Kessel scores twice, Penguins topple Predators 5-2

Nashville Predators Sports Generic

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Phil Kessel scored twice and the surging Pittsburgh Penguins moved within striking distance of a 10th straight playoff berth with a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist and Nick Bonino also scored for Pittsburgh, which improved to 10-1 in its last 11 games.

The Penguins will clinch a spot in the postseason if Detroit loses in regulation on Friday against Minnesota. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots to reach the 35-win plateau for the seventh time in his career.

James Neal and Ryan Johansen each had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who failed for a third straight game to wrap up a playoff bid.

Pekka Rinne stopped 25 shots before sitting out the third period in favor of backup Carter Hutton.

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