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  1. #91
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    Preds on brink as Rinne struggles again
    June 8, 2017


    PITTSBURGH (AP) Pekka Rinne's struggles in Pittsburgh have his Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination.

    The Penguins overwhelmed Rinne and the Predators again, sending Nashville's star goaltender to the bench in Pittsburgh for a second straight game in the Stanley Cup Final. He was pulled after the first period by coach Peter Laviolette after surrendering half the goals in a 6-0 rout by the Penguins in Game 5 on Thursday night.

    The Predators are in a 3-2 hole with Game 6 coming up Sunday night in Nashville.

    ''It wasn't good,'' Laviolette said. ''It's not the first period that we were looking for and it didn't really get much better after that. Definitely things we could've done better defensively.''

    Nashville rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the best-of-seven series and the home team has won all five games. Nashville is also a comfortable 9-1 in the playoffs at home, and teams that lost Game 5 of a tied Final have won the Stanley Cup four of the last eight times, including Pittsburgh in 2009.

    But the Predators had little to enjoy from this one.

    Phil Kessel scored his eighth of the playoffs and added two assists, while Sidney Crosby tallied three assists. Evgeni Malkin scored his 10th and had an assist, while Ron Hainsey also had a goal and an assist. Justin Schultz, Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary also scored for the Penguins, who have outscored Nashville 15-4 in Pittsburgh.

    Rinne made six saves on nine shots, while Juuse Saros, making his second career playoff appearance, stopped 12 shots.

    It was a familiar showing for Rinne: The three-time Vezina Trophy finalist allowed eight goals on just 36 shots during the first two games in Pittsburgh.

    Rinne, the playoff leader in wins and goals-against average, rebounded in a big way for Games 3 and 4 in Nashville, limiting Pittsburgh to a just two goals on 52 shots as the Predators evened the series.

    But Rinne struggled again Thursday in Pittsburgh, a place where he's never started and won in six career games. He gave up two goals in the first 6:43 of the game and it never got better.

    ''Obviously not the start you want to have,'' Rinne said. ''It seemed hard for us to get anything going. Right now we've just got to focus on Game 6 at home and put all our energy in that one.''

    Rinne is now 1-8-2 lifetime against the Penguins - his lone win came in relief at Nashville - and he owns a career 5.15 goals-against average and .822 save percentage in Pittsburgh. Rinne has allowed 11 goals on 45 shots in seven periods of play during the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh.

    ''We've got to be better in front of him. ... I don't think that necessarily they were bad goals,'' Laviolette said. ''Our guys have a tremendous amount of confidence him. We just have to do a better job in front of him.''

    Crosby started the first-period surge for Pittsburgh when he split Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis on the opening shift of the game and hit the post. That shift led to a Predators' penalty and the game's first goal on Pittsburgh's ensuing power play, as Schultz beat Rinne with a point shot that went between his pads.

    Rust beat Rinne to the glove side with a backhander a little more than five minutes later and Malkin made it 3-0 with 10.2 seconds left in the first period.

    Saros relieved Rinne to start the second, but Pittsburgh upped its lead to 4-0 just 1:19 into the period on Sheary's goal from Crosby. Kessel scored his first in six games, making it 5-0 later in the period, while Hainsey capped Pittsburgh's second three-goal period of the game.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #92
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    Blowouts the norm in Stanley Cup Final
    June 8, 2017


    Charles Barkley and hockey fans across the country have tuned in to watch the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators, no matter the score - and the score hasn't always been close.

    Barkley said the NHL playoffs were more entertaining than the NBA's, and ratings are up considerably from a year ago when the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks in six games.

    But Pittsburgh's 6-0 win in Game 5 was the second true blowout of the series and the fourth decided by three or more goals.

    Only three games were decided by three goals or more in the Final over the previous five years.

    The home team has won each of the first five games of the Final for just the 12th time since the NHL went to a best-of-seven series in the final round in 1939, and for the first time since 2011.

    Nashville won games by 4-1 and 5-1, but the Penguins' victory on Thursday night to take a 3-2 series lead was by far the most lopsided game of the Final. It was the fifth 6-goal beating in Cup Final history, meaning the game tied for the seventh-biggest blowout on record in this round.

    It wasn't the worst blowout of this postseason, though; there were two 7-0 routs, including a Pittsburgh win over Ottawa in the Eastern Conference final.

    No matter how the ice has tilted one way or another, this Final has earned some extra attention for the Nashville hockey effect with catfish and country music artists, from surprise anthem singers to Carrie Underwood, the wife of Predators captain Mike Fisher. Then there's the attraction of the Penguins looking to become the first team to repeat as Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

    NBC Sports reported an average of 4.23 million viewers through the first four games of the final, up 24 percent from last year.

    ''The playoffs in hockey have been amazing,'' said Barkley, who accepted commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to attend Game 4 in Nashville. ''I'm not breaking earth-shattering news: The NBA Playoffs have not been very good. The best thing about my job is when I'm in work for two straight months, like the NHL playoffs, I'm in a room with 20 televisions. I watch pretty much every single hockey game.''

