Predators unravel, face elimination after Game 5 blowout in Pittsburgh


They're now tied in the series 2-2.

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.

It will either be the biggest day in Nashville history or a game the Predators must win to stave off elimination and force a game seven back in Pittsburgh next Wednesday. He of four regular-season goals netted his first of the playoffs in the second period, giving the Penguins their 6-0 lead. The legacies of Crosby and Malkin are firmly intact and Kessel answered every single one of his critics when he won a championship in his first season after being booted out of Toronto. Evgeni Malkin is the second choice at plus-350, while Jake Guentzel and Crosby are both plus-500. "And that's just going to be like (that)". He put up one of the worst seasons of his career with 18 wins, one shutout and a.909 save percentage in 38 games played. "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.

If Ellis can not play, the Predators would have to rely on either Matt Irwin or Yannick Weber for more minutes. He lasted just two shifts into the second period before he went to the bench in pain.

"We're ready", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. His teammates weren't sharing any information either.

Predators backup goaltender Juuse Saros has allowed three goals on 10 shots after replacing Pekka Rinne, who allowed three goals on nine shots before getting the hook. Murray didn't make the crucial save when he needed to, whereas Rinne was there time and again with the kinds of spectacular saves that both inspired his team and sent the crowd into a frenzy. The Stanley Cup Final is down to a best-of-three, as Penguins fans freak out over everything from the goalies to the defense to a catfish being chucked onto their home ice.

But the Predators had little to enjoy from this one. I know that our guys understand the importance of that short-term focus, just staying in the moment, and I think it's arguably the most important for the goaltending position because of the importance of that position.

Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel - just as linemate Malkin predicted - and 35-year-old playoff newbie Ron Hainsey also scored for Pittsburgh.

Sidney Crosby was dominant from the opening faceoff, tallying three assists and playing a forceful game.

Ekholm said the Predators tried to answer nearly too quickly.

One area where the Penguins have to be better is in turning the puck around, which is far easier said than done. It's not going to happen.

"Well, I think our guys are excited to play for a lot of reasons, but certainly we find a comfort level at home", head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters prior to Game 5. If we get the same chances again, it could be a different story.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has mostly kept the two together at even-strength and underlying numbers suggest that's probably best. He also isn't anxious about the Penguins getting overconfident with a chance to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday night.

"That's what it comes down to - you need that second-, third- and fourth-line scoring if you want to be a successful team", Forsberg said.

And there's no better time to do it than game five. In fact, according to Luszczyszyn, only 27 of 32 teams that have been outshot by an average of four or more shots has gone on to win the Stanley Cup.

The first period featured another round in Crosby's battle with P.K. Subban, as the two had a wrestling match behind the Penguins' net.

Laviolette said his Predators are honest with each other, especially coming off a loss.

"I think we're going to expect their best hockey in their rink", Predators forward James Neal said.