Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Sport | By Charlene Craig

Wilson could return for Predators in Game 5 of Cup Final

Wilson could return for Predators in Game 5 of Cup Final

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne watches from the bench during the second period in Game 5 of the team's NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

Matt Murray stopped all 24 shots he faced as the Pittsburgh Penguins routed the Nashville Predators 6-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.

"I know people talk about how we're exhausted, but believe me, they're exhausted too", Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin said.

Bottle their play from games three and four and steal game five in Pittsburgh and the Preds will have the chance to close out this championship run at home Sunday in game six in front of an ear-splitting home crowd that's left happy 13 of the last 14 postseason games, and probably about 200,000 revelers outside the arena as history could intersect with the final night of CMA Fest.

So do the Predators, who can't get back to Smashville fast enough. Rinne has allowed 11 goals on 45 shots in seven periods of play during the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh.

"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.

After returning home from Pittsburgh down 0-2 in the series, goaltender Pekka Rinne remarked that the Preds were still in the Stanley Cup Final, and life wasn't all that bad. "We know we're going to have to". They take great pains to bring the new faces along.

Schultz, Bryan Rust, Malkin, Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel and Ron Hainsey scored the Pittsburgh goals. It was Crosby who sent the message - with his vision, his creativity and, oddly, his fists.

Crosby and P.K. Subban got into a wrestling match toward the end of the first period.

"I believe this team has a certain maturity to it, always starts with our leadership", Sullivan said.

Whether that trade was fated to lead Subban to a victory this season is yet to be seen, but no piece portrays destiny more dramatically than Orff's "O Fortuna".

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Kessel, who had gone six games without scoring, broke out with a goal and two assists.

"The real hockey starts now", Subban said.

"We found a different level (in Game 4)", Crosby said. I don't know what he was trying to do. "I was in some kind of lock there".

"I think we're just moving our feet", Crosby told reporters. The ordeal resulted in two-minute holding minors for both men, who headed for the locker room with 1:32 remaining in the period. "But yeah, he's been a good friend and he certainly had a nice text after we beat them in the playoffs".

Saros hardly fared any better. Kessel had all the time and space in the world as he maneuvered into the high slot and rifled a shot past Saros at 8:02.

"It's just one of those things it slipped out of my hand", Crosby said.

What's next: Game 6 in Sunday night in Nashville, where the Predators are 9-1 in the playoffs. While Westlake includes one triumphant and dramatic moment in the piece, overall there's nothing that really screams "Stanley Cup Champion".

Tonight - was not the night for them to get that one road win they need.

Wilson and Toews grew up playing hockey together in Manitoba, where they competed on the ice and their fathers competed in building rinks. "It's about going back and forth". Matt Murray made 24 saves.

Sullivan smiled and said being referred to as Penguins co-owner and Hall of Fame center Mario Lemieux "brightened my week".

With 164 career playoff points, Crosby is now tied with Denis Potvin for 19th all-time. Pittsburgh has outscored the Predators 15-4 on home ice, while the Predators have outscored the Penguins 9-2 in Nashville. The teams combined for 100 penalty minutes (58 for Nashville, 42 for Pittsburgh). Guentzel's assist moved him into a tie with Dino Ciccarelli and Ville Leino for the most playoff points by a rookie in National Hockey League history (21). Bonino has been out of the lineup since a leg injury in Game 2. And although Nashville has looked like the better team for the majority of the series, we still enter Game 5 tied at two - mostly because Penguins' star players have been individually brilliant at points over the first four games.

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