Wilson could return for Predators in Game 5 of Cup Final

Kristopher Nichols
June 11, 2017

Consider his description of the opening couple minutes Thursday in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final when Crosby launched the Penguins toward a 6-0 win and a 3-2 series lead.

However, Nashville has been a dominant team on home ice throughout this year's post-season, going 9-1 in 10 contests at Bridgestone Arena, and outscored the Penguins by a wide 9-2 margin in victories as home chalk in Games 3 and 4 of this series. "Why pucks are getting deflected in off our guys or something like that", Rinne said of Game 5 in Pittsburgh, where he was pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots.

Just as goaltender Pekka Rinne had said during the Predators' darkest playoff hour, they had life and they had hope Friday despite facing elimination for the first time in their improbable and intriguing run to the Stanley Cup Final. It can't be good news for the Predators that Phil Kessel (one goal, three points), Evgeni Malkin (one goal, two points) and Sidney Crosby (three assists) hit stride simultaneously and emphatically.

Rust made it 2-0 just 6:43 into the game with a nasty backhand flip over Rinne's glove. "It's about going back and forth".

They say that is their focus much more than trying to prevent the Penguins from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in their building. Fans hope their energy help the Predators tie up the series and set up a decisive Game 7. That hasn't been in the case on the road as they scored one goal in both Game 4 and Game 5.

Crosby finished with three assists to reach 27 points, one behind Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin for the National Hockey League postseason scoring lead. Losing the two previous games in Nashville gave them something to think about on the trip home.

Yet there's been no question that Rinne, who has never won a start in Pittsburgh, will be in net Sunday night.

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An eighth round pick of the Preds way back in 2004, Rinne has been excellent at home throughout the playoffs with a 9-1 record and.949 save percentage.

PITTSBURGH-The series hadn't started and Matt Cullen was talking about another teammate, one of hundreds.

Crosby might resort to canned answers, but those who know him best believe his playoff failures stoke his competitive fire. "I had a gesture with my hand and before I knew it the thing was flying across the ice". We've got to do a better job in front of him.

"I think Sid really understands the opportunity that this team has, and he's not taking anything for granted", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Nashville looked nothing like that team Thursday night, instead imitating deer frozen by headlights. Penguins F Nick Bonino missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury.

"I'm not an official so I'm not going to judge what's over the line and what's not", Subban said. "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".

- A huge crowd showed up at Signature Air yesterday to give the Predators a rousing send off as they left for Game Five. "We want to win it".

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