Preds leaning on Rinne to force Penguins back to Pittsburgh
- Author: Angelo Rivera Jun 12, 2017,
Jun 12, 2017, 9:31
But after the Pittsburgh Penguins' 6-0 rout of the Predators, Crosby is now one win away from a third Stanley Cup, and approval ratings don't matter much in that elite company.
Penguins fans are excited for what may be the game that keeps the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh tonight, and whether they're watching the game in person or on television, they're the most engaged fans in the country.
By the time Crosby earned a secondary assist on Kessel's goal 8:02 into the second to make it 5-0, the game was effectively over. Slipping the puck past him is one of the few ways to anger the 6-5 Finn. His three assists on Thursday moved him within one point of teammate Evgeni Malkin for the National Hockey League lead in playoff points and very much into the conversation for a second straight Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Rinne chopped his stick against a goalpost twice after giving up a fifth and final goal a year ago, when Nashville was ousted from the playoffs. Colton Sissons was assessed a match penalty for cross-checking Olli Maatta in the face with 30 seconds remaining in the game. The Predators will be facing elimination on Sunday when they meet up with the Penguins in Nashville for Game 6. "You try to work so hard that the luck is also on your side. When bounces aren't going your way, sometimes you question, have second thoughts in your head, but that's life".
The goalie so competitive he doesn't like teammates scoring on him in practice is back in Nashville where he's been almost unbeatable over the past two postseasons at 13-1. Don't forget, though, while you are choosing, that local boy Glen Sanders, likely the reason for all the BCHL grads in the Predator system, has pretty big hopes involved in Nashville winning. Pittsburgh can also take some confidence in knowing they won the Stanley Cup a year ago in San Jose, California, so strolling around their opponent's ice with the Stanley Cup is something they are used to doing. The Stanley Cup Final got oddly sidetracked by Subban saying that Crosby accused him of having bad breath.
Not Crosby, who said Subban "likes the attention" and "wants to make stuff up". The two stars became tangled up behind the Nashville goal late in the first with Crosby on top.
But at home? Rinne has a.961 save percentage and has allowed just two total goals. He now has 27 points in 23 games this postseason. "He's just trying to hold me down", Crosby said of the altercation.
Crosby had his way with the Predators on Thursday, but the shame of that statement is that it extended to classless acts.
"With all the adversity this team has faced over the course of this season, what jumps out to me is just the character of the people that we have in our dressing room", stated Sullivan.
Pittsburgh got on the board early when defenseman Justin Schultz blasted home a power-play goal at the 1:31 mark after taking a pass from Sidney Crosby, who was sensational throughout this game. "So I know there's things that we can do that can support our goaltender better".
The health of Nashville defenceman Ryan Ellis is in question after he couldn't finish Game 5, and the Predators are offering no clues at all for Game 6 on Sunday night. Ellis was among several Predators who did not take part in an optional practice Saturday. Malkin got into a scrap with Roman Josi.
AP Sports Writers Will Graves in Pittsburgh and Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed. Rinne has stopped just 34 of the 45 pucks that have come his way during seven forgettable periods at PPG Paints Arena. "We know how to move on", Rust said.