy Howard’s rough start on Saturday, Detroit is expected to counter today with Petr Mrazek.

Detroit and Pittsburgh are both in very strong positions as far as the battle for a playoff berth goes. However, the Red Wings’ recent struggles have put them in danger of moving out of third place in the Atlantic Division and into a Wild Card spot, so it’s critical from a seeding perspective that they stop the bleeding. Meanwhile Pittsburgh is fighting with the New York Islanders for the second spot in the Metropolitan Division and the first round home-ice advantage that comes with it.

Bruins pass Capitals with fifth straight win

Boston Bruins v Chicago Blackhawks

Milan Lucic scored his 15th of the season and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves as the Boston Bruins blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Zdeno Chara added an empty-netter in the final minute.

With the win, Boston has now won five straight and seven of its last nine and moves past the Washington Capitals for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have a game in hand on the Caps.

Boston’s win coupled with Detroit’s loss in Philly leaves the Bruins just three points back of the Wings in the Atlantic Division. Detroit has one game in hand.

Pittsburgh played much of the game without both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

Crosby was a late scratch from the lineup due to illness and replaced by Craig Adams following the pre-game skate.

Malkin took a hit from Chris Kelly on his first shift of the game and was shaken up. He left the game briefly, but returned to finish the first period. He did not return to start the second.

Rask’s shutout was his third of the season and the 26th of his career.

Thomas Greiss made 28 saves in the loss.

With Saturday’s victory, Boston wins the season series taking two of three from Pittsburgh. The Penguins won the first meeting 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 24. The Bruins edged the Pens with a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 7.