The Nashville Predators have done what many thought was impossible – they have gotten this series back on even footing. Everyone in the hockey world is excited to see what happens next. But the big question remains – can the Predators win a game in Pittsburgh?
2017 NHL Stanley Cup – Can the Predators win in Pittsburgh?
When last we left off in Steeltown, the Preds were being run down and overwhelmed by a Pittsburgh team that had seemingly found their legs.
The Predators were not getting good goaltending and some were wondering if backup goalie Juuse Saros would start Game 3 in Smashville.
Now, we all know what happened in Tennessee, but can the Preds take their show on the road and win in Pittsburgh? In short, yes they can.
It’s not like the Predators have played awfully for all 120 minutes in Pitt. Rather, it’s been lapses here and there.
As we’ve seen in the last two games, Pekka Rinne is back to being an all-world goaltender and he’s perhaps even back in the Conn Smythe race for playoff MVP.
Remember, Game 1 saw the Penguins go without a shot on goal for 37 minutes, so we know that Nashville has confidence playing in the opposition’s building.
The bottom line is that this series will clearly be dictated by how well Rinne plays. He dominated in the last two games after being so-so in the first two.
Which version is the goalie that we’ll see in Game 5? My sense is that Rinne will play somewhere in the middle, giving up a couple of goals, but keeping his team in the game.
The question now is how well Matt Murray will play in goal for the Pens. Can we match or best Rinne to turn this series right around?
We’ll find out.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.