Health of Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis still in question

Health of Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis still in question

People also hate him: A petition was started on to eject him from the Stanley Cup Final after he threw a water bottle from the bench and repeatedly pushed the head of Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban against the ice as they tussled during Game 5, a 6-0 rout by the Penguins. Pittsburgh can also take some confidence in knowing they won the Stanley Cup a year ago in San Jose, California, so strolling around their opponent's ice with the Stanley Cup is something they are used to doing.

That play appeared to serve as a signal that Game 5 would belong to the Penguins. Guentzel's assist moved him into a tie with Dino Ciccarelli and Ville Leino for the most playoff points by a rookie in National Hockey League history (21). Nashville trailed 3-0 in Game 1 too, but rallied - with Rinne in goal - to even things up.

There was the slick blind backhand pass to Conor Sheary just 1:19 into the second period that made it 4-0. Crosby now has 20 career points in the Stanley Cup Final, a new franchise record and one more than team owner Mario Lemieux.

Not Crosby, who said Subban "likes the attention" and "wants to make stuff up".

The goalie so competitive he doesn't like teammates scoring on him in practice is back in Nashville where he's been almost unbeatable over the past two postseasons at 13-1.

Local fans of such as Bobby Orr and Larry Robinson might also lean towards Nashville, because the Predators play a more free-flowing, defencemen-involved kind of offence.

The Penguins have won five championships - all of them on the road.

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We will probably see that image again on Sunday night, which would give Crosby three Stanley Cup wins. "Obviously, guys like Crosby and Malkin will (beat you) if you give them too much time". Carl Hagelin cemented the win by scoring into an empty net with 14 seconds left. While Pittsburgh created really good scoring chances in the first two periods of Game 4, it was still outshot in each of the first four games, sometimes by a lot in terms of total shots. Backup Juuse Saros didn't fare much better, giving up three goals in relief.

There was his quicksilver first shift, when Crosby split the Predators defense shortly after the opening faceoff, then rang shot off the left post while drawing a penalty from Nashville's Ryan Ellis, who tried futilely to slow him down.

Yet there's been no question that Rinne, who has never won a start in Pittsburgh, will be in net Sunday night. If the game's best player is turning it up a notch with the Cup one win away, Laviolette has a big problem because he doesn't have anyone in Crosby's stratosphere.

The Predators know exactly what they need to do better against Pittsburgh. "We had good communication in our zone working the puck out quick and with speed". The Pens' star players didn't hesitate to get physical, either. "There are things that we can do to support our goaltender better".

According to this report, several Predators were absent from an optional session one day ahead of the do-or-die Game 6, so it's tough to know whether Ellis would've been out there even in a healthy state. Ellis plays with Roman Josi on Nashville's top defensive pair and is tied for third with 13 points this postseason.

The Predators have been resilient throughout the playoffs, and while they have not played particularly well in any of the games in Pittsburgh, they have not been intimidated. Penguins F Nick Bonino missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury. The Penguins are the first to do it in the salary-cap era. "They were quicker. We'll look to make those adjustments (in practice)". "And when they do that, they're hard to defend".

So will Bergevin be able to make some major moves this summer that will bring his team to a place where they can at least dream of making it to the Stanley Cup Final?