About the Predators - 10-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Predators.

When and where: 8 p.m., EDT, Bridgestone Arena.

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Tennessee.

Record: 5-0-2, 12 points. The Predators are in first place in the Central Division.

Leading Scorer: Filip Forsberg, 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists).

Last Game: 3-2 home win against the Blackhawks, Thursday. James Neal (right, in bobblehead form) had a hat trick for the Predators.

Last Game against the Penguins: 3-1 home loss, March 4. Pekka Rinne made 16 saves for the Predators.

Predators Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: James Neal. We have a feeling.

Ex-Penguins on the Predators: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant general manager; Marcel Goc, C; Patric Hornqvist, RW; Nick Spaling, C.

Ex-Predators on the Penguins: Kevin McCarthy, assistant coach; James Neal, LW.

Useless Predators Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Neal is one of two former Penguins who have worn No. 18 for the Predators. The other is right winger Adam Hall.

The last time the Penguins played the Predators, this happened: 

-This too:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (3-2-0, 2.81 GAA, .906 SV%) for the Penguins. Pekka Rinne (5-0-1, 1.62 GAA, .939 SV%) for the Predators.

Injuries: For the Penguins, defenseman Roberto Bortuzzo ("lower body") is doubtful. Right winger Beau Bennett ("lower body") is on injured reserve. For the Predators, centers Matt Cullen ("upper body") is on injured reserve. Center Mike Fisher (Achilles tendon) is on non-roster injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins' lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 72 Patric Hornqvist
9 Pascal Dupuis - 16 Brandon Sutter - 71 Evgeni Malkin
17 Blake Comeau - 13 Nick Spaling - 23 Steve Downie
  38 Zach Sill - 57 Marcel Goc - 27 Craig Adams

58 Kris Letang3 Olli Maatta
7 Paul Martin - 10 Christian Ehrhoff
47 Simon Despres - 4 Rob Scuderi

-The Predators' primary lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

9 Filip Forsberg - 63 Mike Ribeiro - 18 James Neal
33 Colin Wilson - 21 Derek Roy - 15 Craig Smith
13 Olli Jokinen - 19 Calle Jarnkrok - 41 Taylor Beck
24 Eric Nystrom - 28 Paul Gaustad - 25 Viktor Stalberg

59 Roman Josi - 6 Shea Weber
20 Anton Volchenkov - 3 Seth Jones
14 Mattias Ekholm - 4 Ryan Ellis


-Adams has 99 career assists.

-Dupuis has 399 career points.

-Malkin has 399 career assists.

-Neal has appeared in three career games against the Penguins and has one assist.

-Jokinen has 38 points in 38 career games against the Penguins.

-The Predators are giving out Neal bobbleheads tonight. They are 3-0-2 - with two ties - all-time when they give out bobbleheads. Previous players who have been honored as bobbleheads include former Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun and forward Greg Johnson. The others have been forwards Scott Hartnell, Greg Johnson and goaltender Mike Dunham.

-The referees are Francois St. Laurent (No. 38) and Rob Martell (No. 26). The linesmen are Brad Kovachik (No. 71) and Tim Novak (No. 77).

-Our live blog begins at approximately 7:45 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: @ThePredatorial)

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GAME DAY: Pitt vs. Georgia Tech

Written by Sam Werner on .

IMG 2455

We're just under two hours away from kickoff between Pitt and Georgia Tech here at Heinz Field. The Panthers will look to maintain any positive momentum they picked up in last week's 21-16 win over Virginia Tech, but will face an entirely new test today with the Yellow Jackets' triple-option offense. Here are a few pregame notes for you...

- In case you missed it (and, really, how could you?) Pitt announced yesterday that it would be returning the script logo to the helmet for today's game and into the future. At least for now, though, it's just the helmets. The new navy and gold script logo isn't displayed anywhere other than the jumbotron at Heinz Field today, and it doesn't look like merchandise stands have any gear with the new logo. I'm sure it'll get phased in as time goes on, but, still, kind of odd for a rebranding that everyone was clamoring for.

