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

Crosby didn't get an extra roughing penalty for slamming P.K. Subban's head on the ice in the first period and officials missed the Penguins captain throwing a water bottle onto the ice during the second period as Pittsburgh opened a 5-0 lead.

"I know it's a nasty hole to be in", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said Tuesday.

In Game 1, Nashville became the first team to hold an opponent without a shot on goal in a period of a Final game since the National Hockey League started tracking that statistic in 1957, and that drought lasted 37 minutes even though Pittsburgh pulled out a 5-3 win.

Across six periods in Nashville, the NHL's highest-scoring team managed to beat Rinne just twice as the Predators rallied to tie the series. After the third goal went by him to end the period, his night was over after allowing three goals on nine shots.

"Of course I want to win every game", said Murray, who gave up eight goals in two losses in Nashville.

"That power play got us going", Sheary said.

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The Cup will be at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday for Game 6 in all its gleaming glory, ready to be kissed and passed from hand to hand. "We had some good moments, we had some bad moments and we knew it was a best of three and we had to kind of learn from the past and put things behind us". "Whatever happens, we're going to keep going". The home team has won each game in the series.

The defending champions provided an emphatic and repeated reminder of what makes them such a hard out in a 6-0 demolition of the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to take a 3-2 lead. Sidney Crosby had three assists, and goaltender Matt Murray had 24 stops in the shutout.

Finally, the game was won by the Penguins due to Evgeni Malkin's goal.

There's no shortage of confidence for Penguins goalies Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, but they've split the duties nearly evenly so far in the playoffs.

"It's disappointing for sure", Rinne said. "It's a big game". "We have to win a road game".

It was a familiar showing for Rinne. Rinne has allowed 11 goals on 45 shots this series at PPG Paints Arena and is 0-3 in those games. He held Pittsburgh to a single goal in the next two games, a bounce-back effort that would likely back his case if Nashville wins the first Cup in franchise history.

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Colin Wilson is expected to play for the Predators after missing the first three games of the series. The closest thing to a superstar on the Predators - start groaning now all you Shea Weber types - is P.K. Subban.

"I think everybody fed off that a bit, as far as, 'alright, we're going to be aggressive and try to go get it and we continued to do that, '" Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey said. "We've got to win one road game and then a home game to boot". So in the days leading up to Game 5 in Pittsburgh, the Penguins repeated a message: if they stick to the process, the results will come.

After two games, it would have been reasonable to suggest Rinne had lost the rights to a potential Conn Smythe Trophy.

Hockey, particularly playoff hockey - all sports, really - are more fun to spectate if you have a rooting interest, one based on something other than just anathema towards some player or players, or coaches, or historic slights (like my distaste for the Yankees). The two stars became tangled up behind the Nashville goal late in the first with Crosby on top.

When Hainsey, who waited 907 regular-season games before reaching the playoffs for the first time this season, tapped in a pass from Malkin to make it 6-0, the stage was set for the Penguins to return to familiar territory. Even though the game was over, Kessel responded, whipping a shot past Saros for his eighth goal of the playoffs that Crosby also assisted on. Suban has been in 23 fights, posting a recorded four wins.

"We found a different level (in Game 4)", Crosby said.

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