Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

Pekka Rinne gave up four goals in each of the first two games before finally being replaced by Juuse Saros.

In Game 2, most of Crosby's five-on-five ice time came against Sissons, while Malkin received pretty even doses of Calle Jarnkrok and Frederick Gaudreau.

Laviolette is probably even more stoic than Sullivan, especially at the daily news conferences during the Final, but he said he does crack that veneer occasionally.

In a flash, Crosby took a pass and split the Nashville defense.

The raucous atmosphere in Bridgestone Arena has contributed to the Predators' success there, and the Penguins contend that, while the decibel level at PPG Paints Arena might not match Nashville's, the support they receive at home has a tangible effect. Evgeni Malkin wrapped up the first period scoring with just 11 seconds left in the period.

By then, Nashville looked dazed, their minds obviously running through the hard task that awaits them now.

Oh, and for the record, Crosby didn't intentionally throw that water bottle.

All the good mojo Rinne generated while helping Nashville rally to tie the series at 2 vanished in a span of 20 minutes.

There's the third Stanley Cup - one more than mentor and team owner Mario Lemieux - and the chance to lead the first repeat Cup champs in the salary cap era and first in nearly 20 years.

The Penguins thrashed Nashville 6-0 in Pittsburgh on Thursday in a dominant Game Five victory that wrestled back control of the Stanley Cup Final series.

"I've said it a few times, usually desperation wins the day".

Power plays (goals-chances) - Nashville: 0-5; Pittsburgh: 1-4. Pittsburgh can win the Cup Sunday in Music City.

Conor Sheary scored 1:19 into the second period to make it 4-0 over Nashville. Pittsburgh had averaged one goal per game in the series to that point. Perhaps the chanting of the Smashville faithful echoed throughout his head a little too much, or it could have been the fact that he let in eight goals in two games. His questionable positioning led to Pontus Aberg's dangle in Game 2.

There isn't a group of people happier to be in Pittsburgh right now than the Penguins. Although he only ended the night with a -1 rating, he was directly responsible for several turnovers that led to high-danger chances from the Predators.

The Penguins have again gotten to Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.

"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. The Penguins goalie, who had allowed nine goals combined in the last two games, rebounded by stoppihng all 24 shots for his second shutout of the playoffs. And then Ron Hainsey, an unlikely offensive source, scored from in close eight minutes later, because why not?

Crosby didn't score in Game 5, but he set up three goals and could have easily had assisted on three more. Center Nick Bonino (ankle) tried to play in Game Four but let the ice in warmups. He's the team mascot whose picture is stuck on the Predators' locker-room door, now with two bandages commemorating playoff-ending injuries first to forward Kevin Fiala, then center Ryan Johansen.

As Murray stood tall, Bryan Rust added another goal for Pittsburgh 6:43 into the opening frame. Guentzel picked up the secondary assist on the goal, tying him for the most all-time (20) by a rookie in the playoffs. "I'm just going to go about my business, do my thing, and when I play, I'm ready to play". His backhand goes in off Rinne's glove. The catfish have become the unofficial mascot of the series as Nashville fans have taken to throwing it like Detroit Red Wings fans with octopi.

Both of Wilson's goals in these playoffs have come on the power play. He is the best player in the world and he will prove it on the night the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.

P.K. Subban isn't the only family member experiencing the Cup Final for the first time.

Now, Rinne and the Predators, facing elimination for the first time in the playoffs, will have to win at home on Sunday to extend the series. Murray, on the other hand, is coming off two consecutive losses and has never lost three in a row since entering the National Hockey League.

And Underwood, who sang the national anthem before game 3, has basically given over her Instagram feed to supporting the team's finals effort lately, but she's not alone.

"Growing up, you watch him, so to be honest it's pretty special", said Guentzel, whose 13 postseason goals are one off the National Hockey League playoff rookie record set by Dino Ciccarelli with the Minnesota North Stars in 1981.

The Pens' home-ice advantage also translates into them having the advantage as far as the handicappers are concerned.

The two grew up playing hockey together in Manitoba, where they competed on the ice ("He beat me in the final", said Wilson) and their rink-building fathers competed in creating the ice. "We're going home, we're going to be re-energized and our focus now has to be on that game and getting one win". "It's the intensity he brings, and that's the kind of intensity we want to bring to our game every night". They also have a 123-91 shot lead in the Cup Final.

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

Coach Mike Sullivan confirmed after morning skate that he had chosen Murray over Marc-Andre Fleury.

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