- In terms of on-field action, DT Tyrique Jarrett, LB Zach Poker and DE Luke Maclean are out for Pitt with injuries today. Maclean and Poker are depth guys, but the loss of Jarrett could be big in terms of defending Georgia Tech's option offense. It'll likely increase the number of snaps that K.K. Mosley-Smith has to play (and he played very well against Virginia Tech last week).

- If you've got some time to kill on your way down to the stadium, have a listen to this week's Post Route Podcast, where Stephen Nesbitt and I preview this week's college football action.

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Empty Netter Assists - 10-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Patric Hornqvist and Nick (above) return to Nashville.

-Predators forward James Neal is heating up just as his former team comes to town.

-"Obviously when you get traded, it's a shock. But as the summer went on and things were coming into place, you get more and more excited." - Neal on being traded this past summer.

-Andrew Ebbett and Scott Harrington were assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-EN Says: The "yo-yo" nature of their existence with the Penguins is starting to get a little comical. That said, with Robert Bortuzzo rounding back into shape after a knee injury, one would assume Harrington's presence isn't necessary.

-"I didn’t even really feel it cut when it first happened but you look at your arm and you see it, you freak out initially." - Zach Sill on suffering a skate cut to his left arm last season.

-Matt Murray recorded his first career AHL shutout by making 21 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 5-0 win against the Springfield Falcons.  Bryan Rust had two goals and an assist for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teammate Nick Drazenovic scored two goals.


-Franky Palazzese made 10 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-0 loss to Gwinnett Gladiators.

-Former Penguins forward/enforcer Paul Bissonnette has joined the Cardiff Devils of the United Kingdom's EIHL.

Happy 80th birthday to former Penguins forward Earl Ingarfield, Sr., the second captain in franchise history. Claimed from the Rangers in the 1967 expansion draft, Ingarfield spent parts of two seasons in Pittsburgh. With the inaugural Penguins team in 1967-68, Ingarfield, the first player to wear No. 10 in franchise history, appeared in 50 games and score 34 points. After 40 games and 23 points in 1968-69, Ingarfield was traded along with Gene Ubriaco and Dick Mattiussi to the Oakland Seals in exchange for Bryan Watson, George Swarbrick and Tracy Pratt. In 90 games with the Penguins, Ingarfield scored 60 points.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins forward Josef Beranek (right). Beranek originally came to the Penguins at the 1997 trade deadline from Vancouver in exchange for future considerations. He finished 1996-97 by appearing in eight games and scoring four points. He appeared in all five of the team's postseason games that season and failed to record a point. After spending the entire 1997-98 season with HC Petra Vsetin in the Czech Republic, Beranek was traded to the Oilers in the 1998 offseason in exchange for Bobby Dollas and Tony Hrkac. He returned to the Penguins at the 2000 trade deadline when the Penguins acquired him from Edmonton in exchange for German Titov. Beranek finished 1999-2000 by playing in 13 games for the Penguins and recording eight points. He appeared in 11 postseason games that season and netted three points. His final NHL season was 2000-01.  He saw action in 70 games for the Penguins and scored 23 points. In the 2001 postseason, Beranek played in 13 games and recorded two points. In the 2001 offseason, he joined HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic. In 91 regular season games for the Penguins, Beranek scored 35 points. In 29 postseason games, he recorded five assists.

-After the Jump: Jarome Iginla breaks out for the Avalanche.

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Redbank Valley QB sets state passing record ..... WPIAL playoff clinchings

Written by Mike White on .

Before we get to the WPIAL playoff clinchings, check this out: A quarterback set a state record for passing yards in a game Friday night.

And his team lost.

Redbank Valley lost to Clarion, 58-46, in a District 9 game. Redbank Valley's Jake Dougherty set a state record for passing yards with 614. He broke the record of 594, set by Brockway's Derek Buganza in 2009. 

