It’s not a guarantee, but it sure comes close.
The Nashville Predators have to be feeling some nerves after a blowout 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, but defenseman P.K. Subban sure isn’t letting it show.
After the game, a composed Subban projected the confidence he’s so famous for and came close to guaranteeing a home game win for the Preds.
“Right away the focus shifts to ‘we don’t lose in our building.’ We’re going back home. We’re going to win the next game. And we’ll see what happens from there,” he said.
For the first two periods of Game 2, the Predators kept the score tied at 1-1 but took numerous avoidable penalties. Early in the third though, the Penguins found another gear and took a commanding lead that started with Jake Gentzel getting his second goal of the night 10 seconds into the period. Scott Wilson added to the total with a deflection from Vernon Fiddler and 15 seconds later Evgeni Malkin fired a shot past Pekka Rinne, who was finally pulled.
“Both games were decided in a span of three minutes,” Subban said about the Penguins play. “That’s a championship team there. They know how to win. We gotta play a full 60, and we will next game.”
In all fairness, what else is any player in this situation supposed to say? Subban has to believe in his team’s ability to win the next game or he might as well not play.
“There’s no frustration. We’re learning. We’ve got guys in here that are learning, and we’re going to learn from those two games,” Subban said. “There’s not one ounce of doubt in our locker room.”
Subban does have one stat on his side to back up his belief. The Predators have a 7-1 record at home this postseason.
“Our building is great, the atmosphere is great,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s going to be a lot of energy in the building. We’re happy to get home.”
Game 3 is Saturday night.