Five telling stats from the Penguins-Predators series

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0 — Wins for the road team through four games. The Penguins will be happy if this trend continues, while the Predators know it needs to change. “We have to win a road game,” said head coach Peter Laviolette. “There’s no other way around it. So for three series, we’ve been able to do that. We’ve been able to find some success on the road. We have to go in and steal one at some point.”

11 — Points for Nashville defensemen, including three goals. When Ryan Johansen got hurt, we all knew the Predators would need their blue line to stoke the offense, and that’s exactly what’s happened. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s defense, minus Kris Letang, has only combined for seven points in the series, with no goals. “You know, our blueline crew, they’re a simple bunch,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan. “They’re trying to make plays to get out of our end zone. They’re trying to help us along that offensive blueline. I don’t think we have anybody back there that wows you offensively.”

1-for-16 — The Penguins’ power play in this series. If that doesn’t improve, Pittsburgh’s going to find it hard to win. Credit to the Predators’ penalty killing, which has been good the entire postseason (89.7%). Also credit the Predators for smartening up and playing with more discipline. That was the message from their coach after Game 2, and they’ve only been shorthanded six times since. The Penguins’ only PP goal of the series came in Game 1 on a 5-on-3.

+32 — The combined shot differential in favor of Nashville, after the Predators outshot the Penguins in the first four games of the series. Remarkably, Pittsburgh has now been outshot in 17 of their 23 games this postseason. The Pens got to the final with an excellent power play, opportunistic scoring at five-on-five, and great goaltending. But they didn’t get any of those things in Nashville, and now it’s a best-of-three for the Cup.

0 — Goals for Phil Kessel in the Stanley Cup Final. He’s far from the only Penguin not to score, but scoring goals is what Kessel does best. Over the first three rounds, he had seven goals in 19 games. Yes, Kessel’s had a couple of decent chances against the Preds. He’s made a few nice passes, too. But Thursday in Game 5 would be a great time to actually pot one.

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