Health of Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis still in question

Posted June 11, 2017

Pittsburgh's Murray regained the upper hand in Game 5 on Thursday night, pitching a 24-save shutout while equalling Tom Barrasso for the most Stanley Cup final wins (seven) in Penguins history.

Ron Hainsey has made it 6-0 Penguins over the Predators late in the second period of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. One of four Pittsburgh players ranked in the top five for most points scored this postseason, he has a league-leading 13 postseason goals to his credit, having reached historic franchise heights and tied a decades-old NHL record for playoff points by a rookie.

It ended with haymaker after haymaker - both literal and proverbial - from the ever resilient Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We just played simple, moved the puck up quick and our forwards did a good job of using their speed and playing down low, hanging on to pucks", Schultz said. "They play hard for one another, and they have an appetite to win".

The Penguins now have outscored the Predators 15-4 at home, but Pittsburgh has been outscored 9-2 in Nashville. "If he wants to make stuff up, what can I do?"

"We made mistakes in front of him", Laviolette said.

You can't talk about this series and ignore the incredible variance in Pekka Rinne's games this series.

Let's forget for a minute that Crosby only got a two-minute minor on the play, because refs miss calls all the time, but to defend Crosby or anyone else for punching another player's head into the ice is not just irresponsible, but part of the destructive hockey culture that tries to justify risky hits. I had never set foot in Tennessee before 2007 and I knew next to nothing about Music City. "I know you're not allowed to do that, so I'm not going to start doing it in the Stanley Cup Final". Yes, Evgeni Malkin is slightly ahead in the Penguins' point race, with 10 goals and 18 assists to Crosby's eight goals and 19 assists and Malkin had a goal and an assist in Game 5 to Crosby's three assists.

"I think P.K. has played against some pretty tough players in the playoffs to get to this point", Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.

It took all of 91 seconds for Pittsburgh to get its swagger back. If that was meant to bait the Penguins, it backfired. I think to go along with that, he has a drive that I don't think I've ever seen anywhere.

"You're knowing there's extra days so it allows guys to really empty the tank", said Pittsburgh winger Bryan Rust.

Six different players scored goals in the Penguins' rout of the Nashville Predators on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

There was his quicksilver first shift, when Crosby split the Predators defense shortly after the opening faceoff, then rang shot off the left post while drawing a penalty from Nashville's Ryan Ellis, who tried futilely to slow him down.

SIdney Crosby and P.K. Subban were in each other's faces all game long Thursday night.

"Well, I'm not an official", Subban said. Oh, and don't forget the water bottle toss just moments before Phil Kessel's first goal of the series pushed the lead to 5-0.

Danger zone: Despite losing 4-1, the Penguins' performance in Game 4 was their strongest of the series.

Pittsburgh didn't stop. Crosby didn't stop.

Saros replaced Rinne to start the second and quickly surrendered a goal.

Crosby looked to be upset that there wasn't a penalty called on Nashville and sent a water bottle flying.

The Nashville Predators host Game 6 of the NHL Finals on Sunday evening at the same time that the annual CMA Music Festival holds its closing concert headlined by Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.