NHL

Fri, Nov 15, 2013 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Neal, Sutter lift Pens over Preds

Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins D Brooks Orpik congratulates C Brandon Sutter after Sutter scored against the Predat...
Share This Story

   
 

PITTSBURGH (AP)

The star-studded, but dormant, Pittsburgh Penguins offense woke up just in time to snap a losing streak.

POWER RANKINGS

Separating the best from the rest. Where is your team in our power rankings?

James Neal and Brandon Sutter each had a goal and an assist, and the Penguins won for the first time in four games, 4-1 over the Nashville Predators on Friday night.

Pittsburgh scored one goal in each game during the losing streak. The Penguins scored four times for the second time in their past 11 games in improving to 8-3 at home.

''I think we had as many - if not more - chances last game and we couldn't find the back of the net, but tonight it felt good to get on the board,'' Neal said. ''After we got the first goal, we started rolling and we didn't look back.''

Playing in his fourth game of the season because of an upper-body injury, Neal - a former 40-goal scorer - netted his first of the season late in the first period to give the Penguins a lead they didn't relinquish against the road-weary Predators.

Nashville lost the final four of a franchise-record, 17-day, seven-game trip. Gabriel Bourque scored 2:28 in but the Predators were held to one or fewer goals for the fourth consecutive game.

''This was just a frustrating game all the way around,'' said Predators center Mike Fisher, who returned after missing four games because of a lower-body injury. ''We've got to be much better. I've got to be much better, and we've got to find ways to score here. It's not acceptable.''

Pascal Dupuis and Kris Letang also scored, and Evgeni Malkin extended his point streak to six with two assists for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury made 17 saves.

The Penguins, who have held opponents under three goals in seven of eight games, had a 33-18 advantage in shots.

''It was one of those games where we knew it was a matter of time,'' Dupuis said. ''We were going to play the 60 minutes the way we wanted to play. That's what it looked like tonight.''

Nashville, which entered 7-0-2 when scoring first, couldn't take advantage of an early lead given. Bourque shoved a puck past Fleury after it had deflected off of Malkin's stick and Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta's skate after Kevin Klein's shot from the point.

Bourque, who scored his second of the season, missed Nashville's previous game because of the birth of his first child.

That lead lasted just 10 minutes before Dupuis and Neal scored 2:20 apart to put the Penguins in front in the first period.

''The guys played an awesome game after that (Nashville goal),'' Fleury said. ''We dominated the game.''

Dupuis' second of the season - a rising slap shot from the top of the left circle off a set faceoff play - came at 12:36, shortly after Nashville killed a penalty for too many men on the ice.

But with the Predators' Ryan Ellis off for interference minutes later, Neal got a piece of Malkin's slap shot from the point while he stood in front of rookie goalie Marek Mazanec.

NHL STANDINGS

How is your team doing in the realigned NHL? Check out all the divisional races.

The 22-year-old Mazanec made his NHL debut a week earlier and had his first career start Tuesday. He stopped 21 of 25 shots in two periods, and fellow rookie Carter Hutton played the third.

Mazanec made a spectacular glove save on Neal early in the second period, but Letang made it 3-1 with his fourth of the season at 7:58.

''It'll be good to get home,'' Fisher said. ''It's always tough to come off a long roadie, but obviously we're all looking forward to getting home. That's the longest trip I've ever had.''

After skipping the morning skate because of illness, Letang scored off a feed from Malkin. Sutter made it 4-1 with 1:23 left in the second.

''The second (period), we really took over the game,'' Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. ''Shift after shift, we played in the offensive zone.''

Nashville's Eric Nystrom was knocked out of the game by a punch to the head during a fight with Tanner Glass late in the second period.

Bloodied from a cut on his forehead, Nystrom needed assistance and wobbled to the dressing room. He didn't return to the game.

The previous time Nystrom played against the Penguins on Feb. 29, 2012, he delivered a controversial hit to the head of Letang, and the Pittsburgh defenseman was out of the lineup for two weeks.

Then with the Dallas Stars, Nystrom was given a roughing penalty but wasn't disciplined further by the NHL. Glass wasn't with the Penguins then.

Nystrom wasn't available for comment after the game, but about an hour after it ended he tweeted, ''All good folks. Got popped behind the earhole! Weird spot. Appreciate the concern n support!!''

NOTES: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle received a long ovation when he was recognized on the video board for being named the National League manager of the year this week. After the game, he was in the Penguins locker room accompanying his young son, who was celebrating a birthday and collecting autographs. . Penguins D Paul Martin returned after missing two games because of a lower-body injury. . The game was the 600th for Penguins LW Chris Kunitz and the 200th for Pittsburgh D Deryk Engelland. . Kunitz had gone more than 19 months since last being held consecutive games without a point. He was pointless for the third straight game.

Tagged: Penguins, Predators, Pascal Dupuis, Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Nystrom, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, James Neal

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Highlights: Avalanche/Wild - Game 4 Posted: Apr 25, 2014
Catch all the action from the Wild's 2-1 victory over the Avs.

Highlights: Sharks/Kings - Game 4 Posted: Apr 25, 2014
Watch highlights of the Kings' win over the Sharks as they extend the series to ...

Gaborik upbeat after Game 4 victory Posted: Apr 25, 2014
Marian Gaborik believes the Kings can turn the series around against San Jose.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt