For the second time in the series, Pittsburgh chased Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, after he gave up three first-period goals on nine shots. That sweep included two shutouts courtesy of our Finnish hero Pekka Rinne (who is incredible as long as he's not playing in Pittsburgh). The Predators in past years have given out a construction worker's hard hat to recognize the best player in a game.
The extra day between games will give the Predators a chance to move on from the lopsided loss before going home and facing an elimination game. This can be good news for the Penguins if center Nick Bonino, who took pre-game warmups but was unable to play in Game 4, can return to the lineup from a lower-body injury.
"We made a few adjustments, but I think guys in the locker room, we all manned up a little bit and we brought our game tonight", Rust said.
"You move forward here, you learn from it and we'll be a lot better in our home rink", said Predators forward James Neal. Pittsburgh is averaging 3.0 goals per game in the playoffs, the same as the Predators.
Their #1 fan is, of course, country icon Carrie Underwood, who has flown her Preds pride loud and proud all season as she supports hubby and Predators team captain Mike Fisher, the pride of Smashville. "If we continue to get those chances, they'll go in for us".
Often players have the advantage of getting away with all the dirty tactics they use in the game.
Nashville rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the best-of-seven series and the home team has won all five games.
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Rust and Sheary played very well and certainly propelled their team to a win, but not one of the Penguins reserve scorers came up bigger than Ron Hainsey. Penguins RW Josh Archibald, who made his Final debut in Game 4, was scratched in favor of LW Scott Wilson.
"Feeling good", Rinne said. "It's a big game". "We were really jumping and playing our game, playing fast".
Now, with a series lead up for grabs, the question is which Rinne shows up. The three-time Vezina Trophy finalist allowed eight goals on just 36 shots during the first two games in Pittsburgh. When the Penguins had just three goals during the first three games of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa last month, they scored 10 over the next two to take control.
But Rinne struggled again Thursday in Pittsburgh, a place where he's never started and won in six career games. "It's already at a high level but when you get that extra level, everyone is going to be at 100 percent". "We have a couple of days to focus on Sunday's game, that's going to be a huge one for us".
"You remind yourself that you're still in the final and as long as there's life, there's hope", Rinne said.
Think about it: here's the best player in the game punching another dude's head into the ice, and no one is doing anything to stop it. On Thursday night, the chirps between the two advanced to physicality when they got tangled behind the goal line, and Crosby pushed Subban's head into the ice several times.
The Predators will have center Colton Sissons for Game 6 after the National Hockey League automatically reviewed his cross-check of Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta's face inside the final minute of Game 6. But the Predators have been outscored by five goals on the road, where Rinne's save percentage is.905 compared to.949 at home. Kessel scored his first in six games, making it 5-0 later in the period, while Hainsey capped Pittsburgh's second three-goal period of the game. Suban has been in 23 fights, posting a recorded four wins.