    The Penguins and Predators have provided plenty of drama, from the roller-coaster play of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to the running feud between Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban. But there's still at least one more chance for the teams to provide a one-goal game or maybe even some overtime, which had been on pace to break the all-time record for a single postseason through three rounds.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #93
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    Date W-L-T % Units Record

    06/08/2017................... 0 - 2 - 0..................... 0.00%................ -10.50

    06/05/2017....................0 - 2 - 0......................0.00%..................-10.50

    06/03/2017................... 1 - 0 - 0................... 100.00%................ +5.00

    05/31/2017................... 1 - 1 - 0 ....................50.00%..................... +0

    05/29/2017................... 0 - 2 - 0..................... 0.00%................. -10.50


    Totals............................2 - 6 - 0....................25.00%..................- 26.50
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #94
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    Sunday’s six-pack

    Phil Steele’s top six teams in college football this season:

    6) Penn State— Have 15 starters back this season.

    5) Oklahoma— Wonder if coaching change will lower their rating?

    4) USC— Last three times they were preseason top 10, they finished 22nd once and out of top 25 twice

    3) Florida State— Play Alabama, Clemson Florida this year; none of them at home.

    2) Ohio State— First two times Urban Meyer lost a bowl game, he won national title the next year. Buckeyes lost their bowl LY.

    1) Alabama— Jump up to #67 in experience this year, after being #126 LY.

    Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday…….

    13) RIP Adam West, 89, TV’s Batman from the late 60’s, one of my favorite TV shows when I was a little kid, maybe my first favorite TV show. Late in his life, West did voiceovers for animated TV shows; Showtime did a special couple years ago on his family’s (successful) efforts to get their dad a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Lot of famous actors were guest villains on Batman; the show was great fun. RIP, sir.

    12) I’m in a 16-team dynasty fantasy baseball league, which means you keep your players from year-to-year. Our league is 12 years old; I’ve had Giancarlo Stanton on my team since he was an 18-year old in the Class A Florida State League.

    So I turn the Marlins’ game on Saturday and Ichiro Suzuki is already on first base, Yelich is batting— I figure they gave Stanton the day off, but no, he got drilled on the wrist and has already left the game. This is not good.

    Jose Abreu got drilled on the knee Friday night and left the game— he’s on my squad too. No bueno when your two best hitters are both hurt, though Abreu did come back and played Saturday night.

    11) Which reminds me of a story: I’m coaching a Little League All-Star tournament in Spring Valley, NY, about two hours south of where I live. This is 1995; my team needs to beat the same team twice in one night to win the title- they only had to beat us once to win.

    So the first inning of the first game, one of our batters gets hit; then my pitcher gets hit in the head while batting in the same inning. Kid is lying on the ground; as we’re trying to make sure he is OK, have to tell the 2nd game pitcher to warm up to pitch this game.

    Out of the blue, one of our fans (we’re in the third base dugout) yells out: “Stop throwing at our players!!!” Now this is a game in a foreign environment; the nightcap, if there is one, will be an actual night game under the lights— I don’t need this. Umpires did a good job of keeping most everyone calm.

    Story has a happy ending; we win the first game, the kid who got hit in the head showed lot of guts by pitching (and winning) the second game. We advanced to Maryland for the next round of the tournament, a great example of the players carrying their coach!!!

    10) Clark Griffith and Rockies’ manager Bud Black are only two men in baseball history who won 100+ games as a pitcher, and then 600+ games as a manager. Griffith wound up owning the Washington Senators; he was 237-146 in a career than spanned from 1891-1914.

    9) Cardinals shook up their coaching staff Friday and also DFA’d SS Jhonny Peralta. Apparently the assistant hitting coach was put on a leave of absence; hard to believe their slump is that guy’s fault.

    8) South Florida’s leading scorer Geno Thorpe (15.1 pts/game) will play at Syracuse next season as a graduate transfer. Hope he has some warm clothes.

    7) Rays’ OF Kevin Keirmaier broke his hip on an awkward slide at 1B this week, is on the DL.

    6) Detroit Lions’ LT Taylor Decker tore his labrum, could be out 4-6 months.

    5) Houston Astros have some hard decisions to make; if Dallas Keuchel’s neck injury is serious, then they have to trade for one, probably two starting pitchers. Even if Keuchel comes back, the Houston pitching is shallow- they have a ton of good position players.

    4) Milwaukee Brewers lost their last six extra-inning games.

    3) Quote of the Day, part 2, from ESPN.com and Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo, which refer to the rescheduling of a rained out Nationals-Orioles game to this past Thursday:

    “It rained all day that day (May 11), and the forecast said it would rain until 9:30 or 10. I sat in Buck’s (Showalter) office at 6:30, and we talked about it for 20 minutes. He was 100 percent on-board. He didn’t say anything about not canceling the game.

