Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Penguins regroup, Predators look for road magic in Game 5

The Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest and the under is 8-2-3 in Predators last 13 home games.

No, the reason why the Pittsburgh Penguins had headed into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final having blown a 2-0 series lead to the Nashville Predators was because of the players surrounding Crosby.

Nashville Predators center Colton Sissons (10) shoots against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) and defenseman Ron Hainsey (65) during the third period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Monday, June 5, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

"He'll score. It's his time to score", Malkin said.

"This is obviously a great win, a great feeling", said Hainsey, "but come tomorrow it's got to be parked because we have to get one more win".

And there's no better time to do it than game five. "If they want to shoot glove (side), then I say go ahead and shoot glove". If you're like me then you're always on the go. The Nashville Predators have lost five of their last six games when allowing more than one goal. But just as the Predators started to gain some structure in their game, Evgeni Malkin wristed a top-shelf shot past goalie Pekka Rinne late in the first period. The Los Angeles Kings won two out of three in 2012 and 2014, but ran out of miracles in that in-between year. If you read some of the quotes from Penguins personnel, it's hard not to get that vibe.

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"It just comes down to burying your chances", said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who picked up his first goal of the series in Game 4. With just 91 shots over the first four games in the series that comes out to be 22.75 shots for per game, the fewest of any team in any playoff series this year. "And that's just going to be like (that)". The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year. He added 22 points in 38 playoff games for the Pens over four playoff seasons. "There's not too many guys who can do that coming right out of the shoot and I think everybody fed off that a bit as far as alright, we're going to be aggressive and try to go get it".

Crosby finished with three assists to reach 27 points, one behind Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin for the National Hockey League postseason scoring lead.

Murray is 5-4 as a starter in this postseason.

Scott Wilson, a rookie winger who's lined up with Malkin occasionally this season, thought he was at his best when he was "feisty". I think we can learn from that ... it's impossible not to think about. The Nashville and Pittsburgh Operas have agreed on a friendly wager: The artistic directors of each opera will wear the other team's jersey on opening night of Tosca (both companies happen to be staging Puccini's work in October) should their team lose. The Predators couldn't get the puck out of their zone and failed to generate zone time until the middle of the period. We're playing great. We're scoring goals. "He makes timely saves for us", Mike Sullivan said.

Rinne, who had also been pulled in Game 2 and has a.755 save percentage in the three Pittsburgh games, was replaced by Juuse Saros to start the second period. They knew they would be starting on the road in every series, and the Predators responded by winning the opener of their first three series.

"You have to find the point of when a player is healthy enough to get back in the lineup and when they're not healthy enough to get back and be able to contribute and play at a level that is needed right now at this point in the season", said Laviolette. "It's not an injury where they tell you, 'You're done, here's your timeline, you're done for a month.' It's been about feeling good to where I can help the team as opposed to hurting the team".

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