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Thursday, June 8, 2017

NHL Odds: Home Ice Proves Critical in Leadup to Game 5 of Stanley Cup Finals

After dropping the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals on the road, PK Subban predicted a Game 3 victory at home in Nashville. Fast forward two games, and the Predators have tied the series at two games apiece. As the host, the Predators scored a total of nine goals and gave up only two to the offensively-gifted Pittsburgh Penguins.

 Preds goaltender, Pekka Rinne, became a cause for concern after the first two games because of poor play, as he posted a frightening 0.738 save percentage. Rinne bounced back in Nashville, however, and saved 50 of 52 shots.

Can Nashville carry the momentum to Pittsburgh, or will they falter away from home?

The Penguins accomplished what they wanted to in Games 1 and 2, but they weren’t able to win in the hasty confines of Bridgestone Arena. With only a single goal from playoff standout Jake Guentzel (13 goals, 7 assists) and captain Sidney Crosby (8 goals, 16 assists), the Pens’ offense dried up on the road. They’ll need more from the likes of Kessel and Malkin if they hope to stop the momentum that Nashville has built. The puck drops at 8 PM ET for Game 5 on Thursday.

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NHL Odds: Series Tied Heading Back to Pittsburgh

As quickly as Pekka Rinne lost his game in Pittsburgh, he found it again in Nashville. After Game 2, there were murmurings that Rinne wouldn’t start the next game. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette decided to stick with his goaltender, however, and Rinne led his team to two consecutive victories at home while stopping 50 of 52 shots.
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Now with the Stanley Cup Finals tied at 2-2, the Penguins will try to rediscover their offensive magic. That magic may be found in the adrenaline that comes from playing in front of your home crowd. The PPG Paints Arena will be rocking when Game 5 kicks off at 8 PM ET.

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