    Their GM [Dan Duquette] was nowhere to be found for three, four hours. We wanted to play the next day. They refused to play then, so the next [open] day was [Thursday]. They drove 32 miles to get there. We flew 3,000 [expletive] miles, and we beat their [behinds]. So quit your whining. Quit whining.”

    2) College football teams with best turnover ratio last year:
    Washington/Western Michigan, both +18. Ohio State +!5

    Teams wth worst turnover ratio last year:
    Purdue/Southern Miss, both -17, East Carolina/Bowling Green, both -16.

    1) Three college football teams with most returning experience on the offensive line this year:
    San Jose State, Tennessee, Auburn
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #95
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    NHL playoffs
    Game 5


    Home team won first five Finals games, and last eight Nashville-Pittsburgh tilts overall; Penguins are 11-4 in last 15 games with Nashville- six of last eight series games went over. Predators won four of last five home games; over is 4-2 in their last six games. Pittsburgh lost last three road games, outscored 11-3. Penguins lost last three visits to Music City, outscored 14-3. Over is 4-2 in their last six games. Penguins won Cup LY and in 2009; they’re 4-1 overall in Stanley Cup final series. Nashville is in its first Stanley Cup final. Predators are 4-14 on power play in series; Penguins are 2-22. Pittsburgh wins second Stanley Cup in a row if they win this game.

    Stanley Cup final

    Nashville-Pittsburgh

    Pitt 5-3, -$160, O5.5

    Pitt 4-1, -$140, U5.5

    Nash 5-1, -$150, O5.5

    Nash 4-1, -$135, U5.5

    Pitt 6-0, -$165, O5.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #96
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    Game 6 - Pens at Predators
    June 9, 2017


    Stanley Cup Finals Best Bet
    Pittsburgh vs. Nashville – Game 6

    Sportsbook.ag Odds: Pittsburgh (+120), Nashville (-140); Total set at 5.5


    The Pittsburgh Penguins kept alive the trend of home teams winning in this series in a big way in Game 5 with a dominant 6-0 win to put themselves one win away from back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.

    Right from the outset Pittsburgh jumped all over Nashville with a goal in the first two minutes and there was no looking back from there.

    G Pekka Rinne's disastrous outings in Pittsburgh continued, as he was pulled early once again, and the Predators head home for Game 6 fighting to stay alive. Can Nashville force a Game 7 or is this series all but over?

    Odds per - Sportsbook.ag
    Best Bet: Pittsburgh ML (+120)

    Although I've said before that I have no problem backing a team and a goalie in a game following the netminder getting pulled, the patience the Predators have with Rinne has got to be wavering.

    While I do believe we will see a much better performance by Rinne back at home – meaning 'under 5.5 is worth strong consideration – I don't think it will be enough for Nashville to force a Game 7.

    Of the three Stanley Cups the Pittsburgh Penguins have won in the history of their franchise, all three of them have been clinched on the road. Last year it took a trip to San Jose for the Penguins to lift Lord Stanley's Mug and those positive memories should help them be much better in a similar situation here.

    The fact that they absolutely buried Nashville from start to finish in Game 5 not only planted more seeds of doubt on Nashville's side, but it also renewed the tremendous confidence the Penguins have in themselves to get the job done.

    Heck, Evgeni Malkin even said before the game that he knew Phil Kessel would score in Game 5, and wouldn't you know it, Kessel found himself on the scoresheet.

    While many are likely going to continue to ride the streak of home teams winning in this series, it was just a few days ago where I outlined the history of that trend and why I believed no matter who won Game 5, this series would be over in six games. I'm not about to go back on those thoughts now, especially considering the dominant way Pittsburgh owned Game 5 from start to finish.

    Pittsburgh has had a bit of trouble closing things out in their first try during these playoffs as they've needed at least two chances at moving on before they did in each round, but if trends are your thing, it's interesting to note that the Penguins closed out Round 1 at home, Round 2 on the road, Round 3 at home, and now they've got a chance to to finish Round 4 on the road.

    There will be one win by a road team in this series, that outlined history suggests in all likelihood it will happen. And while Nashville has been a much different and nearly unbeatable at home this year in the playoffs, it really looked like they were getting to the end of their rope on multiple fronts in Game 5.

    Confidence in Rinne is all but gone, and with the Penguins smelling blood, they find a way to close things out and clinch yet another Stanley Cup victory away from home.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Health of Preds' D Ellis still in question
    June 10, 2017


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Pekka Rinne is a friendly, polite man off the ice. Slipping the puck past the Nashville Predators goaltender is one of the few ways to anger the 6-foot-5 Finn.

    Pucks bouncing past him on the NHL's biggest stage infuriate him. Rinne chopped his stick against a goalpost not once, but twice after giving up a fifth and final goal a year ago when Nashville was ousted from the playoffs.

    That was just Game 7 in the second round.

    Now Rinne goes into the biggest game of his career Sunday night needing yet another home victory to force both the defending champs and the Stanley Cup Final to a deciding seventh game back in Pittsburgh. And Rinne spent the past 40 minutes stewing on the bench as the Penguins finished off a 6-0 rout Thursday night in easily Nashville's worst playoff loss.

