"We just have to do a better job in front of him". The positivity of two straight home wins lies shattered after the Pittsburgh Penguins iced away a 6-0 win, sending the Predators back home needing an answer to force a deciding Game 7. Malkin scored during the four-on-four to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne watches from the bench during the second period in Game 5 of the team's NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.
"He'll score. It's his time to score", Malkin said. Can either of these teams win on the road or will home ice carry the day? Schultz's goal game on the power play, which was the Penguins' first power play goal since Game 1 and their second of the series.
"I'm not an official so I'm not going to judge what's over the line and what's not", Subban said.
Just like the Preds - the underdog team that, earlier this season, few would have predicted would be playing in the Stanley Cup Final - Handel's famous piece sneaks up on you in the best way. Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky are the only players to captain back-to-back Cup winners in the last three decades - an esteemed group Crosby would join with one more win in Nashville on Sunday night. He's allowed two or fewer goals in eight of those 10 games and tied Antti Niemi with his 36th playoff win for the most in National Hockey League history by a Finnish-born goaltender.
A three-on-two Penguins rush broke out near the halfway point of the middle stanza.
The Penguins turned Nick Spaling around and used him to get Phil Kessel. "But now it's time".
"I think we're just moving our feet", Crosby told reporters. Rinne had struggled to start the series in Pittsburgh though, pegged for eight goals on only 36 shots at PPG Paints Arena.
He also said it's no coincidence that the home teams have won each game so far.
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The Swede will be 36 by the time he next plays, with the serious knee injury expected to keep the striker out until early 2018.
Asked how he'd managed to come through previously when under pressure Kessel responded in typical easy-going fashion: "Just do whatever I do". Once again, he is the favourite to win the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff's most valuable player. He has only four shots in the series, including a shot-less Game 3.
Crosby started the first-period surge for Pittsburgh when he split Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis on the opening shift of the game and hit the post.
There is at least some sentiment for Pittsburgh to go back to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who started the first 15 playoff games following an injury to Murray in the warmup before the Penguins' postseason opener.
Scott Wilson, a rookie winger who's lined up with Malkin occasionally this season, thought he was at his best when he was "feisty". "The pieces are coming together, and I don't think anyone on this team isn't feeling comfortable in the way we're playing right now".
But the Predators' defenders made it tough because of how well they skated and how capable they were with the puck.
"He can get down low and hang onto pucks and really be physical offensively", Predators winger Austin Watson said. "We know who we're facing, in their building". The unit went 0-6 in the two defeats, but generated more in the latter loss. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan has called him a game-time decision since. Perhaps more prominently, it centers on Malkin, who has 26 points in the postseason but only two in his past five games and none since Game 2 of the Final. In this series, they have not changed their ways in the slightest. Everyone sees it on the ice and outside the rink how much it's grown.
"There's a lot of competitive guys, but I don't think there are a lot of guys who can raise their level to where he gets to", 40-year-old Matt Cullen said of Crosby after the Penguins win, which gave them a 3-2 series lead.