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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 4th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (40-16-4) at Nashville Predators (26-25-10), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - After sitting out 51 straight games, Pekka Rinne is ready to return to the crease for the Nashville Predators.

The club's No. 1 goaltender expects to start on Tuesday when the Predators host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena.

Rinne, a two-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy, last played on Oct. 22 before being sidelined with an infection in his surgically repaired hip. He was 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals against average and .917 save percentage in nine games prior to the injury.

After winning both of his conditioning starts with Nashville's AHL affiliate in Milwaukee, the 31-year-old Rinne is ready to take over the reins for a Predators club which is currently 12th in the Western Conference but still only six points out of a playoff spot.

Nashville has lost four of its last five games and is 1-1-0 since returning from the Olympic break. The Predators lost their last outing, dropping Saturday's 3-1 home decision to the Winnipeg Jets. The Predators fired 40 shots on goal but Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec turned away 39 of them to subdue Nashville.

Simon Moser's first NHL goal summed up the Predators' offense, while Carter Hutton gave up three goals on 20 shots in defeat.

"They capitalized on a couple chances that they had and we didn't," said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. "At the end of the day, our game was pretty good in a lot of areas."

Nashville is playing the fourth part of a six-game homestand on Tuesday and is 15-13-4 this season in Music City.

The Penguins hope to end a three-game slide when they take the ice at Bridgestone Arena.

The Metropolitan Division leaders are 0-1-2 over their past three tilts. The slide matches a season-long losing streak for the Pens, although the club's previous two three-game skids in 2013-14 featured all regulation losses.

Although the Pens were swept in four games by Boston in last season's Eastern Conference finals, Pittsburgh hasn't lost four straight in the regular season since a six-game slide from Dec. 29-Jan. 11 during the 2011-12 campaign.

Pittsburgh's latest loss came outdoors as the Chicago Blackhawks slammed the Pens 5-1 in Sunday's clash at Solider Field. James Neal was credited with the lone Pittsburgh marker, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves for the Penguins.

"The setting coming out there was pretty amazing obviously with the snow coming down," Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby commented. "Still an awesome setting, but it's always better when you win."

Sunday's game at the home of the NFL's Chicago Bears marked the start of a five-game road trip for the Pens, who are 17-12-2 on the road this season.

Pittsburgh won the first of two meetings with the Predators this season back on Nov. 15, notching a 4-1 win over a visiting Nashville club. The Pens have won three straight in the series overall but they haven't fared well in the Music City, losing six of their eight all-time games at Bridgestone Arena.

03/04 10:45:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCCU
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
FIU
 
1:05pm Today
DET
FLASO
 
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
Final
LAL 101
OKC 108
Final
DEN 92
NOP 99
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LAC
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NOP
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
Final
WAKE 69
PITT 66
Final
STAN 70
OREG 73
Final
OSU 65
PURD 61
Final
COL 87
ARST 81
Final
UCLA 72
WASU 67
7:00pm Tonight
TEX
BAY
 
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SYR
UVA
 
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NCAT
COOK
 
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SHSU
CARK
 
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DELST
HAMP
 
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HOW
NORST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
SELA
 
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STEPH
INCWORD
 
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MCNST
LAM
 
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SAV
NCCU
 
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NO
NICST
 
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ARKPB
JST
 
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ALAST
PVU
 
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ALAAM
TXSOU
 
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VT
BC
 
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MVSU
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
OKLA
 
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
Final
WAS 4
TOR 0
Final
DAL 1
ANA 3
Final
VAN 6
STL 5
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NAS
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
MON