    ''You have those thoughts that why (is) the puck getting deflected in off our guys or something like that,'' Rinne said Saturday. ''You try to work so hard that the luck is also on your side. When bounces not going your way, sometimes you question, have second thoughts in your head, but that's life.''

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

    Rinne has a 9-1 record this spring with a 1.44 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in Nashville. He's allowed two or fewer goals in eight of those 10 games and tied Antti Niemi with his 36th playoff win for the most in NHL history by a Finnish-born goaltender.

    Yet the goalie and the Predators stand between Pittsburgh and a big chunk of history.

    The Penguins are trying to become the first team to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons in nearly two decades since Detroit repeated in 1997 and 1998. One more win gives the Penguins the franchise's fifth Stanley Cup, tying them with Edmonton for sixth all-time.

    All four of Pittsburgh's Stanley Cups have been clinched on the road with Chicago the last team to win the Cup on home ice back in 2015.

    ''Opportunities like this, they don't come around often, so you want to make the most of them,'' Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said.

    The Predators haven't scored a goal in 63 minutes, 23 seconds since Filip Forsberg's empty-net goal in Game 4. So Rinne will need to be at his best to give Nashville a chance at its first Game 7 and Pittsburgh's third this postseason.

    Rinne understands coach Peter Laviolette was trying to wake up the Predators by pulling the veteran after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first 20 minutes of Game 5. Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel all put up at least two points each in that game.

    Yet there's been no question that Rinne, who has never won a start in Pittsburgh, will be in net Sunday night.

    ''Right now our backs are against the wall, and this is our opportunity and I think you try to do anything in your power and prepare the best you can for this one,'' Rinne said.

    The Predators know exactly what they need to do better against Pittsburgh. Part of that is being better in front of Rinne.

    ''We made mistakes in front of him,'' Laviolette said. ''So I know there's things that we can do that can support our goaltender better.''

    Nashville may be without defenseman Ryan Ellis, who didn't finish Thursday night's loss. Ellis was among several Predators who did not take part in an optional practice Saturday. Ellis plays with Roman Josi on Nashville's top defensive pair and is tied for third with 13 points this postseason.

    The Penguins skated in Pittsburgh before flying to Nashville. Center Nick Bonino, who has missed three straight games with an injured left foot, did not practice for the Pens.

    Pittsburgh couldn't close out Columbus, Washington or Ottawa the first chance the Penguins had in each of their previous three playoff series. Coach Mike Sullivan thinks his Penguins are playing better, harder and smarter over the past two games.

    ''When these guys play a committed, inspired game the way they do and they execute, then their talent and their instincts are going to take over,'' Sullivan said. ''And when they do that, they're hard to defend.''

    Having the Stanley Cup in Bridgestone Arena gives the Predators plenty of motivation as well in the first game they've faced elimination this postseason. Nashville went 3-1 in such games last year.

    ''Our motivation is the Cup,'' Nashville captain Mike Fisher said. ''We want to win it.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Defensemen help Penguins play fast in Stanley Cup Final
    June 10, 2017


    Ron Hainsey avoiding a big hit and carrying the puck from end to end isn't what the Pittsburgh Penguins ask of him or any other defenseman not named Kris Letang.

    Out long term after neck surgery, Letang isn't a part of this run, but a key adjustment by Hainsey and the other defensemen in the Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators is a major reason why Pittsburgh is one victory away from a second consecutive championship.

    For the first four games of the series - even the two they won - the Penguins struggled to hold onto the puck and drive play, something that changed in a 6-0 blowout in Game 5.

    Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel played a role in finishing, but it all started from the back end with a style of play that emulates Letang.

    ''One thing we got going early on was we kind of broke the puck out as a group together,'' Hainsey said. ''We had good communication in our zone working the puck out quick and with speed.

    ''If we can get our forwards the puck early in shifts when they got a lot of energy and before they have to stop and play defense, they're some of the best forwards in the world. They can make some stuff happen out there.''

    When the Penguins talk about ''playing fast,'' this is what they mean. It's not about blazing speed, though they have some of that, but about moving the puck quickly and forcing even the stingiest of defensive opponents to get back on their heels.

    The Penguins' unheralded defense of Trevor Daley, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, Ian Cole and Hainsey lacks the No. 1 anchor present on every Cup winner over the past decade.

    Coach Mike Sullivan pointed to Pittsburgh's transition game and up-ice speed as an area that could improve in the series.

    Tweaks made by Sullivan and assistant coach Jacques Martin got the best out of that blue line Thursday with two goals and three assists.

    ''I thought (Game 5) might have been their best night as a group of six,'' Sullivan said on a conference call Friday. ''They doing all the little things, I think, that don't necessarily show up on the score sheet, or you can't necessarily quantify in a statistic, but those little things add up to helping a team win games.''

