Rinne pulled, Pens lead Preds 4-0 in 2nd period

Ruben Hill
June 11, 2017

"You're in the Cup final, this is what it's all about". Crosby's eventful night included becoming the franchise's all-time leading scorer in the Stanley Cup Final, a two-minute roughing penalty for trying to dribble Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban's head on the ice near the end of the first period and an flip of a water bottle onto the ice during play. Phil Kessel scored not long after that. Sheary took a pretty feed from Crosby and sent it by Saros 1:19 into the second to push Pittsburgh's lead to four. He scored on Pittsburgh's first shot against backup Juuse Saros, who replaced Pekka Rinne at the intermission.

It's Saros' second appearance of the series after coming in late in Game 2.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons in almost two decades since Detroit repeated in 1997 and 1998. They lead the Predators 3-0 after 20 minutes.

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

"Right now our backs are against the wall, and this is our opportunity and I think you try to do anything in your power and prepare the best you can for this one", Rinne said.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pekka Rinne is a friendly, polite man off the ice. Sidney Crosby had three assists, and goaltender Matt Murray had 24 stops in the shutout. Losing the two previous games in Nashville gave them something to think about on the trip home.

Game 4 was a strong win for Nashville, but not a flawless one: The Penguins found ways to get behind their defense, found ways to be unsafe against Pekka Rinne.

Midway through the first period of Game 5, the Penguins have six shots to the Predators' four.

Having the Stanley Cup in Bridgestone Arena gives the Predators plenty of motivation as well in the first game they've faced elimination this postseason.

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. Rinne chopped his stick against a goalpost not once, but twice after giving up a fifth and final goal a year ago when Nashville was ousted from the playoffs. "We were really jumping and playing our game, playing fast".

The Penguins played nearly the flawless tactical game to take a 3-2 lead in the series, which is why Hainsey said they'd be in good shape if they could replicate that performance in Game 6 Sunday in Nashville.

The night started with a catfish throw. 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. Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette appeals to linesman Brian Murphy, left, during the second period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh. Center Nick Bonino, who has missed three straight games with an injured left foot, did not practice for the Pens. Coach Mike Sullivan followed, and the players soon after.

NOTES: Matt Murray finished with 24 saves. 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.

Rinne has a 9-1 record this spring with a 1.44 goals-against average and.949 save percentage in Nashville.

After dropping the first two games of the series in Pittsburgh, the Predators tied the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece with a pair of dominant victories in Nashville. 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.

"I mean, it's obviously one of those things that you don't want to get too far ahead of yourself", said winger Chris Kunitz, seeking his fourth Stanley Cup ring. "They still have home ice. It all started with that start and got us going for the rest of the game". We have to turn the page real quick and get ready for Game 6.

The Penguins' unheralded defense of Trevor Daley, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, Ian Cole and Hainsey lacks the No. 1 anchor present on every Cup victor over the past decade.

The Penguins skated in Pittsburgh before flying to Nashville. Nashville F Colin Wilson made his series debut after missing the first four games with an undisclosed injury.

The series was tied 2-2.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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