Crosby dominant in Penguins' Game 5 win over Predators

The Nashville Predators celebrate after their 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Monday night in Nashville Tenn

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They're looking to come back and re-gain the lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series on Thursday evening, doing so as they head back to a position of home ice advantage.

The Predators are hardly blaming Rinne for their predicament. Game 5 was no exception as Justin Schultz scored just 1:31 into the game and Bryan Rust added the second goal five minutes later. After Thursday, backup Juuse Saros probably doesn't care for it much, either. The Predators' fan base, which chanted, "It's all your fault", after every goal the Penguins allowed, even the empty-net goal in Game 4, beg to differ. Expect Rinne to be back in net for Game 6 in Nashville. "We were right there and we know if we can bring the same effort and just don't have that breakdown in a three- or four-minute span when they can score a few goals, I think we're going to have a good chance".

Many hockey fans were (rightfully) anxious about the change in the crowd atmosphere before Game 5 after two loud and fun games in Nashville, but some traditions, like the catfish, made their way back to Pittsburgh. The Penguins won their two home games by a combined 9-4. If that doesn't improve, Pittsburgh's going to find it hard to win. He has a.756 save percentage and a 5.41 goals against average on the road, but a.961 save percentage and a 1.0 goals against average at home. Rinne allowed three goals on nine shots.

"It's a game of execution", Crosby said. "I came here well-prepared and we just didn't have it tonight".

Sydney Crosby was the lone bright spot for the Penguins with his first period tally that he received an assist on from the post but that was it for the Pens attack.

So the fact that Crosby once again showed up and played arguably his best game of the playoffs on Thursday wasn't necessarily the story in a blowout 6-0 in Game 5.

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The Predators top-pairing defenceman, who has five goals and 13 points in the playoffs, left the ice after his second shift in the period and did not return for the rest of the game.

Now, Rinne and the Predators, facing elimination for the first time in the playoffs, will have to win at home on Sunday to extend the series. He also isn't anxious about the Penguins getting overconfident with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday night. For Game 1, Pittsburgh is a -165 moneyline favorite against the +145 underdog Predators with a 5.5-goal total. Pittsburgh Penguins' Olli Maatta grabs his nose after being hit there by a Nashville Predators' stick during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

The Predators certainly looked ready in games three and four, outscoring the Penguins 9-2. "If we continue to get those chances, they'll go in for us".Barry Melrose's take: Very similar to Game 3: The Predators got great goaltending."There's nothing more nerve-wracking than Stanley Cup overtime hockey", Barkley said. For his part, the 23-year-old Murray admitted he wouldn't spill the beans even if he was in on the secret, telling the team's website Wednesday that "Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you".

Evgeni Malkin scored on the resulting 4-on-4 to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

It was a unsafe play from a player who should probably know better based on his own concussion history, however, it illustrated the kind of attitude Crosby had brought to what was a pivotal Game 5.

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