Crosby doing it all again as Penguins close in on Cup

Crosby doing it all again as Penguins close in on Cup

After the Penguins won Games 1 and 2 at home and Nashville answered with victories in their building in Games 3 and 4, Game 5 returns to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Though there were 40 minutes to go, Malkin's goal spelled the end of Rinne, whose Pittsburgh demons returned after allowing three goals on nine shots.

Laviolette continued his steadfast support of the Finn, who was spectacular in the first three rounds and the primary reason for the club's advancement to a first Stanley Cup final. Crosby didn't score in the 6-0 blowout of the Nashville Predators, but he was directly responsible for half of the team's goals.

Rinne performed superbly in two wins at home in Nashville, stopping 50-of-52 shots.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as he has for each of the last two springs when his team finds itself in a tight spot, pushed all the right buttons again.

The Penguins will likely need Malkin and Kessel at their best to wrestle back control of a series that's lately gone the Predators way.

Arvidsson patterned his game after Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin - "because they're great players from Sweden" - but thinks he plays most like Montreal Canadiens pest, Brendan Gallagher.

Boswell is from Texas but has quickly picked up a love for the hockey team that resides near his professional home at Heinz Field, and while he set a National Football League record earlier this year by making six field goals in a game, five of which were from 40 yards or more, he also is now known for becoming the most recent athlete to be removed from a Steel City arena. Or, the home team will win again and the Stanley Cup Final will have its first Game 7 since 2011.

Conor Sheary scored 1:19 into the second period to make it 4-0 over Nashville.

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That, more broadly, is how Murray describes his ability to cooly handle the spotlight - "just worry about doing my job and trying to give the team the best chance to win".

The scoring started early when, on the power play, Crosby dished to Justin Schultz, who fired a shot from the point that beat Pekka Rinne just 91 seconds into the game. Nashville Predators' Viktor Arvidsson (38) and Pittsburgh Penguins' Carl Hagelin (62) trade punches during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh. Crosby added his third helper on Phil Kessel's first goal of the final. I don't think that necessarily they were bad goals.

After an offensive onslaught, the Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from repeating as Stanley Cup champions. "The message was received, and I'm sending one back".

Then things got chippy as Crosby and Subban became tangled up behind the Nashville net. "I think that the toughest part I have about the whole thing is that this was our seventh game in 13 days".

"I don't know that we feel that we're against the ropes". The three-time Vezina Trophy finalist allowed eight goals on just 36 shots during the first two games in Pittsburgh.

NOTES: Matt Murray finished with 24 saves.

But from the opening moments, it was clear that a different Crosby, the ultimate version of Crosby, showed up to the ice.

Heading into Nashville, Pittsburgh was leading the series 2-0 but the Predators won Games 3 and 4 and tied the series 2-2. "Whether it's [Penguins center Evgeni] Malkin's line or Crosby's line, he's still faced with big challenges. We know we've got to win one road game and then a home game to boot". "It all started with that start and got us going for the rest of the game".

"I think both teams have gotten better throughout the series, and that's expected", Predators winger James Neal said. Less than a minute into the game, Crosby split two defenders and rang a shot off the post while being dragged down by Ryan Ellis.

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