Penguins rout Predators 6-0 to take 3-2 Cup lead


Crosby now has 20 career points in the Stanley Cup Final, a new franchise record and one more than team owner Mario Lemieux. "You're in the Cup final, this is what it's all about".

This has not been the most grueling of Cup Final schedules. The second round is not quite as dramatic or emotional.

The Predators are in a 3-2 hole with Game 6 coming up Sunday night in Nashville. When Nashville has been great, Pittsburgh hasn't been. Defensively, the Nashville Predators are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 80.9 percent of their opponents power plays.

In this Cup Final, we have yet to see overtime after a busy run of playoff overtime in the previous three rounds. We had our eyes on the conversation and saw one major theme. This move was done not as an indictment on Rinne, but to try to jumpstart the Predators. Ali vs George Foreman.

"Are you sure you want to exit without saving?" "We're playing good defense", Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm said.

"So I think that's an indication of his leadership and his will to win, and so, you know, I think Sid really understands the opportunity that this team has, and he's not taking anything for granted". They could become the first team in 19 years - since the Detroit Red Wings - to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

The valuable Nashville defenseman left the ice in pain early the second period and has not returned. But he's cooled off since then, having scored once in the last nine games. Heck, even their worst players were better than the Predators' so-called best.

If Ellis can not play, the Predators would have to rely on either Matt Irwin or Yannick Weber for more minutes. The Penguins didn't produce much in Games 1 and 2 and somehow won going away. Nashville was every bit the defending champ's equal in the opening two games only to be undone by a pair of dominant bursts by the Penguins.

Ex-NHLer Mike Johnson has a theory. Game 5 was by far their best performance of the series.

"He score", Malkin said of Kessel before the game. "He's pretty inspirational when he plays that way and he gets to a level that not many guys can get to".

"It wasn't good", Laviolette said of his team's start. "To be honest, I have no idea".

This time of year is all about close calls and near misses. This should be a time to show off more than the ability of young men to grow facial hair. He has taken 17 shots in the final, including seven in Game 2. And by the end of the night, he was trying to fight Malkin. Maybe it stretches to Wednesday. Sheary played on Crosby's line throughout the 2016 playoffs and his stall in the dressing room was within arm's reach of Crosby's, where Sheary soaked up wisdom and insight from the superstar.

He thought the Penguins got their best looks in Game 4, but were ultimately denied by Rinne, who rediscovered his way after a rocky start to the series.

Will he or won't he? Predators Coach Peter Laviolette has a policy of not discussing lineup changes and wouldn't say if Wilson will return after missing four games because of a lower-body injury.

There were a few notable plays in Game 5, which was probably the most exciting part of a game that over a minute into the second period. Losing Ellis forced the Preds to do some juggling with their very steady defensive pairings, and it hurt them.

The victor of tonight's Stanley Cup Final Game 5 in Pittsburgh is not guaranteed to win the series. So Crosby started playing whack a mole with Subban's head, resulting in offsetting minor penalties that only seemed to send another jolt through the Pittsburgh bench.

"One thing we got going early on was we kind of broke the puck out as a group together", Hainsey said. So Rinne will need to be at his best to give Nashville a chance at its first Game 7 and Pittsburgh's third this postseason.

It is understandable why Laviolette must be pissed because referee Brad Meier was standing right near them when the smacking incident happened and chose to do nothing about it. "I wasn't looking at where it was going".