Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

NHL Notes: Penguins remain upbeat despite going winless in Nashville

NHL Notes: Penguins remain upbeat despite going winless in Nashville

Fleury performed well in 15 games this postseason, posting a.924 save percentage, but he was replaced by Murray in the Eastern Conference Finals after allowing four goals in a first period to the Senators in Game 3.

Head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed the decision following an optional morning skate on Thursday morning.

"It's a game of execution", Crosby said.

Before the start of the series, the Penguins had -150 odds to win, while the Predators were +130 underdogs. Pittsburgh and Nashville are tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Thursday night.

"Our focus really is more concerned about just that one game in front of us, and I know that - I know that our guys understand the importance of that short-term focus, just staying in the moment, and I think it's arguably the most important for the goaltending position because of the importance of that position, and so that's where our focus needs to be".

Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg also tallied for Nashville, which improved to 9-1 at home.

"You come here with the mindset that you knew what happened the first two games, but that's not going to change the way I play or prepare", Rinne said.

Now the Virginia native and former Moorhead (Minn.) High School and St. Cloud State star is two wins from helping the Penguins become the first team in 19 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champs.

"We definitely know what our identity is", defenseman P.K. Subban said. "We have no home ice in this series, so we have to go in and steal one at some point". "If we continue to get those chances, they'll go in for us". "We need to play a little bit tighter than we did [Monday] night in those situations".

Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh's leading postseason goal scorer with 13, had three shots on Rinne.

Crosby had another break-away midway through the period, but this time Rinne stopped both the first shot and the rebound. The Predators are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Pittsburgh and the home team is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings while the over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.

Pittsburgh responded 66 seconds later when Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the series, breaking in alone and using a nifty deke to beat Rinne. He compared the atmosphere in Bridgestone Arena to the Bulls' (and Blackhawks') former home, Chicago Stadium. If it goes to a Game 7, however, the Predators might have a more hard decision on their hands.

After back-to-back losses, Murray is 5-0 with a 1.77 goals-against average and.939 save percentage. They didn't get that many, but still they won those two games.

Crosby didn't score in Game 5, but he set up three goals and could have easily assisted on three more.

Pekka Rinne's struggles in Pittsburgh have his Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination.

Matt Murray has given up eight goals in the last two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. "I think both teams have gotten better throughout the series and that's expected".

"If you score one goal, it is not enough to win", he said.

Evgeni Malkin is leading the playoffs in scoring with 26 points, but he hasn't added to that total since Game 2. "It's a good time to show your best game because there's only three games left and (then) we have two, three months (of) summertime".

"We felt like if we could get one, we could get back in it, and they just kept coming", Nashville Captain Mike Fisher said.

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