Stanley Cup Final: Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins Game 5 preview, updates

BACK HOME — Chris Kunitz and the Penguins hope to take a 3-2 lead in the series tonight.- Associated Press

A series has broken out. "It's going to be a battle".Rinne denied chance after chance after Crosby's goal, many of them saves that the 6-foot-5 Finn struggled to make in Games 1 and 2 in Pittsburgh.NBC Sports reported an average of 4.23 million viewers through the first four games of the final, up 24 percent from past year. Pekka Rinne's game seemed to be in tatters and the Penguins fan base was musing whether it preferred a clean sweep or just a split of the two games in Nashville so the defending champions could raise the Cup on home ice.

In Game 5, for the first time in the Stanley Cup Final, the Penguins generated significantly more high-grade five-on-five scoring chances than they allowed.

Crosby looked to be upset that there wasn't a penalty called on Nashville and sent a water bottle flying. What began as a two-month slog to the Cup is now a three-game dash, one that appears to be a coin flip. It's only three games left. He's not really anxious about the 190 feet in front of Murray, either. "It's good to see for sure".While Pittsburgh center Matt Cullen said there are no moral victories during the postseason, the way the Penguins were able to generate odd-man rushes and stretch the ice were encouraging."It's not easy, but I know I can be better myself", Malkin said.Inactive for nearly a month and thrown into the highest-pressure situation of his playing career, Gaudreau won 10 of 14 faceoffs in a series-shifting Game 5 victory at Honda Center. "Honestly, I don't have any details to share with you", Laviolette said, per Tom Gulitti of NHL.com.

"It's a good game but it's still not done", Malkin said. "It always has a connotation of hopelessness".

Instead, Game 5 was also the unwelcome return of the old Sidney Crosby, who has reputation for making sneaky, dirty plays that get overlooked and make people just plain not like him.

Think about it: here's the best player in the game punching another dude's head into the ice, and no one is doing anything to stop it.

Game 6 is Sunday night in Nashville. Still, Pittsburgh is pretty good in the house that owner Mario Lemieux built.

Just 91 seconds after a Nashville fan flipped a catfish onto the PPG Paints Arena ice - a move that came shortly before a three-goal outburst by Nashville in Game 1 - Schultz powered home a slapshot to end an 0-for-15 power-play skid.

"I think we've done a better job of staying on the right side of the puck". Not with the ultimate prize so close at hand.

How many thought the Penguins could shake off their frustration to win a deciding Game 7 on the road after looking so ordinary in their lopsided defeats to the Washington Capitals in Games 5 and 6 in the second round?

So the goal was simple: Get it to them quickly. They'll take their chances.

Predator coach Peter Laviolette, who talked to The AP, didn't put all the blame on Rinne.

Nashville should find a way to assert itself in the third period and win the game. "There's no other way around it".

Sullivan said he feels like the Penguins have been improving each game throughout the Stanley Cup Final.

"It was just one of those games where they were going and we were trying to find it and didn't really get it going at any point", Rinne said. "I think both teams have gotten better throughout the series and that's expected". And we can't blame Americans for this one either.

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