The Fangover: Predators , Penguins in Rinne’s return

Matt Niskanen and the Pittsburgh Penguins spoiled Pekka Rinne's return from injured reserve with a 3-1 victory at Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night.

The big question entering the game was surrounding Rinne and whether or not he would be prepared to play against such an elite team like the Penguins. However, those questions were answered early in the first period. Rinne's first save since October came off the stick of Jussi Jokinen on a one-timer 35 seconds in. A bit later, Rinne made the save of the night on a Chris Kunitz 2 on 1 scoring chance, keeping the puck out with an extended toe save.

Rinne made 16 saves.

At 16:46 of the first period, the Predators scored the go-ahead goal off the skate of Paul Gaustad — or so it appeared. After much deliberation between officials and a lengthy review, the goal was disallowed. The home town faithful were upset following the call. NHL.com's The Situation Room Blog had the explanation.

"…Video review determined that Nashville's Paul Gaustad kicked the puck into the Pittsburgh net. According to Rule 49.2 'A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.' No goal Nashville."

After getting hit high on a dump 'n chase play by Robert Bortuzzo, an angry, bloody Colin Wilson seeked revenge and dropped the gloves with the Pens' defenseman with 24 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Watch below…

The aforementioned  Niskanen scored his first of two goals of the night just 27 seconds into the second period. Sidney Crosby, who had three assists on 21:56 of ice time, setup Niskanen wheeling around the net. The shot snuck in between the glove and post. 

However, that 1-0 lead was short lived.

Patric Hornqvist would score 12 seconds later to tie the game, once again. The lone Predators' goal would be essentially an own-goal, as Hornqvist slapped Olli Maatta's stick, making the puck enter the net off the Penguins defender's blade. 

The number one power play in the NHL showed off their talents in the Music City. With the man advantage, Niskanen would score his second of the night at 7:29 in the third period with David Legwand sitting in the penalty box. The most rumored player in Nashville did not have his best performance as a Predator in what may be his final game with the team. Legwand, an unrestricted free agent this summer, will be on stand-by in-case he is traded on Trade Deadline Day Wednesday. 

Hopes of a comeback was diminished with a foolish, retaliatory penalty by Legwand at 11:19. 

Kunitz, who was robbed earlier in the evening, would get his goal to seal the win on the road with 2:55 left in regulation. An angry Shea Weber was given a 10-minute game misconduct and minor for unsportsmanlike conduct after shooting the puck down the other end in frustration. 

The opportunities were there for both sides to put up more goals. Evgeni Malkin and Craig Smith traded off post-shots the entire game, each hitting the post twice. 

Scoring Summary

G Per Time Str Team Goal Scorer Assist Assist PIT on Ice NSH on Ice
1 2 0:27 EV PIT 2 M.NISKANEN(8) 87 S.CROSBY(52) 49 B.GIBBONS(6) 2414294987 61115355759
2 2 0:39 EV NSH 27 P.HORNQVIST(12) 13 N.SPALING(13) 12 M.FISHER(17) 31829364471 41213273542
3 3 7:29 PP PIT 2 M.NISKANEN(9) 71 E.MALKIN(43) 87 S.CROSBY(53) 21418297187 624283559
4 3 17:05 EV PIT 14 C.KUNITZ(28) 87 S.CROSBY(54)   31429444987 6721283559

Goaltending Stats

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TOI GOALS-SHOTS AGAINST
EV PP SH TOT 1 2 3 TOT
29 G FLEURY, MARC-ANDRE 45:28 07:35 06:53 59:56 0-7 1-4 0-8 1-19
37 G ZATKOFF, JEFF                
  EMPTY NET 00:04 00:00 00:00 00:04        
TEAM TOTALS  45:32 07:35 06:53 60:00 0-7 1-4 0-8 1-19
 
NASHVILLE PREDATORS TOI GOALS-SHOTS AGAINST
EV PP SH TOT 1 2 3 TOT
30 G HUTTON, CARTER                
35 G RINNE, PEKKA 44:53 06:53 07:35 59:21 0-8 1-4 2-7 3-19
  EMPTY NET 00:39 00:00 00:00 00:39        
TEAM TOTALS  45:32 06:53 07:35 60:00 0-8 1-4 2-7 3-19
 

