Alexander Radulov scores in first game back

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Every hockey writer who was getting ready to talk about Alexander Radulov’s tough first game back might have to hold down the “Backspace” button now. Radulov pounced on a loose puck to score a goal in his return to the NHL, cutting the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lead to 4-1. (The Penguins eventually won 5-1.)

Granted, a goal doesn’t change everything, and Radulov hasn’t been a smash success otherwise. Let’s be fair to Radulov, though. He might be jet-lagged and the Penguins have just been a locomotive of sorts, although Nashville has had its fair share of promising chances.

Radulov has that goal – coming on his only shot so far – and a -2 rating in 9:56 of ice time. So yeah, it hasn’t been all great (but it’s not over yet). That’s his first NHL goal since March 20, 2008.

Interestingly enough, it almost looked like Sidney Crosby found the net for the first time in his second comeback of the season just moments before the Radulov goal. Instead, Chris Kunitz got the tally as the puck actually deflected off of a Predators’ skate.

There’s plenty of time for Crosby and Radulov to add to their games, but Nashville might want to up its pace if it wants to make a game of a contest that is currently 4-1 heading into the second intermission.