Wilson could return for Predators in Game 5 of Cup Final

Erica Murray
June 10, 2017

The defending champions provided an emphatic reminder of why they're on the cusp of history with a 6-0 demolition of the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to take a 3-2 lead. Twelve different players had scoring points for Pittsburgh: This was more like the Penguins and San Jose Sharks than any game of the series to date. What began as a two-month slog to the Cup is now a three-game dash, one that appears to be a coin flip. Goaltender Pekka Rinne perhaps said it best between Games Two and Three when he proclaimed, despite the situation, that it was June, and the Preds were still playing hockey.

Sidney Crosby didn't prepare any differently before Thursday's game, his teammates assure.

Even Ron Hainsey scored.

And while many eyes will be on Rinne to see if he channels his inner Roberto Luongo and lose on the road again (sorry Lu, you know we love you), you also have to wonder how short the leash is on Matt Murray? Not to be outdone, Crosby had three assists which moves him to second all-time in Penguins points during the finals with 19.

Two consecutive victories don't give coach Peter Laviolette belief that his Nashville Predators have momentum against the Pittsburgh Penguins going into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"We have a ton of confidence playing at home in front of our fans, and we know that wasn't good enough, to put it lightly, so we'll have a big bounce back effort", said Colton Sissons. "Nothing's done yet and we've got a lot of work ahead of ourselves". "I don't think that there's any searching going on in there on how we're going to do this or what needs to take place".

Where do you want to start? Or rather, it belonged to the Penguins captain. Crosby finished the evening with three assists, pushing Pittsburgh to within one win of back-to-back Stanley Cups. The rest of the team aptly followed. Now, Crosby has certainly had his share of taking brutal hits during the playoffs, but taking all of his frustrations out on Subban's head was indefensible. Only five players were held off the scoresheet for Pittsburgh. I think sometimes people can get fooled by the scores of games, but we don't. "We continued to do that". With Rinne's no-look left pad stop on Jake Guentzel early in the second period of a tie game on Monday night?

This may be the Predators' first time in the Stanley Cup Final, but they staved off elimination three times previous year in playing a full 14 games through two rounds.

In three games in this series, he has allowed 11 goals on 45 shots, a save percentage of only.756.

The Cup will be at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday for Game 6 in all its gleaming glory, ready to be kissed and passed from hand to hand.

Nearly everything Crosby did on the night seemed a touch sharper, a touch faster, and certainly more skilled than anyone else. The Penguins kept attacking. That includes his maligned linemate Phil Kessel.

Kessel could have fired a shot on goal that would have had little chance of going in.

"I think everybody knows Geno's drive in the locker room", said Kunitz. The next two we need better coverage. And when he's vocal, it pushes you to be better.

"We had a great start", said Crosby. The team that has won Game 5 in a 2-2 series has gone on to win the Cup 71 percent (17 of 24) of the time since 1939.

They were fast and physical, and their forecheck and finesse games were clicking. The defence, which had been the team's biggest weak spot in the series, moved the puck easily and efficiency.

It is also higher than the price of any NBA game SeatGeek has ever tracked, according to SeatGeek analyst Chris Leyden, exceeding the $1,946 average price tag for Game 7 of last year's NBA Finals.

What more can you say?

A position of strength could turn into a position of weakness.

Colin Wilson could be back in the Nashville Predators' lineup for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Barkley said the National Hockey League playoffs were more entertaining than the NBA's, and ratings are up considerably from a year ago when the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks in six games.

Crosby was the best player on the ice, and he didn't score a goal. "Not that I will".

It didn't help the Predators in the opening minutes as the Penguins controlled the play and drew the penalty. He controls everything within his power to be the very best.

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