Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead in the best-of seven series, but Nashville came back to tie it with two victories in a row.
The consummate home-ice achievement - winning a Stanley Cup there - will have to wait until at least next Wednesday. The best thing about my job is when I'm in work for two straight months, like the National Hockey League playoffs, I'm in a room with 20 televisions. 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. He also isn't anxious about the Penguins getting overconfident with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday night.
"I think we're going to expect their best hockey in their rink", Predators forward James Neal said.
"I certainly put a lot of pressure on myself to make it to the NHL, being from a hockey family", said Wilson, who was born in CT when his dad was still playing for the Rangers before moving to Winnipeg when he was two.
"We've got some confidence".
The trade was a major salary dump for the Leafs who would later begin their rebuild, but for the Penguins it landed them a major offensive asset in Kessel.
"Well, I just think from the opening shift, you can see his drive and his appetite to win", Pittsburgh Coach Mike Sullivan told reporters. Even Crosby, who leads all players with 19 postseason assists this spring, missed a game due to a concussion.
Both coaches were asked Thursday morning whether they believe momentum can carry over from one game to the next, though that hasn't been the case in the Final or in most of the previous rounds.
Pittsburgh could still be without center Nick Bonino (left foot/ankle) for the third straight game.
"It's a good situation for us. We know we're going to have to", Fisher said. Save for a pair of flurries (one at the end of the first period in Game 1, the other at the beginning of the third period in Game 2) Nashville has been every bit Pittsburgh's equal. Then he suddenly turned on a dime in Games 3 & 4. Since the Predators are headed back to Bridgestone Arena for Game 6, Rinne will nearly certainly be back in the net.
But at home in Nashville he rebounded from those shaky efforts to stop 50 of the 52 shots he faced to improve to 9-1 at home in this season's playoffs. A goose egg in the win column that will obviously have to change if the Preds are to capture their first ever Stanley Cup. I think we've got to play determined. While his per-game averages were better with the Penguins, it shouldn't take away from what he's done in Nashville as he, too, joined a team with a plethora of options on the offensive side of the puck. The two stars became tangled up behind the Nashville goal late in the first with Crosby on top. We generated a lot of chances.
The Predators outscored the Penguins 9-1 in the past two games. Time to score. We play at home.
Bottle their play from games three and four and steal game five in Pittsburgh and the Preds will have the chance to close out this championship run at home Sunday in game six in front of an ear-splitting home crowd that's left happy 13 of the last 14 postseason games, and probably about 200,000 revelers outside the arena as history could intersect with the final night of CMA Fest. Malkin scored to make it 3-0 and then he assisted on Kessel's first goal of the series, making good on his confident comments the day before.
Either way, one thing's for sure.
The Penguins back at home would hope to break the two losing streak in game 5.
But Rinne struggled again Thursday in Pittsburgh, a place where he's never started and won in six career games.