Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Penguins regroup, Predators look for road magic in Game 5

Nathaniel Diaz | 11 June, 2017, 10:22

"I think it says a lot about the people we have. they have a real appetite to win", Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters Friday morning, mere hours after Pittsburgh's convincing 6-0 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

PLUS Pekka Rinne has played seven periods against the Penguins in Pittsburgh during this Stanley Cup Final.

When: Thursday, June 8, at 8 p.m. ET.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 08: Andre Burakovsky #65 of the Washington Capitals skates against Chad Ruhwedel #2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pekka Rinne's struggles in Pittsburgh have his Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination.

The Pittsburgh Penguins center is one win away from captaining his team to its second Stanley Cup in a row, and third during his career. Rinne still has a shot to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, but he must find a way to win on the road to do that and take home the Cup, whether it be in Game 5 or 7. "We're hoping that we have our best game in front of him". "So I think all those things are weighed to a point where hopefully good decisions are made".

"That is, hands down, the best game that we've played in this series to this point", Sullivan said. Malkin scored to make it 3-0 and then he assisted on Kessel's first goal of the series, making good on his confident comments the day before. I know that Laviolette wants to pressure the puck with his talented young defense men, but they have to be more disciplined going back into Pittsburgh. But he does believe they have an advantage with the series down to a best-of-three and two of the games of the road. Pittsburgh has outscored the Predators 15-4 on home ice, while the Predators have outscored the Penguins 9-2 in Nashville. The Penguins got to the Cup in 2016 with great play from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Matt Murray who are all still healthy. Even Ron Hainsey chipped in with a goal.

"You have those thoughts that why (is) the puck getting deflected in off our guys or something like that", Rinne said Saturday. Now it's time for leadership to show in big games. Desperation should probably still fall on our side here where we know we've got to win a game in Pittsburgh.

It was a familiar showing for Rinne. Bonino has been out of the lineup since a leg injury in Game 2. Guentzel pumped in the winners in the opening two games in Pittsburgh.

"This is obviously the main goal at the start of the season [for all 30 teams]", forward Filip Forsberg said. "What I've got to do is try to stay ready in practices if they need me".

It looks like neither road team can win a game in this series, as every contest seems to be a home blowout.

Crosby wasn't penalized for the action, and after the game, he said that while it "looked bad", the water bottle toss was unintentional.

"I don't know if I was arrogant as a kid, but there is certainly pressure".

The Predators top-pairing defenceman, who has five goals and 13 points in the playoffs, left the ice after his second shift in the period and did not return for the rest of the game.

Justin Schultz scored on the power play 1:31 in and Bryan Rust added another at even strength less than six minutes later. He of four regular-season goals netted his second of the playoffs in the second period, giving the Penguins their 6-0 lead. He picked up an assist in two of the three playoff games in which he played. He also isn't anxious about the Penguins getting overconfident with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday night. The goal may go down as one of the most memorable of the playoffs, based on how it happened.

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