Sports

Stanley Cup finals: Rinne huge, Preds tie series

Stanley Cup finals: Rinne huge, Preds tie series

The Nashville Predators breathed new life into the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-1 victory over the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, squaring the National Hockey League championship series at 2-2 with three to play.

The Predators and the Penguins have each won all their home games in the Stanley Cup Final so far.

Pittsburgh played their best game of the series on Monday night, the problem is... the Nashville defense had their best game as well, and when they broke down... He took a P.K. Subban shot off his left foot/ankle in Game 2. "I don't know. We've got to be a lot better, there's no question about that". This save, in particular, from Game 4 could be the defining moment of the series and Rinne's career. The Penguins are 9-3 at PPG Paints Arena this postseason, now riding a five-game winning streak there. This should be the right offseason for Sweeney to get something done with Sami Vatanen, Matthew Dumba, Jonas Brodin and Tyson Barrie, to name just a few, potentially available on the trade market for the right price. That hasn't been in the case on the road as they scored one goal in both Game 4 and Game 5. The Predators claimed a significant advantage in shot attempts (91-60) and scoring chances (42-24) in those games but were undone by the Penguins' opportunism.

Arvidsson gave the Predators some breathing room with seven minutes left in the period when he streaked in on a breakaway and beat Murray on his glove side with a laser-like wrist shot.

Stanley Cup finals: Rinne huge, Preds tie series
Stanley Cup finals: Rinne huge, Preds tie series

If Game 4 was any indication, it's probably a safe bet that Nashville will have some Stanley Cup babies being born just under a year from now. Pittsburgh will have a chance to become the first franchise to win back-to-back championships since Detroit in 1998 when the series shifts back to Nashville for Game 6 on Sunday night. Even Wilson, who has two more years remaining on a four-year deal worth $15.75-million U.S., admitted he was "thankful to (the Predators) for sticking with me to this point".

NOTES: Matt Murray finished with 24 saves. Subban also got his bad breath under control, and most importantly, goaltender Pekka Rinne woke up.

Rinne, who had also been pulled in Game 2 and has a.755 save percentage in the three Cup Final games held in Pittsburgh, was replaced by Juuse Saros to start the second period.

Conor Sheary gave Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead 1:19 into the second period. The Pittsburgh coaching staff apparently has very little faith in Streit since he's played in just three postseason games. According to a Washington Post reporter, the judge in the Bill Cosby case shut down the trial early today so the jury, chosen from Allegheny County, could be out in time to watch the game.

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Center Evgeni Malkin, forward Jake Guentzel and Crosby have scored seven of Pittsburgh's 11 goals in the four games.

Gaudreau's goal was his third of the series. We've got good players.

The only thing predictable about this erratic Final is that it is seemingly hurtling toward Seventh Heaven next week, given the dominant nature of each team on home ice. But at home, Murray has a 1.33 goals against average, including a shutout in Game 5.

Wilson took part in the team's morning skate at PPG Paints Arena and came off before P.A. Parenteau, who said he would not play.

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Wilson has been out since suffering an unspecified injury in Game Six of the Western Conference final against Anaheim.

"If you've got a team that has momentum and a team that's got desperation, for me anyway, the scarier team is the one that's got desperation", Laviolette said.

When people started throwing Cat Fish on the ice during the games I thought to myself "poor fish he didn't hurt anyone, but I wonder what's gonna happen when they win" well I found out really fast.

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