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Crosby, Penguins hope troubles are behind them

Pittsburgh (20-17-4) at Nashville (17-19-3), 8:00 pm EST

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- With half the regular season

over, the Pittsburgh Penguins are not in position to make the

playoffs.

Captain Sidney Crosby and the Penguins look to change that when

they visit the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

The defending Eastern Conference champions, Pittsburgh has

fallen to ninth place in the conference standings - one point

behind the Buffalo Sabres for the final playoff spot and seven

points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Flyers.

Crosby ended a three-game pointless streak with his team-leading

16th goal of the season as the Penguins snapped a season-long,

five-game losing skid with Tuesday's 3-1 triumph over the

Atlanta Thrashers.

Pittsburgh has struggled despite terrific overall production

from its two superstars. Evgeni Malkin and Crosby, who were

both voted into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game, have

combined for 31 goals and 114 points.

The Penguins' problems pale in comparison to the Predators, who

have lost five consecutive contests and have netted a Western

Conference-low 94 goals on the campaign.

Recently recalled Ryan Jones scored their lone goal in Tuesday's

2-1 setback to the Colorado Avalanche.

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