The Nashville Predators responded to being shut out with a shutout of their own.
Carter Hutton made 21 saves and Roman Josi had a goal and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Sunday. Gabriel Bourque, Eric Nystrom and Mike Fisher also scored for Nashville, which was shut out by the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-0 loss on Friday. Filip Forsberg had two assists. Fisher scored the Predators' fourth goal with Sidney Crosby in the penalty box for slashing. Fisher received a pass from Forsberg and sent a wrist shot through a screen by former Penguins forward James Neal and past Marc-Andre Fleury 8:20 into the third period. Hutton faced five shots in the third period and earned his second shutout in 53 games. He shut out the San Jose Sharks by making 35 saves in the Predators' 3-0 win on April 5, 2014. Nashville (32-11-6) is tied atop the Western Conference with a game in hand on the Anaheim Ducks. Pittsburgh (28-14-8) has failed to score in eight of its past nine periods, excluding an overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils on Friday, and is 2-4-2 in its past eight games.
The Predators stifled the Penguins throughout the first period and led 2-0 after 20 minutes. Josi one-timed a slap shot from the point off of a pass from Forsberg through a screen by Mike Ribeiro and Penguins defenseman Simon Despres. The shot made its way into the upper-right corner of the net to put the Predators up 1-0 at 4:05 of the first. Bourque extended the lead 2:33 later when he capitalized on a turnover by Despres. After Kris Letang sent a the puck along the boards behind the Penguins net, Despres attempted a pass to Pittsburgh forward Nick Spaling, but was unable to connect and instead slid the puck to Bourque in front of Fleury. Bourque's slap shot avoided Fleury's glove and gave Nashville a 2-0 lead at 6:38. Pittsburgh finished with five shots in the first and struggled to maintain possession in the offensive zone. The Penguins' best scoring chance came when forward Maxim Lapierre deked around Mattias Ekholm before sending a slap shot off of the post behind Hutton with about six minutes left in the first. Another turnover in front of Fleury led to Nystrom's goal with 40.7 seconds remaining in the second period. Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot gathered the puck along the boards and attempted a pass to Crosby between the faceoff circles in Pittsburgh's zone, but the puck got lost between Crosby's skates and was poked away by Taylor Beck. Nystrom gained possession and deked to his right, causing Fleury to tumble in his crease, before wrapping a shot around the Penguins goalie to make it 3-0. Pittsburgh had three power-play opportunities in the second, but failed to score on each chance. Hutton was barely tested throughout the first two periods, outside of a glove save on a Chris Kunitz wrist shot that could have been headed inside the right post at 5:30 of the second.
Penguins QuotesMike Johnston: "[Despres] made a play to the middle of the ice when he shouldn't have. He should've kept the play moving. He was on the right side as the left defenseman. He wasn't looking up-ice and getting the whole view of the place. He made a quick play to try to get it to the center and you just can't make those plays inside like that, unless you're totally sure. You have to fake to the boards and then make it inside. So, that wasn't a good choice."
Sidney Crosby: "I think the start obviously hurt us. It wasn't a terrible start. We made some mistakes that end up in the back of our net and then we're playing uphill from there, so we still had a lot of time to get back into the game, but we have to find a way to score goals."