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Pittsburgh Penguins G Matt Murray to start Game 5 vs. Nashville Predators

17 June 2017

Bottom line, the blue line needs to play their best hockey yet in this now best-of-three series.

The Penguins, looking to repeat as Cup champion, and the Predators, in the Cup Final for the first time, are tied at two games apiece with the home team winning each time.

The Pittsburgh Penguins jumped out to an early lead with three first-period goals and defeated the Nashville Predators 6-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night.

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne dives across the crease to thwart a scoring attempt by Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel during Monday's Game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in Nashville, Tennessee.

Wins for the road team through four games.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (2) falls over goalie Matt Murray during the periodagainst the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final Monday, June 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.

Rinne understands coach Peter Laviolette was trying to wake up the Predators by pulling the veteran after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first 20 minutes of Game 5.

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Rinne was a playoff MVP favorite going into the Cup Final, but allowing eight goals in the first two games put the Predators in a hole.

"Opportunities like this, they don't come around often, so you want to make the majority", Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said.

"I missed a couple shots that I probably don't want to miss", the fully-bearded Wisconsinite said after practice on Wednesday morning.

Where do you want to start? He did not play in Games 3 and 4 after taking a P.K. Subban slapshot off his foot in Game 2.

"The playoffs in hockey have been incredible", said Barkley, who accepted commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to attend Game 4 in Nashville.

At the end of last week, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in the driver's seat; but that was then.

Sidney Crosby, who was held without a shot on goal in Game 2, jumped on a loose puck and cruised in on a breakaway.

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Asked how he'd managed to come through previously when under pressure Kessel responded in typical easy-going fashion: "Just do whatever I do". "But I've got to do a better job finding the back of the net". He has only four shots in the series, including a shot-less Game 3.

"I don't know that we feel that we're against the ropes". Goalie Matt Murray lost consecutive games for the first time in his young career. "We didn't score, but the movement, the momentum it got for our team I thought was where it needs to be".

But the Predators' defenders made it tough because of how well they skated and how capable they were with the puck. The Predators have exploited the Penguins defense corps by jumping on them constantly and they have no time or space to get the puck up to their forwards.

The final score from Pittsburgh: Penguins 6, Predators 0. "It's nice to have your fans cheering you on and screaming and giving you extra energy, but at the same time, I think maybe we deserved to win one of the first two games and we felt we played good", he said. Neither looked very good on Thursday, as the two bottom-pair defencemen combined for a minus-5 rating.

Rinne, who had also been pulled in Game 2 and has a.755 save percentage in the three Pittsburgh games, was replaced by Juuse Saros to start the second period.

"He's certainly made his influence on the playoffs for our team in such a positive way", Sullivan said.

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