Nashville Preys On The Penguins And Ties Stanley Cup Series 2-2

Maybe that's because by June, the NHL's sprawling season is in its ninth month and the bubble that surrounds each club during the journey deep into the playoffs insulates players from the outside forces that can make the big picture seem, well, too big.

Greetings from PPG Paints Arena, where the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators held optional morning skates in advance of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night.

Where do you want to start? For his part, the 23-year-old Murray admitted he wouldn't spill the beans even if he was in on the secret, telling the team's website Wednesday that "Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you". "I think if you watch just the history of the playoffs here, each game tends to take on its own identity, and I believe that teams that make it this far certainly have a resilience about them that they have the ability to respond and rebound and put their best effort forward", he said.

Murray also said he thought Murray played "pretty well", only saying he wished he would have been more aggressive in challenging a shot by Predators wing Viktor Arvidsson in the second period. "[Game 5] I try to show my best game. That's a flawless example of where I felt pretty well, but I let in five goals". "It's not only us exhausted".

"Having gone through it, I feel a little more comfortable", said Murray, who is technically still a rookie by the NHL's standards. "Let's send it back to you before we get in trouble." . That's probably the biggest thing I learned previous year and what I try to focus on. "It doesn't matter if you've been there or not". When you lose, the questions are unending about what can be better or different. For Game 1, Pittsburgh is a -165 moneyline favorite against the +145 underdog Predators with a 5.5-goal total. Through four games, the Predators are getting about 56 per cent of the available shot attempts at 5-on-5. "He kind of told me just to play my game".

Now, he is up against something he hasn't managed before in his National Hockey League career.

Phil Kessel has one point in the Stanley Cup final, that being an assist in Game Two.

Craig Smith, who had two of Nashville's first six shots, ricocheted a puck off Murray's pads that Jarnkrok tapped in at 14:51 to start the fans yelling. Two goals for, nine goals against: two losses. The OVER is 5-2 in the last seven games between these two teams in Pittsburgh.

He has four in four games in the Cup Final.

"It's time", Malkin said. "I mean, I don't know how many there were, but Pek's was fantastic". "Just living my dream right now". "To be able to take the road that he has, come out on the end, be a contributing player in the Stanley Cup Finals".

While the expectations in places like Pittsburgh are high every year, it's a burden largely shouldered by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Good thing for Pittsburgh that Nashville doesn't have home-advantage.

Malkin said his game "is fine" but he can "play just a little bit more, like, harder". "Nashville is a quick team". "The pieces are coming together, and I don't think anyone on this team isn't feeling comfortable in the way we're playing right now". Defensively, they were rock solid again, holding the Penguins to 17 shots halfway through the third period. “But we really liked the way we played in Game 1. I do think it is a lot of business.

Sullivan says Bonino's status hasn't changed, and that he's still "day-to-day". The rest of the Penguins, so many of them unheralded, so many productive a year ago in their Stanley Cup run, haven't made much impact in this series. "He's at a lot of the games. He comes down, shares his insight", Sullivan said. "I wasn't certain. When I heard the horn, I sort of thought it was in". We value his input.

The truth is, though, Pittsburgh has yet to play a great game. "The NBA playoffs have not been very good". He did not practise on Wednesday, but Sullivan the third-line centre is listed as day-to-day.

P.K. Subban isn't the only family member experiencing the Cup Final for the first time.

  • Jo Lloyd