Stanley Cup Final tightens up

Posted June 11, 2017

A series has broken out.

It was the summer of 2014 - June 27 to be exact - when the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins finalized a deal that three years later would still be playing out in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will stick with Matt Murray for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Thursday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET).

Sports' Kevin Allen explains why Pittsburgh and Nashville can feel good about their chances heading into Game 5. 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. The Penguins have the experience. Both are fighting fatigue with adrenaline. "I know our players and our coaching staff and our organization, as a whole, are so appreciative of the fan support that we get". "It's not only us exhausted".

"The playoffs in hockey have been wonderful", said Barkley, who accepted commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to attend Game 4 in Nashville. "We're not talking about being exhausted". He's not really anxious about the 190 feet in front of Murray, either.

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And while captain Sidney Crosby says the "desperation level" will ramp up, Sullivan was quick to point out the term doesn't mean what you think it means. I said I believed I was going to have a tremendous opportunity to win a Stanley Cup with this team. It always has a connotation of hopelessness.

"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. I think we've got to play determined. Fast-forward to three years later and with two of those players still on their respective rosters, it would see that the trade was pretty even. His totals over three years has him averaging more goals, assists and points per game with the Penguins than he did in Nashville.

NOTES: Crosby now has 20 career points in the Stanley Cup Final, a new franchise record and one more than team owner Mario Lemieux.

Funny, Rinne hardly looked rattled back home, holding Pittsburgh to just two goals combined as Nashville rallied to tie things up in front of a giddy home crowd that included Underwood, who was so caught up in Cup fever she overlooked husband Mike Fisher's 37th birthday. Not with the ultimate prize so close at hand. "So usually our challenge with Phil and Geno all the time is just the subtleties and the details of the play away from the puck or without the puck that gives them the ability to get it back when they don't have it". "They've had some high-quality chances, and the puck hasn't gone in the net for the last couple of games".

Coach Peter Laviolette said he's had to balance the desire to have Wilson in the lineup with the need to make sure he was healthy enough to impact the game. He put up one of the worst seasons of his career with 18 wins, one shutout and a.909 save percentage in 38 games played.

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In three seasons so far with the Penguins, Hornqvist has tallied 146 points in 216 regular season games.

"When these guys play a committed, inspired game the way they do and they execute, then their talent and their instincts are going to take over", Sullivan said. "So I know there's things that we can do that can support our goaltender better".

Again, I don't necessarily think this is a long-term winning strategy, but it doesn't surprise me that teams with elite shooters (like the Capitals and the Penguins) can stem the tide a bit better than others.

"Then they scored another one, and it just becomes loose", Ekholm said.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 08: Andre Burakovsky #65 of the Washington Capitals skates against Chad Ruhwedel #2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Crosby was particularly good, setting the tone early on by beating Predators defensemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi to the net 50 seconds into the game.

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