The Penguins have received heavy offensive contributions from Jake Guentzel, who leads the playoffs in goals with 13. Pittsburgh has also received offense from superstars Sidney Crosby (1-4-4 in the Final) and Evgeni Malkin (2-0-2 in the Final, 9-17-26 in playoffs). Goaltender Matt Murray was very solid in games one and two but allowed 8 goals on 58 shots in the presence of the heckling Nashville crowd.
Keys To The Game
The Penguins will need to figure out their powerplay and receive quality goaltending from Matt Murray to stop the Preds’ momentum. The Pens have gone 1 for 16 on the man advantage in the series with the lone goal coming in the first game of the Final. If Rinne plays like he did at home, Pittsburgh will need to capitalize on any chances they get.
After allowing eight goals in the two games in Nashville there was some speculation to whether the Penguins would give Marc-Andre Fleury the start in game five, but it was confirmed by coach Mike Sullivan that they would stick with the 23-year old Murray. He will need to play outstanding to stop the momentum that the Preds built in games three and four and keep his team in the game, especially if Rinne is shutting down the Penguins like he did at Bridgestone Arena.
Stanley Cup Finals Game Five Pick
Nashville’s chance to get the win in game five of the Stanley Cup Final hinges on the play of goaltender Pekka Rinne. After abysmal performances in games one and two, he was able to shine in front of the Predators’ hometown crowd. I believe the Predators will continue the momentum gained at home to steal game five in Pittsburgh. In my Stanley Cup Finals game five pick, I like the Preds at +135 and the under of 5.5 goals at -130.
Stanley Cup Finals Game Five Pick: Nashville at +135 and under 5.5 goals at -130