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Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) tangles with Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban (76) during the first period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh will have a chance to become the first franchise to win back-to-back championships since Detroit in 1998 when the series shifts back to Nashville for Game 6 on Sunday night.

Steve Mayer, NHL executive vice-president and content officer, says the NHL wanted a way to cap the Predators' last home game of the Stanley Cup Final in a memorable way. However, he made a decision to return the favor for his team, and offer up a gift of his own for his Penguins.

Hainsey turned Nashville's James Neal inside out in Pittsburgh's end after the former Penguin whiffed on a big-hit attempt, then headed up ice and eventually finished off a feed from Malkin for a 6-0 lead at 16:40 of the second.

The Preds looked like they would go to the locker room trailing by two goals, but Evgeni Malkin put a knuckling shot into the top corner of the net with 10 seconds to go.

The bottom line for the Penguins as they head back into this madhouse in Nashville to face the Predators - 9-1 on home ice in the playoffs, having outscored Pittsburgh 9-2 there in Games 3 and 4 - is that they're trending up while the Predators are trending down. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh will likely have the chance to repeat as champions, and should get two chances to do so. Lemieux had 19 points in nine career games in the final.

"I thought (Game 5) might have been their best night as a group of six", Sullivan said on a conference call Friday.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins team bus pulled up their hotel in downtown Nashville in the middle of a hot afternoon, drums and guitars echoing in the distance from a country music fan festival. "We get a power play, we score on the power play".

Game 5 was by far the Penguins best outing of the final, maybe of this playoffs. Game 5 made it two straight games that the Penguins felt they played well, as Sullivan liked what he saw in Game 4 despite the 4-1 loss.

The opening faceoff was delayed a few seconds after someone threw a catfish onto the ice - a Predators thing.

The coach also noted that center Nick Bonino will be a game-time decision for Thursday's contest. None is more influential than Subban vs. Crosby because of their superstardom and importance to their respective teams.

It's not automatic that they will win and force a seventh game just because they are at home, but it seems quite likely that they will play a much more competitive game than they did in Game 5 in Pittsburgh.

Rinne returns to Pittsburgh, where he was shelled in the first two games of the series and is 0-5 with a 4.85 goals-against average and.833 save percentage over his National Hockey League career.

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While he gave up back-to-back dingers in a four-run second to dig a hole, the third inning encapsulates the frustration better. Cabrera, who is a switch hitter, has hit four home runs from the right side of the plate and two home runs from the left side.

While the Predators are going home, they may not be at full strength. "I think both teams have gotten better throughout the series and that's expected". They also have a 123-91 shot lead in the Cup Final.

Wilson took part in the team's morning skate at PPG Paints Arena and came off before P.A. Parenteau, who said he would not play.

NOTES: Nashville D Ryan Ellis left in the second period with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

The 27-year-old forward scored 12 goals in the regular season for Nashville. "It's his time to score".“We believe that we have some guys that are due to score some goals here, ” Sullivan said Tuesday.

The series was tied 2-2.

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