Domenica, 24 Marzo, 2019

Predators freeze out Penguins to level Stanley Cup

Danny Murphy  Icon Sportswire Danny Murphy Icon Sportswire
Pammachio Corsino | 19 Giugno, 2017, 02:27

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) stops a shot against Nashville Predators left wing Pontus Aberg (46), of Sweden, during the period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final Monday, June 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn. Pittsburgh is averaging 3.0 goals per game in the playoffs, the same as the Predators.

Some thought of it as some bad luck at first, but it apparently worked out for the Penguins. That's 9-1 at home for the Predators, including two straight against the Penguins, 5-1 on Saturday and 4-1 on Monday night that tied the series at two games apiece.

It's now a best-of-three sprint to hockey's Holy Grail, and Nashville is riding a wave of momentum after outscoring the defending champions 9-2 over the past two games. They grabbed a 2-1 series lead by crushing the Penguins, 5-1, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. We had a clincher a year ago at home and we didn't get it done. Pittsburgh then added three more goals in the second period from Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel and Ron Hainsey. Kessel had two shots on goal in Game 4 and three in Game 3 but was a minus-2 in each game.

The Predators have outshot the Penguins in all four games.

When the playoffs started in mid-April, the Predators were the last team in.

"You always have ups and downs, and you try to stay even-keeled", Rinne said.

It was a risky play from a player who should probably know better based on his own concussion history, however, it illustrated the kind of attitude Crosby had brought to what was a pivotal Game 5.

If the Pittsburgh Penguins want to re-take the series lead, they are going to need a whole lot more consistency from the stars who power their dazzling offense.

Sports' Kevin Allen explains why Pittsburgh and Nashville can feel good about their chances heading into Game 5. It was the fifth 6-goal beating in Cup Final history, meaning the game tied for the seventh-biggest blowout on record in this round. "And I think everybody on our team can skate, move the puck and make plays". But they'll have to win again in Pittsburgh next week to lift the Stanley Cup.

"We definitely know what our identity is", defenseman P.K. Subban said.

This was a different Pittsburgh team than we had seen in the series - and that included the wins in Games 1 and 2.

"If you score one goal, it is not enough to win", he said.

"We have no home ice, we knew that coming in", coach Peter Laviolette said.

The home team has won all four games in this season series and the Penguins will look to keep that streak alive in Game 5. The way Gaudreau has, scoring three goals in four final games.

Senators: Center Derick Brassard underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

NBC Sports reported an average of 4.23 million viewers through the first four games of the final, up 24 percent from previous year.

"Our focus really is more concerned about just that one game in front of us, and I know that - I know that our guys understand the importance of that short-term focus, just staying in the moment, and I think it's arguably the most important for the goaltending position because of the importance of that position, and so that's where our focus needs to be". The Predators put some space between themselves and the Penguins late in the second period with Viktor Arvidsson's breakaway goal. That's something that we've talked about, how we can just get better at our transition speed.


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