Pittsburgh Penguins (40-16-4) at Nashville Predators (26-25-10)
|Date & Time||Tuesday March 4, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Nashville Predators +134 / Pittsburgh Penguins -147 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Penguins return indoors after getting shelled by the Blackhawks at Soldier Field as they head to Nashville to take on the Predators.
The Penguins hope leaving the elements will bring them good fortune as they play in their first game since their Stadium Series contest with the Blackhawks at Soldier Field on the weekend, a game in which the Pens were outclassed by their fellow Cup contenders. Pittsburgh is undoubtedly one of the best teams in the game and certainly have a high profile offense that rivals the production of any other team in the league as well as having the odds on favourite to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies in Sidney Crosby. However, you have to wonder how much the game against Chicago will do to their psyche when they match up against Western Conference teams and while the elements and the spectacle of the Stadium Series contest certainly played a factor you can’t help but wonder whether it’ll impact the Pens moving forward. They get a shot at redemption here as they take on a Predators team who is also coming off a loss and one who currently sits in the basement of the Central division and will almost certainly be missing out on the playoffs.
The Predators continue an injury plagued season where they have looked out of sorts on more than on occasion this year against the Penguins on Tuesday night but it looks as though they may get Pekka Rinne back between the pipes. Rinne has missed most of the season and was sidelined for the Finns in Sochi but his presence is a huge upgrade over the alternatives in the Nashville crease and while it will certainly take a couple starts to get his bearings back he has the talent to get this team back to respectability. Shea Weber is having another Norris-type season and considering the team he is on and the talent that surrounds him it is commendable to see him play as well as he is and not make a fuss about the team’s futility. While I am not sold on the Preds making the playoffs believe it or not they are only four points out of the final spot in the West and while it is most likely going to result in a one and done anyways it would be a huge accomplishment for Nashville to sneak in. With Rinne coming back the line is a little generous here but getting Pittsburgh at less than -150 is a gift in any spot and I will take them here to outlast the Preds.