    Breaking the puck out of the defensive zone is what Sullivan wants from his defensemen, along with blocking shots and defending. Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and those other skilled forwards can't do anything without the puck.

    So the goal was simple: Get it to them quickly.

    ''We just played simple, moved the puck up quick and our forwards did a good job of using their speed and playing down low, hanging on to pucks,'' Schultz said. We were ''just trying to move it up to our forwards and play the way we've been playing all year.''

    It's not the way the Penguins were playing in the first four games of the series as Nashville negated their speed and controlled the neutral zone. That's a big reason why the Predators had 123 shots to the Penguins' 91.

    It was all even in Game 5, which didn't go unnoticed to Peter Laviolette as far as differences in play.

    ''Speed would be one of it,'' Laviolette said. ''They were quicker. We'll look to make those adjustments (in practice). But we've got to play a better game.''

    The Penguins played almost the perfect tactical game to take a 3-2 lead in the series, which is why Hainsey said they'd be in good shape if they could replicate that performance in Game 6 Sunday in Nashville. That'll take another team effort from the defense.

    ''We know we're no Kris Letangs back here,'' Schultz said. ''We're just trying to each step up a little bit and it's been working so far. We've got to get one more win.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Defensemen help Penguins play fast in Stanley Cup Final
    June 10, 2017


    Ron Hainsey avoiding a big hit and carrying the puck from end to end isn't what the Pittsburgh Penguins ask of him or any other defenseman not named Kris Letang.

    Out long term after neck surgery, Letang isn't a part of this run, but a key adjustment by Hainsey and the other defensemen in the Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators is a major reason why Pittsburgh is one victory away from a second consecutive championship.

    For the first four games of the series - even the two they won - the Penguins struggled to hold onto the puck and drive play, something that changed in a 6-0 blowout in Game 5.

    Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel played a role in finishing, but it all started from the back end with a style of play that emulates Letang.

    ''One thing we got going early on was we kind of broke the puck out as a group together,'' Hainsey said. ''We had good communication in our zone working the puck out quick and with speed.

    ''If we can get our forwards the puck early in shifts when they got a lot of energy and before they have to stop and play defense, they're some of the best forwards in the world. They can make some stuff happen out there.''

    When the Penguins talk about ''playing fast,'' this is what they mean. It's not about blazing speed, though they have some of that, but about moving the puck quickly and forcing even the stingiest of defensive opponents to get back on their heels.

    The Penguins' unheralded defense of Trevor Daley, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, Ian Cole and Hainsey lacks the No. 1 anchor present on every Cup winner over the past decade.

    Coach Mike Sullivan pointed to Pittsburgh's transition game and up-ice speed as an area that could improve in the series.

    Tweaks made by Sullivan and assistant coach Jacques Martin got the best out of that blue line Thursday with two goals and three assists.

    ''I thought (Game 5) might have been their best night as a group of six,'' Sullivan said on a conference call Friday. ''They doing all the little things, I think, that don't necessarily show up on the score sheet, or you can't necessarily quantify in a statistic, but those little things add up to helping a team win games.''

    Breaking the puck out of the defensive zone is what Sullivan wants from his defensemen, along with blocking shots and defending. Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and those other skilled forwards can't do anything without the puck.

    So the goal was simple: Get it to them quickly.

    ''We just played simple, moved the puck up quick and our forwards did a good job of using their speed and playing down low, hanging on to pucks,'' Schultz said. We were ''just trying to move it up to our forwards and play the way we've been playing all year.''

    It's not the way the Penguins were playing in the first four games of the series as Nashville negated their speed and controlled the neutral zone. That's a big reason why the Predators had 123 shots to the Penguins' 91.

    It was all even in Game 5, which didn't go unnoticed to Peter Laviolette as far as differences in play.

    ''Speed would be one of it,'' Laviolette said. ''They were quicker. We'll look to make those adjustments (in practice). But we've got to play a better game.''

    The Penguins played almost the perfect tactical game to take a 3-2 lead in the series, which is why Hainsey said they'd be in good shape if they could replicate that performance in Game 6 Sunday in Nashville. That'll take another team effort from the defense.

    ''We know we're no Kris Letangs back here,'' Schultz said. ''We're just trying to each step up a little bit and it's been working so far. We've got to get one more win.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 6 Betting Preview: Penguins at Predators

    Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators (-140, 5.5)

    Penguins lead series 3-2

    The Pittsburgh Penguins are poised to make history, bidding to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98. The Penguins will go for the clincher when they visit the Nashville Predators on Sunday night in Game 6 of a best-of-seven series that has been defined by home dominance.

    Captain Sidney Crosby and Co. moved within one win of hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup for the third time in nine seasons by demolishing the Predators 6-0 in Game 5, but Pittsburgh has been outscored 9-2 in dropping both matchups at Bridgestone Arena. "Still a lot of work to be done," Crosby acknowledged. "We know we're going to face a desperate team. We've already played two games there and know the atmosphere and know how much they feed off their fans. We've still got a lot of work to do there." So do the Predators, who rebounded from a pair of drubbings to win Games 3 and 4 and must hold serve again in Smashville, where they are 9-1 during the postseason. " ... What happened in Game 5 is gone. We know what we need to do in Game 6," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "We know how we're capable of playing, especially in our building here and look to get ourselves a big win."

