|PIT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|NSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
The Pittsburgh Penguins put an end to their five-game losing streak with a much-needed victory their last time out.
The Nashville Predators can relate to the Penguins' struggles.
The Predators will look to snap their own five-game slide on Thursday when Pittsburgh makes its first visit to Nashville in nearly three years.
A lack of goal-scoring was the main issue during the Penguins' recent slump, as they managed only eight goals while going 1-6-0 from Dec. 23-Jan. 5. That's been the problem for the Predators (17-19-3) as well, but their scoring issues have plagued them for much longer.
No Western Conference team has fewer goals than Nashville, which has scored seven times during its five-game regulation losing streak. The Predators haven't scored more than three goals since Nov. 28, and in the 17 games since, they've scored two or fewer 13 times.
They lost 2-1 Tuesday at home against Colorado, mustering just 11 shots after the first period. The Predators went 0-for-3 on the power play, and haven't scored with the man advantage during the first three contests of their five-game homestand.
J.P. Dumont, who had a career-high 29 goals last season and leads the team with 32 points, hasn't scored a goal in 12 games. All-Star defenseman Shea Weber, second on the team with 12 goals, has one in 14 games.
"We have a lot of guys that are not scoring," coach Barry Trotz said. "Do I believe in this group and that they can pull this thing around and start scoring? Absolutely. But right now it's not happening, so we're looking for all the resources in the organization. ... We're at a critical time where we've got to get some wins."
The Penguins (20-17-4) made it to the Stanley Cup finals last season, but exactly halfway through their 2008-09 schedule, they're not even in playoff position.
While Nashville hasn't scored a power-play goal on its homestand, Pittsburgh recently went much longer without scoring when it was a man up. The Penguins were 0-for-32 on the power play over seven games heading into a home matchup with Atlanta on Tuesday.
Petr Sykora finally broke that drought - one of his two goals - and Sidney Crosby also scored with the man advantage in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win.
"It was a matter of time, but it was getting a little frustrating," said defenseman Ryan Whitney, who assisted on both power-play scores.
More importantly, the Penguins snapped their longest regulation losing streak since dropping 10 in a row from Jan. 6-23, 2006.
"The win feels good - it's nicer the next morning to wake up and come to the rink," said Sykora, who had one goal in his last eight games. "Everybody goes through this, but the sooner you stop it, the better chance you have to come back from it. I think we made a good first step."
Pittsburgh hasn't visited the Sommet Center since Jan. 15, 2006 - Crosby's rookie season. The Penguins lost that game 5-4, their fourth consecutive loss in Nashville.
The Predators lost the last game the teams played, 4-1 in Pittsburgh on Feb. 6, 2007.
|Jan 08 '09||PIT 3 at NSH 5||R. Suter|
|G. De Vries||39||1||3||4||-15||40||0||0|