Can the Penguins keep winning in a counterattacking role?

Ross Houston
June 13, 2017

"The playoffs in hockey have been awesome", said Barkley, who accepted commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to attend Game 4 in Nashville.

"I try to contribute as much as I can", Arvidsson told reporters in Nashville before a flight to Pittsburgh.

Some thought of it as some bad luck at first, but it apparently worked out for the Penguins.

Rinne, the playoff leader in wins and goals-against average, rebounded in a big way for Games 3 and 4 in Nashville, limiting Pittsburgh to a just two goals on 52 shots as the Predators evened the series.

If that's the case, we may see this Terrible Towl-wrapped catfish make its return as a good omen for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Pittsburgh Penguins' Olli Maatta grabs his nose after being hit there by a Nashville Predators' stick during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

Just look at the splits over the first four games of the series.

Validation was sweet for the Penguins, who raced ahead early with three first-period goals, and emphatically shut the door on the game with a three-goal second period.


Now, Rinne and the Predators, facing elimination for the first time in the playoffs, will have to win at home on Sunday to extend the series.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Chris Kunitz #14 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with Sidney Crosby #87 and Ian Cole #28 after scoring a goal agianst Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators in the second overtime with a score of 3 to 2 in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 25, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"Still a lot of work to be done but the way we played tonight, if we can build off that momentum, that's important", Crosby said after collecting three assists.

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period.

This postseason, home had not been a safe haven for teams not name the Nashville Predators.

Kessel broke a six-game goal drought - and made Malkin's prediction Wednesday come true - when he scored from the high slot to make it 5-0 at 8:02 of the second. If he continues this roll he is on, the Predators can clinch their first cup at home in Game 6, but if the Penguins figure him out at home again, it can be a long night for the Predators. "We have to win a road game". They also have a 123-91 shot lead in the Cup Final.

As far as the Conn Smythe goes, look for Crosby to put his imprint on the series in the closing games.


"These guys, they just get it", Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan said about his team's ability to bounce back from tough losses.

After dropping two straight in Pittsburgh, the Predators held serve at home, and captured two lopsided victories to square the series. I think that Wilson will absolutely compliment the vision and smarts that rookie sensation Frederick Gaudreau has displayed.

Sports' Kevin Allen explains why Pittsburgh and Nashville can feel good about their chances heading into Game 5. But they didn't get any of those things in Nashville, and now it's a best-of-three for the Cup.

It was all Penguins from puck drop onward, as Justin Schultz got Pittsburgh on the board a minute and a half into the game on the power play.

"I think Sid really understands the opportunity that this team has and he's not taking anything for granted", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. When Ryan Johansen got hurt, we all knew the Predators would need their blue line to stoke the offense, and that's exactly what's happened.

Wilson still trails his dad in goals, points and games played. They'd go on to hammer the Predators, 6-0.

Murray lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Game 7 double overtime win over the Senators, by winning 3 of the next 4 games. "We came here with the mission to win the game and we didn't have the start or the game we wanted".


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