Preds leaning on Rinne to force Penguins back to Pittsburgh

Sidney Crosby mashes PK Subban's face into the ice during NHL playoffs

Sidney Crosby mashes PK Subban's face into the ice during NHL playoffs

Another performance like Game 5, however, and it might be.

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

All the good mojo Rinne generated while helping Nashville rally to tie the series at 2 vanished in a span of 20 minutes.

Which brings us to Friday night's episode (8 p.m. ET), which covers the games in Nashville between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators.

Hockey fans who are looking forward to a seventh game in the Stanley Cup Final will get their wish.

The 29-year-old Penguins captain got into it with Subban at the end of the first period.

On the ensuing power play, Justin Schultz went double-five hole to make 1-0.

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.

On Nashville's side, goalkeeper Pekka Rinne has been a drastically different player at Bridgestone Arena than at PPG Paints Arena.

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On the game's first shift, Crosby wove down the slot, putting a shot off the left post and drawing a holding penalty on Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis. 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. The two eventually worked their way back up and were dealt matching minor penalties for holding.

Crosby is one win away from his third Cup, and from leading Pittsburgh to the first repeat championship in the National Hockey League since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings.

The Predators say their watch party at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville was sold out nearly an hour before puck drop, with thousands of fans inside. The Penguins were dominated in Games 3 and 4, but came out and took back momentum immediately on their return home. The Stanley Cup Final got oddly sidetracked by Subban saying that Crosby accused him of having bad breath.

He not only avoided losing three straight games for the first time in his career, he also stopped 24 shots for his second shutout of these playoffs, third in the postseason in his career.

And here's one last number to ponder: Teams that have lost a game by six goals or more in the playoffs are 3-0 in the next game. "We know how to move on", Rust said.

Maybe one thing can swing the pendulum away from an inevitable Game Seven: The Penguins have Sidney Crosby and the Predators do not.

Crosby finished with three assists on the night, with his ridiculous backhand feed setting up Conor Sheary for a second-period tap-in and his secondary assist helping Phil Kessel score to make it 5-0. 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. He has a.756 save percentage and 5.41 goals against average in Pittsburgh and was chased from the net in both Game 2 and Game 5. He's been unbeatable at home, allowing just two goals in two games in Nashville. "I'm telling you that there is a lot of confidence in that room". The Pens' star players didn't hesitate to get physical, either. We get to play at home and it's just a one-game mentality.

Win, and they live to play one final game for the cup. "I've said on a number of occasions they are a privilege to coach, and I sincerely mean that". Bonino has missed the past two games after taking a shot to the left foot or ankle.

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