Clarion was led by running back Ian Corbett, who ran for 397 yards. So, two players had 1,011 yards between them. 


Now for who is going to the WPIAL playoffs. All spots are filled. The only thing yet to be decided is third and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Playoff pairings will be announced Monday night.

*-home team for first-round game.


Foothills Conference – *1. Penn-Trafford. *2. McKeesport. *3. Altoona. 4. Plum. 5. Norwin.

Northern Eight – *1. Pine-Richland. *2. Central Catholic. *3. North Allegheny. 4. North Hills. 5. Fox Chapel

Southeastern – *1. Penn Hills. *2. Woodland Hills. 3. Bethel Park. 4. Upper St. Clair. 5. Connellsville

Wild-card team - Connellsville


Big Nine – *1. Thomas Jefferson. *2. Ringgold. 3. West Mifflin. 4. Belle Vernon. 5. Laurel Highlands.

Greater Allegheny – *1. Hampton. *2. Franklin Regional. *3. Indiana. 4. Mars. 5. Gateway.

Parkway – *1. Central Valley. *2. West Allegheny. *3. Montour. 4. New Castle. 5. Moon

Wild-card team - Knoch


Allegheny – *1. Highlands. *2. Apollo-Ridge. 3. Shady Side Academy. 4. Kittanning.

Century – *1. South Fayette. *2. Seton-LaSalle. 3. South Park. 4. Steel Valley.

Interstate – *1. Washington. *2. Mount Pleasant. 3. McGuffey. 4. Waynesburg.

Midwestern – *1. Aliquippa. *2. Beaver. 3. Beaver Falls. 4. New Brighton.


Big Seven – *1. Neshannock. *2. Shenango. 3. South Side Beaver. 4. Riverside.

Black Hills – *1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. *2. Avonworth. 3. Brentwood. 4. Chartiers-Houston.

Eastern – *1. Clairton. *2. Jeannette. 3. If Springdale beats Riverview today, then Springdale is third and Greensburg Central Catholic fourth. If Springdale loses, GCC is third and Springdale fourth.

Tri-County South – *1. Beth-Center. *2. Frazier. 3. Mapletown. 4. Avella.

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Live Friday night blog - Central Valley beats West Allegheny, 28-17

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from showdown of unbeatens - West Allegheny at Central Valley. For score updates and notes on other games, look to the right of this blog at the @PGVarsityXtra Twitter account. If you have a score or update, tweet it to @PGVarsityXtra or tweet it with #wpial


Central Valley finishes the season with a perfect 9-0 record. Defense was outstanding.


Preston Johnson 1-yard run with 1:06 left.

10:15 Looks like CV is going to win. Halfback pass Jordan Whitehead halfback pass to QB John George to the 1.

10:11 CV now at West Allegheny 17. 2:25 left.

10:08 Ryan Roberson 39-yard TD run called back because of holding.

10:02 Great job again by Central Valley defense. Forces a three and out.

9:58 West Allegheny takes over at Central Valley 44 with 7:06 left. A sack and personal foul penalties backed up Central Valley.


9:42 Central Valley punts. West Allegheny first down at own 15.

9:39 Fourth-and-1, West Allegheny's Stephens stopped for 2-yard loss by CV's Chase Miladin. CV takes over at West Allegheny 42, late in the third.

9:33 Jordan Whitehead looks like cramping up. He's had problems with cramps other times in his career.

9:31 Really, West Allegheny's offense hasn't been able to do much of anything tonight.

9:31 Three and out for West Allegheny

9:29 I came in thinking West Allegheny's defense might be difference. But Central Valley's is just as good. Actually, tonight CV has been better.


Central Valley goes 66 yards in seven plays and Jordan Whitehead caps with 8-yard TD run. 6:37 left in third. 

9:22 QB John George hurting West A with his running.

