The Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to play Game 4 in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Monday. This put Nashville on the back foot and the Preds never looked like they were going to have the firepower on the night to get back into the game. "It sounds cliche, but that's what it is and we all know we're a great team and we're gonna be rocking the building on Sunday", said Mattias Ekholm. "We've got to make sure we're the harder-working and the faster team out there".
Near the end of the first period, the Penguins were leading 2-0 when Crosby and Subban mixed it up along the boards.
Rust made it 2-0 just 6:43 into the game with a nasty backhand flip over Rinne's glove.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel played a role in finishing, but it all started from the back end with a style of play that emulates Letang. It was Crosby who sent the message - with his vision, his creativity and, oddly, his fists.
"I thought (Game 5) might have been their best night as a group of six", Sullivan said on a conference call Friday.
And apparently not taking any more stuff from Subban either.
There was his scrum behind the Nashville net late in the first period with frequent tormentor P.K. Subban. Crosby then got on top of Subban and used his right hand, and eventually left glove, to repeatedly push Subban's head into the ice.
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"He told me my breath smelled, but I don't know, I used Listerine before the game so I don't know what he's talking about", Subban told NBC in a postgame interview, according to the Tennessean. "I was in some kind of lock there".
Crosby, Malkin and playoffs goals leader Jake Guentzel would seem to be the favorites to win the playoff MVP if the Penguins close out the series. Backup Juuse Saros didn't fare much better, giving up three goals in relief. That hasn't been in the case on the road as they scored one goal in both Game 4 and Game 5. Sidney Crosby, who was particularly strong early in the game, had three assists.
Malkin ripped a wrist shot over Rinne's glove on the ensuing 4-on-4 to make it 3-0 with just 10 seconds left in the first. "You need to understand what you're going to see but you also have to understand that you have to play your own game to the best of your own ability".
The Penguins skated in Pittsburgh before flying to Nashville.
"Well, I'm not an official", Subban said.
What an interesting choice he would be considering the peaks and valleys of his Stanley Cup Final alone. It's about going back and forth and back and forth. Matt Murray is coming off two inconsistent performances and definitely wants to get back to where he was in game two... That they've been resilient throughout this season, overcoming a slow start to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and reaching the Final for the first time in their history, fuels Laviolette's faith they can rebound Sunday. The teams combined for 100 penalty minutes (58 for Nashville, 42 for Pittsburgh).
His goals-against-average marks took a hit with forgettable duds at PPG Paints Arena, but he still leads the National Hockey League with 14 playoff wins. Penguins F Nick Bonino missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury.
It's not the way the Penguins were playing in the first four games of the series as Nashville negated their speed and controlled the neutral zone.