The Predators are hardly blaming Rinne for their predicament.
A week ago, the Nashville Predators headed home down 2-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. With the Penguins controlling home-ice advantage in what has now become a best-of-three series, Nashville continues to lag on the Stanley Cup Final series price at +105.
In Game 1, Nashville became the first team to hold an opponent without a shot on goal in a period of a Final game since the National Hockey League started tracking that statistic in 1957, and that drought lasted 37 minutes even though Pittsburgh pulled out a 5-3 win. Evgeni Malkin, who had gone without a shot in Game 3, had a goal and assist. Our guys have a tremendous amount of confidence in him. "We just had some breakdowns and mental lapses that cost us". Murray has posted a 5-3 mark with a 2.08 goals-against average and.925 save percentage in the past nine games after missing the first two rounds of the playoffs because of a lower-body injury, with veteran Marc-Andre Fleury recording a 9-6 mark with a 2.56 GAA and.924 save percentage. "We're going home and we're going to be re-energized".
"If you score one goal, it is not enough to win", he said. Desperation should probably still fall on our side here, where we know we've got to win a game in Pittsburgh.
With the series tied at two apiece, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to show dominance and take a 3-2 lead in the series.
But the Predators had little to enjoy from this one.
Crosby didn't score in Game 5, but he set up three goals and could have easily had assisted on three more. From that, when they did get behind us, not only was there a goal by Crosby, but there was a chance, then a second chance, a third chance, sometimes a fourth chance.
The 27-year-old forward scored 12 goals in the regular season for Nashville. "It's a big game". "We knew that coming in here".
It was a familiar showing for Rinne. Or can the Predators build off dominant efforts in games three and four and break through on the road. Which kind of makes you wonder why he didn't just come out and say it in the first place.
Pittsburgh is just 7-7 over its last 14 games and has been limited to just one goal in six of its past 11 - including the two losses in Nashville. 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. "If you've got a team that has momentum and a team that's got desperation, for me anyway, the scarier team is the one that's got desperation", he said.
Going into Game 5 on Thursday night, Crosby and Malkin are still in the wide-open Conn Smythe Trophy race - along with some less-familiar faces.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby carved through the Predators' defense with an ease that should be unfair, assisting on half of his team's goals. Not with Rinne 9-1 at home this postseason. The Penguins have been outshot by a 123-91 margin by the Predators, for an average of eight shots per game.
The instant one of the Pittsburgh Penguins passes the puck to a teammate, one of the Nashville Predators closes in, taking away any time or space to operate. The Penguins aren't as deep defensively as the Predators, allowing 2.21 goals per game in the playoffs, but D Justin Schultz has provided a boost since getting healthy.
The Penguins took both of the first two games of the series at home before it shifted to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, where the Predators rebounded to even the series with two wins on home ice of their own.
But even with his name twice inscribed on the Stanley Cup, Cullen put retirement on hold for at least another year, re-signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins for another shot at hockey's biggest prize.