9:20 West Allegheny goes three and out on first possession

Below, West Allegheny's Christian Stout takes the ball away from B.J. Powell for a first-half interception (Photo by P-G's Matt Freed

West A-CV

9:13 Second half under way 

Franklin Regional crushing Gateway 39-10

Upper St. Clair leading Mt. Lebanon, 28-14.

Penn Hills staying with Woodland Hills. Tied, 7-7, at half

Hampton leading Mars 14-7 in third. Hampton trying to go undefeated for first time since 2001

Waynesburg looks to be on its way to playoffs, leading Derry 21-13


At least by the stats, Central Valley outplayed West Allegheny. Central Valley held West Allegheny to three first downs in first half and 105 total yards. Central Valley had nine first downs and 156 total yards.

Little surprise. McGuffey beating Washington 14-7 late in the third

8:40 Crazy plays for sure this half. CV's Maurice Sims intercepts pass at 35. While returning it, fumbles and West Allegheny recovers and takes over at own 40 with 1:22 left in half.

8:35 Central Valley goes backwards on its possession. Short punt and West A takes over at CV 44 with 3:08 left in half.


D.J. Opsatnik gets 43-yard field goal just to go over crossbar

8:28 What a change in momentum. Central Valley looked to be going ahead. B.J. Powell looked like he was heading into the end zone with a long pass catch. But he bobbled the ball a few times trying to catch it. Christian Stout grabbed it at the 2-yard line, returned it to the CV 31 and CV was hit with a personal foul penalty that put the ball at the CV 31.

8:23 Five penalties now for West Allegheny. Not like them.

8:21 Central Valley ball first down at the 23.

8:18 Central Valley outgained West Allegheny, 146-96, in first quarter.

Quaker Valley giving South Fayette a hard time. 21-14 SF at half

Woodland Hills and Penn Hills tied, 7-7

8:15 End of first quarter and we're tied 14-14.


Great play. Fourth and 3, everyone thinks Whitehead will get ball. They fake handoff to Whitehead on jet sweep. John George keeps and goes 39 yards up middle for TD. Schmidt PAT good. 1:55 left in first.

8:07 Chris Callaghan did so well at QB for CV when John George was hurt. But it's been all George tonight. He is a senior. It is is senior night.

8:06 West Allegheny goes three and out. Central Valley getting lot pressure up front from DLine.


Central Valley moves 80 yards in 11 plays for score. BJ Powell caps it with 11-yard TD pass from John George. 5:10 left first quarter.

7:59 Central Valley on move. Now at Weest Allegheny 11. Nice mix of pass and run by Central Valley.


West Allegheny another TD. On second play of possession, Andrew Koester throws to Tyler Scanlon 10 yards downfield. Central Valley defender tries for INT, overruns play, and Scanlon goes rest of way for 55 yard TD play. 

Quips rolling again. Aliquippa over Beaver Falls 21-6

7:47 Central Valley turns ball over on downs at WA 44. Third-and-short and fourth-and-short, Whitehead doesn't touch ball either time.

7:43 First play after kickoff, Whitehead speeds 69 yards for TD. Wait. Called back procedure penalty.


Second play after turnover, Chayse Dillon goes 30 yards for TD. D.J. Opsatnik kick. 11:10 left first quarter. 

7:39 Mistake on kickoff. Jordan Whitehead fumbles. West Allegheny Kamren Cornell recovers at Central Valley 30.

7:37 Carla, the wonderful athletic office administrator, press box hostess who has lived in district for 27 years, says she has not seen a crowd this big ever here.

7:35 Late start. TV rules.


A sea of pink awaits Central Valley player entrance to the field

Central Valley pink

Since 1980, there have been 20 regular-season finales matching undefeated and untied teams. This is the 21st.

Great atmosphere here. Parking lots were pretty much filled by 6 p.m. Mastrangelo Hill outside the stadium is crowded. Root Sports doing the game live on TV.

Press box overflowing with media. John "the Mayor" Lee doing the game with Rob Matzie on "Pickle" radio.


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