The Penguins beat the Predators to stay alive in the East wild-card race

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby and the Penguins stayed alive Monday by beating the Nashville Predators, 4-2, at PPG Paints Arena. Crosby had two points in the must-win.

With the win, the Penguins jumped back ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings. But they still remain one point back of the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings, who were both victorious Monday.

Both the Capitals and Red Wings play games Tuesday. If either wins, the Penguins are out. The Capitals visit the Flyers. The Red Wings will be in Montreal.

The Penguins’ season finale is Wednesday against the New York Islanders.

The Penguins opened the game with one of their most dominant periods of the season. With Crosby setting the tone early, they scored two goals – and had another two taken off the board. They outshot the Predators, 20-5, in the period.

They took a 1-0 lead on power-play goal by Crosby seven minutes into the first. The captain laid out to smack in a loose puck in the blue paint after Juuse Saros was unable to squeeze the initial shot. The goal came 39 seconds after Michael Bunting’s sweet between-the-legs goal was waved off for goalie interference.


Erik Karlsson’s one-timer from the point made it 2-0 later in the period. Crosby put it on a tee for him and Drew O’Connor crashed the net, screening Saros. It was another low-to-high goal for the Penguins, who have a lot of those lately.

The Crosby line generated nine scoring chances in that period, per Natural Stat Trick. The puck was glued to Crosby’s blade whenever he hopped onto the ice.

The Predators pushed back in the second, twice pulling back within one goal.

Gustav Nyquist swept a rebound past Alex Nedeljkovic, who got the nod over Tristan Jarry. But Reilly Smith restored the two-goal lead just 57 seconds later.


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