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS

    LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened the Predators as -150 home favorites for Game 6, but they've been bet down slightly to the current number of Predators -140. The total is on the board at 5.5.

    PROBABLE GOALIE MATCHUP: Matt Murray (PIT) vs. Pekka Rinne (NAS)

    Murray - W/L: 6-3, GAA: 1.87, SAVE %: .931
    Rinne - W/L: 14-7, GAA: 2.00, SAVE %: .928

    INJURY REPORT:

    Penguins - D O. Maatta (Probable Sunday, nose), C N. Bonino (Doubtful Sunday, lower body), RW T. Kuhnhackl (Out indefinitely, lower body), D C. Ruhwedel (Out indefinitely, concussion), D K. Letang (Out for season, neck).

    Predators - D R. Ellis (Questionable Sunday, upper body), C R. Johansen (Out for season, thigh), LW K. Fiala (Out for season, leg).

    ABOUT THE PENGUINS: Crosby won the Conn Smythe Trophy a year ago in leading Pittsburgh to the Cup and is lifting his game when it matters most, collecting three assists in Game 5 to give him seven points in the series and 27 in the postseason -- one behind teammate Evgeni Malkin. "I don't know that I've ever been around an athlete -- not just a hockey player but an athlete -- that is as driven as Sid is," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He sees the opportunity in front of us, and he's doing everything within his power to try to help us be successful." Malkin, the 2009 Conn Smythe winner, is in position to win it twice with a goal and an assist in Game 5 to boost his playoff-leading total.

    ABOUT THE PREDATORS: Veteran netminder Pekka Rinne was yanked for the second time in the series after allowing three goals on nine shots in Game 5 but, like his team, has been superb at Bridgestone Arena, turning aside 50 of 52 shots in Games 3 and 4. "I’m worried about his record now at home, and it’s been outstanding,” Predators captain Mike Fisher said of Rinne. “We gotta focus on that game. We gotta be better for our goaltender, no question. You look at the shots, and they’re even, but it’s scoring chances, quality chances. That’s not our goaltender’s fault.” Center Colton Sissons was cleared to play after receiving a match penalty in Game 5, but has registered only one assist in the past four games.

    TRENDS:

    * Home team is 8-0 in the last eight meetings.
    * Penguins 1-4 in their last five road games.
    * Under is 4-0 in Penguins last four after scoring five goals or more in their previous game.
    * Under is 8-2-3 in Predators last 13 home games.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  11. #101
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    NHL
    Dunkel

    Sunday, June 11



    Pittsburgh @ Nashville

    Game 11-12
    June 11, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Pittsburgh
    11.535
    Nashville
    12.453
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Nashville
    by 2
    6
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Nashville
    -135
    5 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Nashville
    (-135); Over





    NHL
    Long Sheet

    Sunday, June 11


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PITTSBURGH (65-28-0-13, 143 pts.) at NASHVILLE (55-35-0-13, 123 pts.) - 6/11/2017, 8:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    PITTSBURGH is 31-43 ATS (-23.2 Units) in a road game where where the total is 5.5 over the last 3 seasons.
    PITTSBURGH is 5-12 ATS (-9.0 Units) in road games after a non-conference game this season.
    NASHVILLE is 23-9 ATS (+9.2 Units) in home games second half of the season this season.
    NASHVILLE is 24-6 ATS (+15.0 Units) in home games when playing with 2 days rest over the last 3 seasons.
    NASHVILLE is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in home games when trailing in a playoff series over the last 2 seasons.
    NASHVILLE is 243-195 ATS (+467.5 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent since 1996.
    NASHVILLE is 37-19 ATS (+12.2 Units) after scoring 1 goal or less in their previous game over the last 3 seasons.
    NASHVILLE is 35-22 ATS (+7.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    NASHVILLE is 27-15 ATS (+10.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
    PITTSBURGH is 129-83 ATS (+6.0 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    PITTSBURGH is 86-51 ATS (+12.0 Units) second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    PITTSBURGH is 49-32 ATS (+10.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    NASHVILLE is 32-37 ATS (-17.9 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PITTSBURGH is 7-4 (+2.5 Units) against the spread versus NASHVILLE over the last 3 seasons
    PITTSBURGH is 7-4-0 straight up against NASHVILLE over the last 3 seasons
    6 of 11 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.3 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NHL
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Sunday, June 11


    Home team won first five Finals games, and last eight Nashville-Pittsburgh tilts overall; Penguins are 11-4 in last 15 games with Nashville- six of last eight series games went over. Predators won four of last five home games; over is 4-2 in their last six games. Pittsburgh lost last three road games, outscored 11-3. Penguins lost last three visits to Music City, outscored 14-3. Over is 4-2 in their last six games. Penguins won Cup LY and in 2009; they’re 4-1 overall in Stanley Cup final series. Nashville is in its first Stanley Cup final. Predators are 4-14 on power play in series; Penguins are 2-22. Pittsburgh wins second Stanley Cup in a row if they win this game.

