Thursday, March 22, 2012

Game #73 - vs Nashville Predators

2011-12 Game 73

Nashville Predators (42-23-8, 92 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (45-21-6, 96 points)

Will Radulov propel the Preds deep into the playoffs?

Why does it matter?

The Pens didn't waste much time getting things turned around again in destroying the Jets on Tuesday.  Now they face a much stronger opponent who are getting back a potential game-changer in Alexander Radulov from the KHL.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Going back to the middle of February, 13 games, 25 points earned.  It doesn't get much better than that.
  • Predators - Three losses in their past four, including a bad home loss to the lowly Oilers on Tuesday.
Questions to be answered
  • How much impact will Radulov have?  He will play tonight, for sure, probably with Hornqvist and Legwand.  That makes a pretty tough top line.
  • Can the Pens stay out of the box?  The Preds power play is deadly (#1 in the NHL), and the PK for the Pens is suddenly leaky over the last two games.
  • Will Sid ever score a goal?  I'm joking, of course, but it would be nice to see him rip one past Rinne on the rush tonight, wouldn't it?
Keys to the game
  • Play even-strength.  The Preds haven't been involved in too many special teams situations lately, but then they get a power play chance, they're very good.  Don't give them extra chances.
  • Match up.  The Preds are deep, with good scoring depth.  They won't blow you away with their talent, but they will keep coming at you.
  • Traffic.  Create chaos around Rinne, who is another big goaltender (6'5")

No comments: