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Slumping Penguins host Preds

(SportsNetwork.com) - Held to just three goals over their past three games, the Pittsburgh Penguins try to avoid losing four straight for the first time this season as they play host to the Nashville Predators on Friday night.

The Pens have now posted a pair of three-game slides around a string of four straight wins and have yielded nine goals over their current slump while failing to score more than one goal themselves in the three games.

Pittsburgh suffered its second straight 2-1 setback on Wednesday night, falling to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers despite Sidney Crosby's first goal in eight games.

Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen had assists and Marc-Andre Fleury posted 19 saves.

Pittsburgh outshot Philadelphia 31-21 and also had a goal waived off 19 seconds into the game when it was ruled Chris Kunitz kicked the puck past Flyers netminder Ray Emery following a Crosby shot.

"We played a solid game. We just didn't (score) on our chances," Penguins forward James Neal said.

Though he has an assist in five straight games, Malkin has not posted a goal in 11 straight contests.

Pittsburgh will try to avoid losing four straight for the first time since a six-game slide from Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 11, 2012 and has won its past two meetings with Nashville. That includes a 5-1 home victory in the most recent encounter on March 22, 2012.

Malkin scored twice, Neal had four assists and Fleury notched 29 saves.

Fleury, who has been in net for all three games of this current slide, is 3-2-1 with a 2.26 goals against average in six career meetings with the Preds, including five starts.

Pittsburgh defenseman Paul Martin has missed the last two games with a lower- body injury, but skated on Thursday and could return to action tonight.

Nashville is also on a three-game slide and has produced less offense than Pittsburgh. The Preds followed up back-to-back 5-0 losses to Winnipeg and New Jersey with Tuesday's 3-1 setback to the New York Islanders.

Patric Hornqvist had Nashville's only goal and it didn't come until 5:30 left to play. Marek Mazanec gave up all three goals on 33 shots in his first career start.

"We were slow to the puck all night and they did a better job winning the 1- on-1 battles," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "We're going through a tough time. We have to tighten up and put together better efforts."

Nashville fell to 2-3-1 on its seven-game road trip and it is unknown if Mazanec earned a second career start or if Trotz will go back to Carter Hutton, who has seen the bulk of the work since Pekka Rinne was lost to a hip injury.

Hutton is 4-3-1 with a 3.53 GAA in nine games (8 starts) this season, and gave up eight of the 10 goals in the setbacks to the Jets and Devils.

Forward Filip Forsberg could be in Nashville's lineup tonight after getting recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

The 19-year-old, the 11th overall pick of the 2012 draft by Washington, began the season with the Predators and had a goal -- the first of his career -- and four assists in 11 games before getting sent down. He notched a goal and five assists in his four-game stint with Milwaukee.

11/15 11:02:59 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal «4Final | Box
Tampa Bay1Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Detroit «1Final | Box
Boston0Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Detroit leads series, 1-0.
Dallas11st Prd 5:13 | Box
Anaheim0@theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-SW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

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  • PGA: RBC Heritage

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    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
Final
PIT 3
MIL 5
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
Final
CLE 2
TOR 3
9th
DET 6
ANA 11
 
Final
NYM 0
ATL 6
Final
BOS 4
BAL 8
 
8th
TAM 8
NYY 5
 
Final
MIA 8
SEA 4
9th
TEX 12
CWS 0
 
9th
KAN 5
MIN 0
 
7th
COL 9
PHI 1
 
1st
OAK 7
HOU 0
 
2nd
LOS 0
ARI 0
 
2nd
SDP 1
SFG 0
 
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
Final
BOS 0
DET 1
1st
ANA 0
DAL 1
 
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3