For Nashville, if the Stanley Cup Finals were based on who is controlling the action and not on score, they would be leading and not trailing to Pittsburgh 2-0 as they head back home.
In terms what team has controlled the puck, style of play and maintained a more consistent edge, it has been the Predators about 65 percent of the time. However, it has been the other 35 percent which has mattered most and in that time span this is where the Penguins have outscored Nashville 8-1.
When reviewing the NHL odds, is there any chance the Predators can get back into the series?Nashville Defense Cannot Have Breakdowns
After allowing only 1.8 goals a game thru three series, Nashville has been torched for nine in six periods against Pittsburgh. While the Penguins are a tremendous offensive team that causes mistakes with their pressure, what has been a stingy Predators defense is letting wide open spaces within 10 feet of the net by being out of position.
Goalie Pekka Rinne for all but one playoff game had covered up the few mistakes his teammates had made over 16 games, however, every Nashville fans greatest fear is being realized as Rinne has returned to being a touch slower, a little off and let his fundamentals slip at precisely the wrong time.
If the Preds are to build on 7-1 record in their building, the defense and goaltender have to play significantly better.
Ramp Up The Pressure on Pittsburgh Defense
Earlier it was mentioned that Nashville was controlling the action the vast majority of the time. Now at home, the Predators have to go next level and be relentless on the Pittsburgh defense and keep the pressure on like they did when they scored three consecutive times in Game 1.
If you as the hockey bettor think Nashville can accomplish these elements, you will have to consider them for NHL picks on Saturday and Monday in the Music City.