    Stanley Cup final
    Nashville-Pittsburgh
    Pitt 5-3, -$160, O5.5
    Pitt 4-1, -$140, U5.5
    Nash 5-1, -$150, O5.5
    Nash 4-1, -$135, U5.5
    Pitt 6-0, -$165, O5.5




    NHL

    Sunday, June 11


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    8:00 PM
    PITTSBURGH vs. NASHVILLE
    Pittsburgh is 4-8 SU in its last 12 games when playing on the road against Nashville
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Pittsburgh's last 8 games when playing Nashville
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Nashville's last 8 games when playing Pittsburgh
    Nashville is 14-7 SU in its last 21 games
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  12. #102
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    Stanley Cup contenders bounce back big time from shutout losses

    Heading into Game 6 Sunday, there have been 12 NHL contenders coming off a shutout loss in the Stanley Cup final (that wasn’t a series-ending game) and all but two of those teams have rebounded to win the following game.

    Nothing is more demoralizing to a team than failing to register a single goal, especially when that comes in a series as important as the Stanley Cup final.

    The Nashville Predators are licking their wounds after taking a 6-0 beating from the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Cup final.

    But if you’re backing the Preds or holding a tasty futures ticket on them to win the Cup, don’t put the catfish in the freezer just yet. On top of the series swinging back to “Smashville” for Game 6 and Nashville priced as a -140 home favorite, NHL contenders coming off a shutout loss in the Stanley Cup final have been betting gold the past 11 postseasons.

    Heading into Game 6 Sunday, there have been 12 NHL contenders coming off a shutout loss in the Stanley Cup final (that wasn’t a series-ending game) and all but two of those teams have rebounded to win the following game.

    This trend does offer great betting value on the team coming off a shutout loss, as NHL betting markets will make a knee-jerk reaction to that previous score. Bettors, impressed with the shutout win, will jump on the other side. We're seeing this type of pattern with Game 6, as Nashville opened -150 and has since been trimmed to -140 with money on the Penguins forcing a significant move of 10 cents as of Saturday afternoon.

    The Predators had been shutout only four times prior to Game 5, going back to the regular season, and bounced back to win the following game in three of those situations. They've also won 20 of their last 28 games coming off an offensive output of two goals or less, including a 5-1 home win in Game 3 following a 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh in Game 2.

    For those betting goal totals, those teams coming off the shutout losses scored an average of 2.83 goals the next game while allowing 1.91 goals against – a combined count of 4.74 goals. Sunday’s Game 6 betting total is set at 5.5 with three of the first five games playing Over the number.

    Here’s a look at those shutouts and the following result (*team coming off shutout loss lost next game):

    2014

    Los Angeles 3, N.Y. Rangers 0 (Game 3)
    N.Y Rangers 2, Los Angeles 1 (Game 4)

    2013

    Boston 2, Chicago 0 (game 3)
    Chicago 6, Boston 5 (Game 4)

    2012

    Los Angeles 4, New Jersey 0 (Game 3)
    New Jersey 3, Los Angeles 1 (Game 4)

    2011

    Vancouver 1, Boston 0 (Game 1)
    Vancouver 3, Boston 2 (Game 2)*
    Boston 4, Vancouver 0 (Game 4)
    Vancouver 1, Boston 0 (Game 5)
    Boston 5, Vancouver 2 (Game 6)

    2009

    Detroit 5, Pittsburgh 0 (Game 5)
    Pittsburgh 2, Detroit 1 (Game 6)

    2008

    Detroit 4, Pittsburgh 0 (Game 1)
    Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 0 (Game 2)*
    Pittsburgh 3, Detroit 2 (Game 3)

    2007

    Anaheim 1, Ottawa 0 (Game 2)
    Ottawa 5, Anaheim 3 (Game 3)

    2006

    Carolina 5, Edmonton 0 (Game 2)
    Edmonton 2, Carolina (Game 3)
    Edmonton 4, Carolina 0 (Game 6)
    Carolina 3, Edmonton 1 (Game 7)
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  13. #103
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    High-scoring hockey has been followed by Under results in Stanley Cup final

    Going back to the 2011 Stanley Cup final, playing the Under following an Over result is a perfect 9-0 winner. Sunday's Game 6 total is 5.5 goals.

    A wild and crazy Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final produced a total of eight goals – the highest scoring Stanley Cup final game since Game 2 of the 2014 final - and set the tone for what has been an action-packed final series so far.

    Heading into the 2017 final there had been only 20 Stanley Cup final games that had topped the total since the 2005 NHL lockout. So far this year, there have been three: Game 1 (Pittsburgh 5, Nashville 3 - Over 5.5), Game 3 (Nashville 5, Pittsburgh 1 - Over 5.5), and Game 5 (Pittsburgh 6, Nashville 0 - Over 5.5).

