Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final is tonight in Pittsburgh with the series tied at two games apiece. This is the 25th Stanley Cup Final to be tied at two, and the Game 5 winner has won the series in 17 of the previous 24 (71 percent).
The home team has won every game in the series so far, marking the first time that’s happened in the Final since 2011 (Bruins-Canucks).
As you’d expect from a finalist, the Penguins have been good at home this postseason, going 9-3 and outscoring opponents 20 to 6 in winning their past five games at PPG Paints Arena.
The Predators are 5-5 on the road this postseason, but they’ve lost five of their last seven such games.
Since the NHL took oversight of the Stanley Cup in 1927, this is the first Final in which four game-winning goals have been scored by rookies (Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel in Games 1 & 2, Nashville’s Frederick Gaudreau in Games 3 & 4).
Rookies have scored nine of the 24 goals thus far in this Final, and the Elias Sports Bureau tells us that’s the highest combined rookie total in the Final in the NHL era.
Gaudreau has become the second player in NHL history to score his first three career goals in Stanley Cup Final, joining Chicago's John Harms in 1944.
Guentzel’s 13 playoff goals are one shy of the single-year NHL rookie record set by Minnesota's Dino Ciccarelli in 1981, and Guentzel’s 20 points are also one shy of the NHL rookie record, set by Ciccarelli and tied by Philadelphia's Ville Leino in 2010.
Shooting and saving
Nashville has outshot Pittsburgh in each game of the series and 123 to 91 overall.
The Predators are the seventh team in the last 30 seasons to outshoot their opponent in the first four games of the Stanley Cup Final. In each of the previous six instances, that team won the series.
The most recent team to do it also faced the Penguins, as the 2008 Red Wings beat Pittsburgh in six games.
Pekka Rinne looks to continue his hot streak for Nashville, as he has saved 50 of 52 shots in the past two games. He has struggled throughout his career in Pittsburgh, losing all five games and conceding at least four goals in each game.
Rinne and the Predators have killed off power plays well, preventing the Pens from scoring on 15 straight power plays since Pittsburgh tallied on its first one in the series. Nashville, meanwhile, has scored on four of 12 power plays through the first four games.