For the first time since late October, Pekka Rinne played a National Hockey League game for the Nashville Predators. The return didn’t come with a victory, however, as the Predators lost to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 3-1.
Rinne was playing his first NHL game since Oct. 22, due to a bacterial infection in his hip that at first was thought to keep him out at least a month. He played for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals in a conditioning stint game last Friday, before working his way back to the Predators.
However, he wasn’t too pleased with the game-winning goal he allowed in the third period. Matt Niskanen’s power play blast less than eight minutes into the final period beat Rinne, delivering another blow to Nashville’s playoff hopes. They currently sit 12th in the Western Conference, six points back of eighth-place Dallas.
“I saw it coming all the way,” Rinne told The Tennessean. “(The shot) kind of dove, and I just wasn’t quick enough to recover. It went through my pants and my glove. It’s one for sure that would have been a really big save at the time.”