Niskanen has 2 goals, Penguins beat Predators 3-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins needed a boost to snap a three-game skid. They got it from Tanner Glass, who blocked shot after shot after shot by Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber.

Glass got in front of five shots, Matt Niskanen scored his second goal of the game 7:29 into the third period, and the Penguins beat the Predators 3-1 on Tuesday night.

"We saw Tanner Glass come up with some huge blocks in the first period on Shea Weber," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "Three in a row on probably the hardest shot in the league taking those, and they did a great job and again we stuck with it. ... I thought we got a great win for our team."

Glass said his job is to be in the lane when Weber is trying to shoot on the power play. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said the blocked shots off the stick of the Predators defenseman provided a lift similar to a big goal or a fight.

"You know it's coming hard and heavy," Fleury said of Weber's shot. "But (Glass) still goes and makes the save. My hat goes off to him."

The Penguins helped ruin the return of Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne in his first game since Oct. 22 following an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip. Niskanen's winning goal came during a power play. The NHL's best unit went 1 for 5 with the man advantage.

Sidney Crosby found Niskanen for a slap shot that went under Rinne's glove.

"He's a really good goalie, and he is very tough to beat," Niskanen said. "It was a really great effort by us. A lot of guys did well, and it was a good team effort."

Chris Kunitz scored a goal, and Crosby had three assists to add to his NHL-leading point total. The Penguins have not lost more than three straight this season, and this win sets them up for the final three games on their longest road trip this season.

Patric Hornqvist scored for Nashville, which has lost two consecutive games.

Rinne made 16 saves in his return. He had surgery on his hip on May 9 and needed a second operation because of the infection on Oct. 24. He rejoined the Predators on Monday after stopping 33 of 35 shots in a two-game conditioning stint in Milwaukee.

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