Sport

Pittsburgh Penguins G Matt Murray to start Game 5 vs. Nashville Predators

Pittsburgh Penguins G Matt Murray to start Game 5 vs. Nashville Predators

They've played over 200 hockey games in the past two seasons, they're missing one of the world's best defenseman and they got embarrassed in Game's 3 & 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the 16th seeded team in the playoffs. Ellis missed most of the second and third periods in Thursday night's 6-0 loss in the Stanley Cup Final.

The consummate home-ice achievement - winning a Stanley Cup there - will have to wait until at least next Wednesday.

Some thought of it as some bad luck at first, but it apparently worked out for the Penguins.

A Pittsburgh Penguins fan holds a catfish sign adorned with the face of Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban during the second period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins have played almost every type of game in the last month - they've been embarrassed, they've done the embarrassing and ran teams out of the building, they've won 1-0 games and they've won games in overtime.

They know they have to make improvements in their game to stop Nashville's momentum in the series, but in general, they were happy with how they played in a 4-1 loss in Game 4 on Monday. "We're playing good defense", Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. Center Nick Bonino (ankle) tried to play in Game Four but let the ice in warmups. So Rinne will need to be at his best to give Nashville a chance at its first Game 7 and Pittsburgh's third this postseason.

One thing particularly noticeable over the last two games in Nashville was the Predators' forward depth - nine of their 12 forwards had a point in Game 4 - in contrast to the Penguins relying too much on their top two lines to produce offense.

"Right now our backs are against the wall, and this is our opportunity and I think you try to do anything in your power and prepare the best you can for this one", Rinne said.

"Certainly I think the one area where I think our team can improve on here is just our transition game", Sullivan said.

"He'll score", Malkin said of Kessel, who has 30 goals and 63 points in 69 career playoff games.




Pekka Rinne's struggles in Pittsburgh have his Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination. Evgeni Malkin made it 3-0 just before the end of the first period at 19:49 with a slapper from the left face-off circle.

Many hockey fans were (rightfully) anxious about the change in the crowd atmosphere before Game 5 after two loud and fun games in Nashville, but some traditions, like the catfish, made their way back to Pittsburgh.

It was as if after watching the Predators for four games, the Penguins were finally able to finally figure out their opponent's weak spot. "I came here well-prepared and we just didn't have it tonight".

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.

The goal was Crosby's first in a Stanley Cup Final since June 2009.

Colin Wilson could be back in the Nashville Predators' lineup for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I think we've got to play with urgency". Neither Pittsburgh nor Nashville has yet won a game in the series whilst on the road. Nashville was every bit the defending champ's equal in the opening two games only to be undone by a pair of dominant bursts by the Penguins.

"They both have their hands full", Laviolette said.

"You've got trust what gets you here", Crosby said.

Frederick Gaudreau is doing his best to earn his own locker in the Nashville Predators dressing room.


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