The final game at Bridgestone Arena for the 2017 season will be tonight as the Predators look to deny the Pittsburgh Penguins their fifth Stanley Cup title in the history of the franchise. The Predators took a demoralizing 6-0 loss at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night. In each time that they won the championship, the Pittsburgh Penguins have skated the Stanley Cup on road ice. If history repeats itself tonight, the Penguins will win tonight and there won’t be a Game Seven. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The Predators know the past, the mistakes, and look to right the ship and push for a Game Seven. Everything is at stake in tonight’s matchup. If they win, it’s off to Pittsburgh for a final showdown on Wednesday. If they lose, season’s over.
The success of the Nashville Predators has always hinged on how well Pekka Rinne has played. This series has solidified that statement. In Games Three and Four, Rinne was stellar, only allowing two goals at Bridgestone Arena. In the Steel City, Rinne has been atrocious, getting pulled in two of the three contests and bringing fear and doubt among the faithful. Nashville has a ride-or-die mentality with Rinne. He is the backbone of this team and if they want to be victorious tonight, Pekka Rinne needs to have the game of his career. The Penguins are talented up front with all-world skill, but if the Predators want to have success tonight, they need to make sure Rinne has help clearing pucks and allowing him to see when shots come his way.
Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala are not going to magically walk through the door and skate tonight. Both were having a stellar postseason prior to their devastating injuries. The Preds need their stars to show up tonight. Players like Filip Forsberg, James Neal, and Viktor Arvidsson have not contributed offensively as much as they did in previous rounds. If not for the secondary scoring, the series would be over by this point. Desperation is not just a smelly cologne, its the recipe for success tonight. The more desperate team will win Game Six.
Tonight could go down in one of two ways: Jubilation or Depression. The Nashville Predators will do everything possible tonight to give themselves the opportunity to have one more game this season. Be sure to catch all of the action on NBC or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!