Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Predators freeze out Penguins to level Stanley Cup

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Nellie Chapman | 20 June, 2017, 02:48

Home ice domination: No team has lost at home in this series.

Sullivan is 7-0 in series with the Penguins, and the way he sees it, his team's inability to solve Rinne in Games 3 and 4 had little to do with lack of effort or opportunities.

The Penguins road trip can be summed up here: "Smahsville" certainly lived up to the hype, the Penguins really miss Kris Letang and Pekka Rinne is hot again.

And the victor of game five will sit in a glorious position in what has now been reduced to a best-of-three series for Lord Stanley's Cup.

"We know this game we're going to have to be at our best, there's no question", Nashville center and captain Mike Fisher said. "We knew that coming in here. We all know it". "I'm not breaking earth-shattering news: The NBA Playoffs have not been very good". They're looking to come back and re-gain the lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series on Thursday evening, doing so as they head back to a position of home ice advantage. Schultz's goal game on the power play, which was the Penguins' first power play goal since Game 1 and their second of the series.

While most expected Kessel and Crosby would play a lot together when the former was traded to Pittsburgh, Sullivan said they are more effective playing on separate lines. But he has allowed 12 goals in four games against the Nashville Predators in the Cup Final for a.902 save percentage.

"That's all I wanted for my birthday", Fisher said afterward of the big win.

Mattias Ekholm said everything is created to make opponents work hard and fellow defenseman Ryan Ellis noted that the hard work is required of the Predators, too. While this saps some of the momentum from game to game for either team - and there was plenty for the Penguins to build off of in Game 4 despite the loss as they were able to sustain more of an attack and generate scoring chances - it does allow for better physical recovery.

Other than those few minutes, the rest of the third period of Game 2 and some flashes here and there, the Penguins have been outplayed. The powerful Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, against the Nashville Predators, the final team to get into the playoffs. Nashville won its two at home by a combined 9-2. A goose egg in the win column that will obviously have to change if the Preds are to capture their first ever Stanley Cup. "The first two games, I wasn't happy with my game. Two teams that skate well up and down the ice", Rinne said Wednesday from the team hotel. "We had some high-quality chances". Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel seemed to be having some chemistry issues, but expect them to try and have a bigger game than usual as well. "At home we played two strong games".

The Predators are hardly blaming Rinne for their predicament.

Bottle their play from games three and four and steal game five in Pittsburgh and the Preds will have the chance to close out this championship run at home Sunday in game six in front of an ear-splitting home crowd that's left happy 13 of the last 14 postseason games, and probably about 200,000 revelers outside the arena as history could intersect with the final night of CMA Fest.

In Game 2, most of Crosby's five-on-five ice time came against Sissons, while Malkin received pretty even doses of Calle Jarnkrok and Frederick Gaudreau.