Pens Light Up Preds; Win Away From Lifting Cup – Pro Sports Fandom

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The home ice team winning trend of the Stanley Cup continued Thursday night as Pittsburgh won their 3rd home game of the series.  Except this game was no win, it was a massive blowout.

Many doubts and bad expectations were shared among NHL fans rooting for the Pens heading into this game.  People thought Nashville might win on the road and have a 3-2 advantage after game 5.  Penguins players thought otherwise.  Pittsburgh came out into game 5 on a clear mission, scoring 3 goals in period 1, and another 3 in period 2.  No scoring from either team in the third led to a 6-0 blowout by the penguins.

Right into the start of the game, Sidney Crosby made a world-class move through both preds defenders, got tripped drawing a penalty, and hit the post on his shot while falling.  The Penguins would score on that Powerplay, a blast from breakout player Justin Schultz at the point was able to sneak through Rinne’s fivehole.  Crosby setup the goal.  Quickly after Bryan Rust scored a big goal for the pens on a backhand top shelf giving the penguins an early 2-0 lead.  The next goal would not occur despite A grade chances for both teams until 20 seconds were left in the period.  Matching penalties were assessed to stars Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban as they got tangled up, Subban held Crosby’s skate and would not let him go, so Crosby started to unstrap Subban’s helmet.  During that 4 on 4, Phil Kessel delayed the puck enough time to get it to Evgeny Malkin for a one time goal in the same spot Rust scored, top glove.  This goal was a backbreaker for Nashville, occuring with only 20 seconds left before period two.

Connor Sheary opened period 2’s scoring off a sweet assist from Crosby on Nashville’s backup goalie.  Crosby also manufactured another assist on the penguins 5th goal, an absolute laser from Phil Kessel in the slot.  The last goal of the game was Ron Hainsey’s, after he made a nice move to dodge a hit, crashed the net and got a tap in goal from Evgeny Malkin’s assist.

The third period got ugly, with a combined 90 penalty minutes in the period. Multiple fights occurred, match penalty’s were handed out, possible suspension facing a predator player for cross checking to the face on a pens player.  It was not pretty.

The penguins sent a massive statement out to Nashville in game 5.  Nashville is certain to respond, but odds are not in their favor.  Game 6 is Sunday night in Nashville, and the Stanley Cup will be present.  Will Nashville force a game 7? Or will the Pens repeat winning the Cup in 6 games? Legacies are on the line, whether that is cementing a legacy for the penguins or the start of a future legacy to come in Nashville.

 

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Preds Blowout Pens; Claw Back Into Series

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Nashville brought their A game in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.  Everyone in the lineup, starting in the back from goaltender Pekka Rinne, all the way up to the defenders in front and the forwards  all played stellar.

The game started off with the Conn-Smythe leading favorite rookie forward Jake Guentzel scoring a few minutes into the game in period 1.  It was all Pittsburgh in period 1, and the hockey world was thinking, “Is Pittsburgh going to win and be up 3-0?” “Will Pittsburgh sweep the Preds in the Stanley Cup?”

Nashville thought otherwise, and in the 2nd period, they opened up the scoring.  A one-time shot from Roman Josi found its way past Matt Murray and into the back of the net after hitting off a Penguin’s glove from trying to block the shot.  Josi tied the game at 1-1.  Then 40 seconds later, a beautiful shot from Frederick Gaudreau was sniped past Murray’s glove side as Gaudreau used a Pens defender as a screen.  2-1 was the score for most of the period, until former Penguin James Neal scored a weird goal from the side of Murray with only 22 seconds remaining in the period.  This goal was a backbreaker for the Pens.  The 3rd period saw only the predators score two more times, goals by Veteran Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm.  Five unanswered goals powered the Predators past the Pens in game 3 for their 5-1 dominating win.

Pekka Rinne played stellar as his true self, and Roman Josi had 3 points (1G, 2A) to carry the Preds from the back end.   Nashville is the leading team in the regular season and postseason for points by defenders.   If Nashville is going to keep looking to win, it is going to require their Goalie Pekka Rinne to keep playing great, and their defense to not only play great but to put up play that leads into goals, which they have done all year.

On the other hand, if Pittsburgh is looking to win, they will need better play from Matt Murray, better forechecking from the forwards, better defense by the defenders, and a better special teams performance. Both teams have good Penalty Killing units, and good Powerplays, but the Preds have done a better job so far.  In Game 2 and 3 combined, the Penguins are 0/10 on the powerplay, and have only managed to get 3 shots. Nashville is a good penalty killing team (#1, 90%), but Pittsburgh has the #1 powerplay and those numbers are pathetic and will not win games.

A pivotal Game 4 in on the way coming up Monday 6/5/17.  The Penguins could take a commanding 3-1 series lead or Nashville could tie up the series at 2-2, making it a best of three series.

 

6/3/17- The Biggest Day in Nashville Sports

The new car outside the Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, is decorated as their opponent in the Stanley Cup Final.  If you are new to this, you might be wondering why they would have that outside their arena.  The answer, it is their next Smashcar.  It is becoming tradition for Nashville Fans to decorate a car of their opponent to smash it, hoping it replicates what the team does to their opponent.

The music city will be having their largest party outside the game they have had.  The fans want this to become a series.  The fans at the Bridgestone Arena have been electrifying, and the Predators have fed off this energy from them, and look to continue that in these next two home games. There is a reason why this team is 7-1 at home in the postseason this year.

Will Nashville get swept 4-0? Will they split their home games and go 1-1? Or will they tie the series back at 2-2.  We will have to wait and see.  Star defense man P.K. Subban turned into Mark Messier, as he stated “We will win game 3”.  When the Rangers had played the Devils in 1994, Messier guaranteed a win heading into game 6, and he ended up scoring two goals and the game winner.  P.K. is a confident guy, and his team has no problem with his confidence level and will attempt to feed off of that heading into the next game.

Coach Peter Laviolette has not stated which goaltender would be playing in game 3.   He was asked two days in a row, and continues to keep it a mystery.  Let’s not fool ourselves though, we all know Pekka Rinne will be playing.  He is going to need to play the best hockey of his life, the hockey he was playing the whole post season, before the Stanley Cup Final, if he wants to get his team back in the series.