Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, stops a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) during the second period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Monday, June 5, 2017, in Nashvill.
Which leads us to a pivotal game five Thursday night at 7 p.m. In the Ottawa series, he was on the ice with the No. 1 power play unit, which shows the faith Mike Sullivan has in his offensive play. This series is far from being over, there's no question. We play here, at home. But they'll have to win again in Pittsburgh next week to lift the Stanley Cup.
"(Gaudreau's) been unbelievable for us, just the way he's come in and he's been so good with the timely goals and so composed", Predators captain Mike Fisher said of the 24-year-old, who had one assist in nine regular-season National Hockey League games in his career. We know we can score more than one goal. "In the last two games, we needed to shoot the puck more".
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to keep being opportunistic - against probably the best defense and goalie combo they have seen in the playoffs - in order to repeat as the Stanley Cup champion. And as Luszczyszyn pointed out, only 11 teams since 1960 have been outshot by an average of as many or more shots than the Penguins are, and they all lost. In Game 3, they scored three times in the first four minutes of the third period to pull away for a 4-1 win.
Pittsburgh will host Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday evening, looking to pull ahead in a series now tied at two games apiece.
"It's not easy, but I know I can be better myself", Malkin said.
"I know we'll play so hard", said Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin, who leads all postseason scorers with 26 points.
"Our guys were pretty confident after Game 2", head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters in Nashville on Tuesday afternoon. It was one of four shots on goal for Crosby in the game. Nashville's Frederick Gaudreau continued his brilliant series by scoring the decisive goal for the second straight contest, joining fellow rookie Jake Guentzel of Pittsburgh by accounting for all four-game winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final. They still have home ice. A goose egg in the win column that will obviously have to change if the Preds are to capture their first ever Stanley Cup. "We need to play a little bit tighter than we did [Monday] night in those situations". I mean, it's a unsafe team. Still, it lessens the overall depth of the Pittsburgh lineup and allows the Preds two clean matchups - with Josi and Ellis guarding Crosby, who was a force in Game 4. "We continued to do that". We generated a lot of chances.
NOTES: The Predators used the same lineup as they did in Game 2, scratching LW Cody McLeod as well as C Vern Fiddler. We've got - we think, one of the strengths of our team is in our goaltending position. They've struggled to make entry passes and shadow the quicker Predators forwards. Pittsburgh added three more tallies in the second stanza, and a third period that included some snarl and frustration concluded a game that didn't play out in Nashville's favor.
It will either be the biggest day in Nashville history or a game the Predators must win to stave off elimination and force a game seven back in Pittsburgh next Wednesday.