Rinne looks for bounce-back game

Ruben Hill
June 12, 2017

Asked twice Tuesday if he planned on reevaluating his goaltending situation after Matt Murray allowed eight goals in Nashville, Sullivan stressed "we haven't lost games because of our goaltending".

The Nashville Predators' National Anthem singers during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs have all been major stars: Carrie Underwood and Bryan sang the Anthem during the Preds' two home Round 1 playoff games, while Little Big Town, Vince Gill and his daughters Jenny and Corinna and Lady Antebellum sang during Round 2. That was never more evident than on this play that came in the first period.

But what if Nashville's Big Four defensively becomes a Big Three? I know it ends up on the ice, but I wouldn't start throwing water bottles at this point.

The Predators haven't scored a goal in 63 minutes, 23 seconds since Filip Forsberg's empty-net goal in Game 4.

The Penguins know what it's like to win, lose and draw in Game 6 of the Cup Final.

Or maybe it's he remembers the Penguins being in the Predators" skates, coming off a lopsided loss in Game 5 (5-0 in "09) to win the next two games and claim his first Cup.

The journey back to the Stanley Cup Final hasn't been easy for the Penguins.

Still, Rinne is 0-5 in his career in Pittsburgh.

One more loss away from the season being over, the ‘C word kept coming up again and again heading into a must-win Game 6.

Kessel was at his best in Game 4, when he sent in Chris Kunitz alone on a breakaway and set up Crosby for another high-quality scoring chance.

Regardless of Sunday's outcome, Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final will mark the final contest in Bridgestone Arena until autumn. But they also managed their best game of this series - and, it can be argued, of the entire playoffs - in the blowout Game 5 victory that put the Penguins on the brink of back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. It's a safe bet he finds a way to beat Rinne again tonight. A shot by Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin gets past Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) for a goal during the first period of Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

Kris Letang hasn't played a game since February 21 versus Carolina. With Malkin, he's shot the puck a lot less (2.8 per-game) but still remained largely productive. He was the power play quarterback. It's been (fun) not just for my family but I'm sure for all the players on the other side as well. Hes been unbeatable at home, allowing just two goals in two games in Nashville. He skated on Thursday and will be a game-time decision, but how effective will he be?

"You can go back through the whole series, there's really one game that we don't like out of five games, and that's Game Five".

There's no guarantee, of course, that he'll truly sit out the game.

"If we can get our forwards the puck early in shifts when they got a lot of energy and before they have to stop and play defence, they're some of the best forwards in the world". Does the home ice trend continue? "I think if we're not prepared for them to play a tremendous game against us and make it very hard for us to accomplish our goal, we're going to be in big trouble". We have all the confidence in him.

It's not the way the Penguins were playing in the first four games of the series as Nashville negated their speed and controlled the neutral zone.

I don't know what the mental state of Nashville is now and I don't know if it's a factor in game six as both teams have faced adversity and it didn't have any effect.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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