Penguins crush Predators, win away fromd efending Stanley Cup title

The Latest Bonino missing third straight game for Penguins

The Latest Bonino missing third straight game for Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) tangles with Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban (76) during the first period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

Ron Hainsey has made it 6-0 Penguins over the Predators late in the second period of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

It was as if after watching the Predators for four games, the Penguins were finally able to finally figure out their opponent's weak spot.

Sidney Crosby has avoided two penalties in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. "We had good communication in our zone working the puck out quick and with speed".

Colin Wilson could be back in the Nashville Predators' lineup for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It wasn't good", Laviolette said. Evgeni Malkin scored his 10th and had an assist, while Ron Hainsey also had a goal and an assist.

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.

"Then they scored another one, and it just becomes loose", Ekholm said. "I had a gesture with my hand and before I knew it the thing was flying across the ice".

Everything that followed from that moment on was just window-dressing, preparation for Sunday's sixth game, when the Stanley Cup will be in the Bridgestone Arena, there for the taking if Pittsburgh can find a way to earn a road victory.

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Golden State dominated the first two games of the NBA Finals at this venue and are hoping to do the same in Game 5. Kyrie Irving was the game's leading scorer with 40 points and Kevin Love chipped in with 23 points for the Cavs.

Matt Murray bounced back from so-so performances during Pittsburgh's lost weekend in Nashville to make 24 stops while also benefiting from a dominant performance by the guys in front of him.

Head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed the decision following an optional morning skate on Thursday morning. He had played great in the back-to-back road losses.

It took all of 91 seconds for Pittsburgh to get its swagger back.

With Ellis in the penalty box, the Penguins snapped a lengthy drought on the power play, with Justin Schultz filtering a long shot from the point through traffic that beat Rinne.

"We know we're no Kris Letangs back here", Schultz said. "It's world-class players. We can't shut them down game after game". "It seemed hard for us to get anything going".

It was 2-0 just five minutes and 12 seconds later, as Bryan Rust lifted a shot over Rinne's shoulder for his seventh of the playoffs. He gave up two goals in the first 6:43 of the game and it never got better.

Subban, who claimed Crosby was complaining about Subban's breath during a Game 3 run-in, just kind of sat there and took it.

"I'm not an official so I'm not going to judge what's over the line and what's not", Subban said. Rinne gave way to Juuse Saros at the start of the second period after stopping just six of nine shots, continuing his wildly uneven play. He's stopped just 34 of 45 in Pittsburgh during the series.

Saros hardly fared any better.

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Phil Kessel, who had gone six games without scoring, had a goal and two assists.

It's unclear whether Crosby meant to throw the bottle or whether it slipped.

Speaking before his fourth appearance in the final - while searching for his third Cup win - Crosby said he was motivated not by history, but by making the most of the rare opportunity to win at all. A shot at a fifth awaits Sunday, though it'll hardly be easy.

This may be the Predators' first time in the Stanley Cup Final, but they staved off elimination three times previous year in playing a full 14 games through two rounds.

"I believe this team has a certain maturity to it, always starts with our leadership", Sullivan said. "You're in the Cup final, this is what it's all about". Twenty-four of the Penguins' shots went on goal, and six of those reached the back of the net for a 25 percent conversion rate.

NOTES: Crosby now has 20 career points in the Stanley Cup Final, a new franchise record and one more than team owner Mario Lemieux.

With 164 career playoff points, Crosby is now tied with Denis Potvin for 19th all-time.

Nashville rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the best-of-seven series and the home team has won all five games. The teams combined for 100 penalty minutes (58 for Nashville, 42 for Pittsburgh). Penguins F Nick Bonino missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury.

Partial results: Most voters in Puerto Rico back statehood
No clear majority emerged in the first three referendums, with voters nearly evenly divided between statehood and the status quo. Puerto Ricans would also become eligible for the full welfare benefits now available to USA citizens living in the 50 states.

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