STANLEY CUP FINAL: Pens regroup after Preds fight back

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Pekka Rinne's game seemed to be in tatters and the Penguins fan base was musing whether it preferred a clean sweep or just a split of the two games in Nashville so the defending champions could raise the Cup on home ice. "I think young players with young legs have the ability to have an impact". "Wanted to make sure that we played on our toes". Matt Murray was supposed to be the goalie of the future for the Penguins last season when an injury to Marc-Andre Fleury on the eve of the playoffs made him very much the goalie of the present.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pekka Rinne's struggles in Pittsburgh have his Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination.

The Penguins' best players were their best players. Filip Forsberg leads Nashville with nine goals, Viktor Arvidsson has 10 assists and Roman Josi has 72 shots on goal.

Like Hornqvist, Neal was drafted in the 2005 NHL Draft. Ryan Ellis and Mattias Eckholm have both been caught pinching on plays that have gone the other way for easy two on one goals in Pittsburgh.

Murray allowed eight goals on 58 shots (.862 save percentage) in dropping Games 3 and 4 to the Predators in Nashville.

And yet, when the series began Wilson wondered if he would even dress for a game.

Well now, we've got a series. But there's still at least one more chance for the teams to provide a one-goal game or maybe even some overtime, which had been on pace to break the all-time record for a single postseason through three rounds. His totals over three years has him averaging more goals, assists and points per game with the Penguins than he did in Nashville. But once the game started, the ice belonged to the Penguins. But, more importantly, he played a role with a club that has more than enough firepower up front. Plus, Gaudreau became just the third rookie to collect consecutive game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final since the National Hockey League took sole possession of the trophy in 1926-27 - and the second to do so in this series (following Jake Guentzel).

Out of curiosity, I looked at all games during the regular season in which (a) a team was decisively out-shot at 5-on-5, with less than 47 per cent of shots in their favour; and (b) in those games, how frequently the team managed to out-score their opposition.


The Thunder Bay, Ont., native, who guided the Penguins to their fourth Stanley Cup previous year, has a.925 save percentage in the playoffs.

But let's not forget about the third piece to this deal. True to Crosby's pre-game wishes, they soaked up plenty of offensive time and had their second of the night before seven minutes had passed with Rust beating Rinne with a backhand off the rush. However, defenseman P.K. Subban was quick to caution that he doesn't believe in momentum in the playoffs, and while the two victories have put the Preds in a desirable spot ahead of Game Five, they're not about to take anything for granted.

The trade was a major salary dump for the Leafs who would later begin their rebuild, but for the Penguins it landed them a major offensive asset in Kessel. "So usually our challenge with Phil and Geno all the time is just the subtleties and the details of the play away from the puck or without the puck that gives them the ability to get it back when they don't have it".

Biggs has jumped around since the trade. They didn't get that many, but still they won those two games.

As for the conditions on the picks, there were many of them.

Pittsburgh's magic number is now one. Crosby is looking to join Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky as the only players to captain back-to-back Cup winners in the last 30 years - and first in the salary cap era.

"He's waited like a long time - he hasn't scored in a long time", Malkin said, noting the need for the Penguins leaders to rise up.

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