Hellllllloooooooooooooooooooo everyyyyyboddddyyyy, tonight the Penguins (42-24-11) will play their final game of the season in their black and gold third jerseys against Nick Bonino and the Nashville Predators (43-28-6). Puck will drop at 7:08pm from PPG Paints Arena.
We're down to just five games in left in the regular season and we'll see the Predators for the second time in just eight days (thanks NHL). The Penguins are looking to make it four wins in a row and hope to head into the postseason on a hot streak. Three of the Penguins last four games following tonight will be against the god awful Detroit Red Wings (2) and New York Rangers (1) so the Pens could still realistically still grab the Metrosexual Division title. Entering tonight, the Penguins sit third in the Metro with 95 points, two behind the Islanders (97) and five behind the Capitals (100). The Penguins do have a game in hand on both of those clubs. The last time these two clubs met, the Penguins won in a shootout by a score of 2-1 thanks to Sidney Crosby's lone goal.
The Preds clinched their fifth consecutive playoff birth when they beat the shitty Minnesota Wild on Monday night by a score of 1-0 and entering play tonight sit just two points behind the Jets for first in the Central Division. Still awaiting confirmation but did Wayne Simmonds even play when these two clubs faced off last week? If he did, I sure as hell didn't notice him. I hope that continues again tonight. Nashville is led by Ryan Johansen who has 61 points on the season (12G 49A) and Viktor Arvidsson who leads the team with 31 goals. Expect boring hockey for likely the first two periods as both of these teams still have something to play for.
Expect Matt Murray between the pipes for the Penguins. He absolutely owns the Predators with 3-0 recording during the regular season along with a .97 goals against average and a .968 save percentage. Nashville will likely turn to Pekka Rinne.
Third jerseys for the final time this season.
Jake Guentzel will play in his 200th career game for the Penguins tonight. He's pretty good.
Olli Maatta could return tonight. He's been out for the last 21 games with a shoulder injury.
Evgeni Malkin and Kris skated prior to practice. Letang will be out again tonight with an upper-body injury.
Chad Ruhwedel (remember him) skated yesterday prior to practice.
The Penguins nominated 69 year-old Matt Cullen for the Masterton Award. Apparently Cullen 'exemplifies sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.' O.K.
Matt Murray has two consecutive shutouts against the Preds at PPG Paints Arena dating back to Game Five of the 2017 Cup Final, per the Penguins. Look for the Pens to give up eight goals since I wrote this.
Adam Johnson continues to look good. It's going to be unreal when Aston-Reese and Malkin return and Johnson is up in the press box eating nachos in favor of Garrett Wilson.
Remember when the Caps traded Filip Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat? hahahahaha
Nick Bonino is a legend. Never forget the #BoninoSelfie.
Former 48-hour Penguin Dan Hamhuis (@kingling43 says Hamway because he's an idiot) will be on the Preds third defensive pairing tonight. He sucks, just like Andrew.
#StandingsWatch - both the Caps and Isles are idle tonight.