    That Game 1 final score of 5-3 set up an interesting angle for total bettors that has since cashed in twice during the 2017 Cup final. Since the lockout, Stanley Cup final games following an Over result are 4-14-1 Over/Under (78 percent Under), with three Over results coming in the deciding game of a series (no following game). Heading into this year's final, the average combined score in those contests following an Over was just 4.3 goals.

    Nashville and Pittsburgh played Under in Game 2 (Pittsburgh 4, Nashville 1 - Under 5.5) and Game 4 (Nashville 4, Pittsburgh 1 - Under 5.5). This trend comes back into play Sunday for Game 6 in Nashville, after the Pens blanked the Predators 6-0 in Game 5 - topping the 5.5-goal total. The Game 6 number is 5.5 with the Under priced at -125.

    In fact, going back to the 2011 Stanley Cup final, playing the Under following an Over has produced a perfect 9-0 streak. And, if you take the 2010 final out of the equation – which saw the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers top the total in five of six games – you get a Over/Under record of 1-13-1 in Cup final games following an Over since 2006.

    Before Game 1, the Penguins entered the Cup final with a 8-9-2 Over/Under record in the NHL playoffs while the Predators posted a 3-7-6 O/U mark in their first three postseason series.

    The Predators are -140 moneyline favorites in Game 6 Sunday.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #104
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    SUNDAY, JUNE 11

    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    PIT at NAS 08:00 PM

    NAS -147

    O 5.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  15. #105
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    Penguins end Predators magical postseason run
    June 11, 2017


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Predators' amazing, improbable playoff run finally is over.

    After capturing the hearts of Nashville's country music stars and tens of thousands more in and around Music City, Nashville's season ended at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    P.K. Subban, brought over from Montreal in last summer's blockbuster swap of All-Star defensemen, said the loss stings and will for a while. Then he made another bold promise, not all that different from his guarantee of a Game 3 that proved true.

    ''We're going to be back here again next year,'' Subban said. ''We've got a lot of guys who are coming into their own. ... I think we're going to take a lot of experience on this run and we'll be back again next year.''

    Not many gave Nashville a chance. The Predators were the bottom seed in the West, seemingly unlikely to advance out of the first round much less be one of the last two teams standing. But Peter Laviolette's fast-skating bunch with the lockdown defense roared past Chicago in a sweep to get things started and shrugged off the home-ice advantage of St. Louis and Anaheim on the way to the first Final in the franchise's 19-year history - much to the joy of their catfish-tossing fans.

    Injuries to forwards Kevin Fiala and Ryan Johansen opened the door for unsung playoff heroes like Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau to not only get into the lineup but make significant contributions. Sissons recorded a hat trick in the clinching Game 6 of the Anaheim series. The undrafted Gaudreau scored Nashville's game-winning goals in Games 3 and 4 of the Final.

    Sissons had several chances Sunday. He had an apparent goal waived off in the second due to a quick whistle and was later stopped on a breakaway. In the third, both he and Filip Forsberg had shots ring off the post.

    Nashville also had a 32-second, 5-on-3 opportunity in the third but could not beat Murray, who did not allow a goal in the last 126:52.

    ''Things didn't go our way, but that happens,'' said team captain Mike Fisher. ''That's sport. Like I said, this team never gave up. We believed all the way. Just a great group of guys. Our goal coming into the playoffs was just to unite and inspire a city and obviously win a Cup. We didn't do that but I think we did the first one. That's a pretty cool feeling.''

    Including Sunday night's loss, the Predators were 9-2 at Bridgestone Arena this postseason. After selling out each regular-season home game, Nashville's fans not only packed the arena in the postseason, they attempted to blow the roof off of the building with their constant full-throated yelling beginning even before the opening faceoff. The hockey world was abuzz with talk of who would be the next country music star to sing the anthem at home games. The likes of Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Keith Urban among others did not disappoint.

    Fans who could not get tickets packed the plaza outside Bridgestone and a nearby park to watch the games on outdoor televisions. In the Final, the city blocked off portions of Broadway, where estimated crowds of 50,000 gathered to watch the games.

    Around town, many jumped on the Predators' bandwagon, driving television ratings for both home and away games to numbers never previously seen in Nashville. ''Go Preds'' was a common greeting or goodbye.

    They should have plenty to cheer for next season, too.

    Approaching the shortest offseason in team history, the 2017-18 version of the Predators should look very similar to the one that made this deep playoff run.

    Two members of the team's top offensive line, Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson are restricted free agents, but the team has enough cap space remaining that signing them shouldn't be a problem. That duo, along with linemate Forsberg, are all in their early 20s.

    On the blue line, Nashville's top four defensemen of Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis are all signed for at least the next two seasons. Just 28, Subban is the elder statesman of that group. Fisher is an unrestricted free agent, but he seems likely to stay in Nashville if he wants to.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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