My Three Stars

1. Matt Niskanen: 2 Goals

2. Sidney Crosby: 3 Assists

3. Patric Hornqvist: Goal

Line Up Report

Predators scratches: Clune, Bartley and Dubnyk

Predators starters: Bourque, Legwand, Smith, Weber, Josi and Rinne

Penguins scratches: Engelland, Martin and Letang

Penguins starters: Kunitz, Crosby, Gibbons, Niskanen, Scuderi and Fleury

Player Statistics

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS G A P +/- PN PIM TOI S A/B MS HT GV TK BS FW FL F%
TOT SHF AVG PP SH EV
2 D NISKANEN, MATT 2   2 +1 1 2 23:36 26 00:54 06:45 00:48 16:03 3 1   1 2          
3 D MAATTA, OLLI             23:04 24 00:57 01:55 02:09 19:00 1   1   4   2      
4 D SCUDERI, ROB       +1     21:01 21 01:00 00:30 04:44 15:47         2   2      
12 R KOBASEW, CHUCK             07:34 11 00:41 00:00 00:00 07:34           1        
14 L KUNITZ, CHRIS 1   1 +2     18:48 22 00:51 04:49 00:00 13:59 7 1 2 2 1          
15 L GLASS, TANNER             11:33 16 00:43 00:00 02:49 08:44   1 2 2     5      
16 C SUTTER, BRANDON             14:45 18 00:49 01:16 03:24 10:05 1 1           9 9 50
17 L PYATT, TAYLOR             10:02 12 00:50 00:14 00:00 09:48           2 2      
18 L NEAL, JAMES       -1 1 2 18:15 21 00:52 06:00 00:00 12:15 2 3   1     1      
27 R ADAMS, CRAIG             12:32 15 00:50 00:00 04:17 08:15       1       2 3 40
36 L JOKINEN, JUSSI       -1     15:58 20 00:47 02:40 00:00 13:18 1 2 1   1     1 2 33
41 D BORTUZZO, ROBERT         1 5 11:04 15 00:44 00:00 01:21 09:43   3   1     1      
44 D ORPIK, BROOKS             23:34 23 01:01 00:30 04:44 18:20 1     1   2 1      
46 C VITALE, JOE             13:12 16 00:49 00:38 02:36 09:58       2     1 1 0 100
47 D DESPRES, SIMON         1 2 12:28 21 00:35 00:19 00:00 12:09   2   1     1      
49 C GIBBONS, BRIAN   1 1 +2     13:06 19 00:41 00:14 00:40 12:12       1 1   1      
71 C MALKIN, EVGENI   1 1 -1     19:36 22 00:53 06:00 00:00 13:36 3 2 5     1   7 9 44
87 C CROSBY, SIDNEY   3 3 +2     21:56 23 00:57 06:05 00:00 15:51   1           12 10 55
29 G FLEURY, MARC-ANDRE                                            
37 G ZATKOFF, JEFF                                            
    TEAM PENALTY         1 2                                
TEAM TOTALS 3 5 8 +5 5 13             19 17 11 13 11 6 17 32 33 49
 
 
NASHVILLE PREDATORS G A P +/- PN PIM TOI S A/B MS HT GV TK BS FW FL F%
TOT SHF AVG PP SH EV
3 D JONES, SETH             16:58 22 00:46 02:29 02:22 12:07   3 1 1     3      
4 D ELLIS, RYAN       +1     20:12 24 00:50 02:28 00:42 17:02 1 2   1 1   2      
5 D DEL ZOTTO, MICHAEL         1 2 16:45 20 00:50 00:07 00:36 16:02   1 2              
6 D WEBER, SHEA       -2 2 12 26:18 26 01:00 04:24 04:31 17:23 2 4 3 3 2   4      
7 C CULLEN, MATT       -1     10:47 15 00:43 02:21 00:00 08:26 1   1         3 2 60
11 C LEGWAND, DAVID       -1 2 4 18:01 25 00:43 04:32 00:07 13:22 2   1   1   1 9 4 69
12 C FISHER, MIKE   1 1 +1     20:03 22 00:54 04:20 02:59 12:44 2   2 2 1     10 8 56
13 C SPALING, NICK   1 1 +1     14:24 20 00:43 01:52 01:33 10:59 2 1       1   0 1 0
15 C SMITH, CRAIG       -1     16:30 21 00:47 01:38 00:00 14:52 1 2 3   2          
21 C MOSER, SIMON       -1 1 2 09:35 16 00:35 00:00 00:11 09:24 1                  
24 L NYSTROM, ERIC             15:22 17 00:54 00:00 04:44 10:38 1           1      
25 L STALBERG, VIKTOR             12:43 13 00:58 00:43 00:00 12:00   2   1            
27 R HORNQVIST, PATRIC 1   1 +1     14:50 16 00:55 04:32 00:00 10:18 1       2 2        
28 C GAUSTAD, PAUL       -1     13:35 21 00:38 00:00 04:21 09:14 1     3 1   1 7 11 39
33 C WILSON, COLIN         1 5 12:04 13 00:55 00:34 00:07 11:23           1 2 4 6 40
42 D EKHOLM, MATTIAS       +1     13:17 18 00:44 00:00 01:54 11:23   1                
57 L BOURQUE, GABRIEL       -1     13:56 21 00:39 00:00 01:08 12:48 3     2   2 2      
59 D JOSI, ROMAN       -2     26:37 26 01:01 04:25 05:05 17:07 1 1       2 1      
30 G HUTTON, CARTER                                            
35 G RINNE, PEKKA                                 1          
TEAM TOTALS 1 2 3 -5 7 25             19 17 13 13 11 8 17 33 32 51
 
G=Goals A=Assists P=Points +/-=Plus/Minus PN=Number of Penalties PIM=Penalty Minutes TOI=Time On Ice SHF=# of Shifts AVG=Average Time/Shift S=Shots on Goal A/B=Attempts Blocked MS=Missed Shots HT=Hits Given GV=Giveaways TK=Takeaways BS=Blocked Shots FW=Faceoffs Won FL=Faceoffs Lost F%=Faceoff Win Percentage PP=Power Play SH=Short Handed EV=Even Strength OT=Overtime TOT=Total
 

Game Summary

Roster Report

Event Summary

Time on Ice – NSH

Time on Ice – PIT

Faceoffs Report

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