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Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh”

The Penguins hung six goals on the Predators in Game 5 on Thursday in a 6-0 shutout victory in Pittsburgh.

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. But just as the Predators started to gain some structure in their game, Evgeni Malkin wristed a top-shelf shot past goalie Pekka Rinne late in the first period.

NOTES: Crosby now has 20 career points in the Stanley Cup Final, a new franchise record and one more than team owner Mario Lemieux.

With the Nashville Predators on the NHL's biggest stage for the Stanley Cup finals, Vince Gill found a way for his beloved hockey team to be on his stage, too.

The Predators are hardly blaming Rinne for their predicament.

As in Game 1, the Predators returned to the locker room Thursday at first intermission in a 3-0 hole, but it wasn't the product of Penguins puck luck.

8 p.m. - After the first period, the Penguins have a 3-0 lead on the Predators.

"We've got to be better in front of him", Laviolette said. "I've said on a number of occasions they are a privilege to coach, and I sincerely mean that".

That should help his confidence tremendously, especially because he was able to win the Stanley Cup away from home past year as a rookie.

"That is, hands down, the best game that we've played in this series to this point", Sullivan said.

The Predators are in a 3-2 hole with Game 6 coming up Sunday night in Nashville. "We know we're going to be facing a desperate team".

A pair of Game 7 wins highlighted this run.

Entering Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the series was tied at two games apiece.

Phil Kessel scored his eighth of the playoffs and added two assists, while Sidney Crosby tallied three assists. Kessel set up Malkin for a goal that came with the teams playing four aside, with Crosby in the penalty box after mugging his nemesis in the series, Subban. Pittsburgh then added three more goals in the second period from Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel and Ron Hainsey.

"It's disappointing, for sure", Rinne said.

Rinne had been maybe the biggest reason for the Preds winning the previous two games.

Penguins center Nick Bonino is not on the ice for warmups prior to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Predators and is and out again. The three games in Pittsburgh were won by the Penguins by a combined score of 15-4. Rinne was replaced to start the second by Saros, who was making only his second appearance of the playoffs.

Ellis left Game 5 in the second period with an undisclosed injury and didn't reappear in the third period.

"Obviously not the start you want to have". "When the country stars are going to the games and enjoying the games, they're representative of all of us to everyone else". Through 21 games this postseason, the Predators have lost just one at home, and Bridgestone Arena has seen Underwood, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley and others sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games.

Rinne insisted his confidence isn't shaken though he was disappointed with Thursday's result.

Sullivan said the schedule could change the way he deploys his players. After the third goal went by him to end the period, his night was over. Pittsburgh's two goals came 5:12 apart early in Game 5, on the power play from Justin Schultz and at even strength from Bryan Rust.

"You can go back through the whole series, there's really one game that we don't like out of five games, and that's Game Five". And it's sad mostly because talk of Crosby's pure hockey skills or the utter domination of his team en route to a potential repeat title then suddenly devolves into talk of Crosby's character - talk that Pittsburgh fans are assuredly just as, if not more, guilty of embracing than the rest of the onlookers around the league.

The Penguins skated in Pittsburgh before flying to Nashville.

One that can't get back to the creature comforts of Smashville fast enough.



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