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Alex Radulov returns for Predators vs. Penguins, but on which line?

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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AP

Alex Radulov will make his second debut with the Nashville Predators against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, giving an offense that's eighth in the NHL in goals per game (2.81) and first in power-play conversion (21.6 percent) another toy in the chest.

Where is he going to play?

Initial speculation was that Radulov might skate with Martin Erat and Mike Fisher, but Alan Robinson of NHL.com predicts differently:

Radulov is expected to play on a line with center David Legwand and the Predators' leading scorer, Patric Hornqvist.

"We're not going to put him at risk," Trotz said of monitoring Radulov's playing time. "When he's getting real tired obviously we'll pull him back. We'll just have dialogue, Rad just said, 'Let's talk on the bench.' He said, 'You'll see when I'm dying out,' and we'll know."

Josh Cooper of The Tennessean likes the fit:

On paper, it's a smart move by Barry Trotz. Put Radulov on a line with a veteran centerman and your top goal scorer. Also, Radulov played with Legwand when he was with the Predators the first time around. Originally, I thought Nashville would start him out on a lower unit, then move him up. But with nine games left, it seems like the Predators want him to play early and often.

If Alex Radulov scores a goal and Sidney Crosby has multiple points tonight, will the hype machine simply asplode?

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