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Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

Crosby chatted with an official from the bench, appearing to indicate he didn't mean to throw the bottle. Inexplicably, the 1992 Penguins - a team that just barely finished above.500 in the regular season - were chosen the No. 2 team of all time. Nashville went 3-1 in such games past year.

Crosby set up three goals as Pittsburgh stomped Nashville 6-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final on Thursday night.

"We've got a great, supportive fan base", coach Mike Sullivan said.

Hornqvist's goal with 1:35 left in regulation was the difference, as goalie Matt Murray made 27 saves in an outstanding effort, outdueling Pekka Rinne (29 saves).

The Detroit Red Wings are the most recent team to win consecutive Stanley Cups in 1997 and '98. Sheary took a pretty feed from Crosby and sent it by Saros 1:19 into the second to push Pittsburgh's lead to four.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pekka Rinne's struggles in Pittsburgh have his Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination. It didn't work. Saros gave up a goal on the first shot he faced.

A YouTube of Showtime's All-Access series has emerged, showing Subban and Crosby exchanging F-bombs near the end of Game Three with nary a word about mouthwash uttered. Now one week into June, the predators are two wins away from their first ever Stanley Cup title. They haven't thrived in clinching situations this season, going 3-4 in games in which they've had a chance to eliminate an opponent. The home team is 4-0 with a 18-6 goal differential.

Justin Schultz scored on the power play 1:31 in and Bryan Rust added another at even strength less than six minutes later. The Predators weren't shaken then, much like the Penguins aren't shaken now. The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 3.4 goals per game and are scoring on 23.1 percent of their power plays.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby found himself in front of a cellphone screen, posing with teammates for a selfie as he was announced as the Conn Smythe Trophy victor for a second straight year, voted the postseason's MVP after he finished with eight goals and 19 assists in 24 playoff games.

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The Penguins scored twice more after that in the first frame - Evgeni Malkin notably breaking through after two point-less games - and then Crosby kept it going moments into the second with another crafty set-up.

Rinne allowed three first-period goals in a span of 4:11 in Game 1. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby was selected the victor of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded annually to the top player in the postseason. Crosby is looking to join Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky as the only players to captain back-to-back Cup winners in the last 30 years - and first in the salary cap era. Slipping the puck past the Nashville Predators goaltender is one of the few ways to anger the 6-foot-5 Finn. It's his seventh goal of the playoffs. Without the puck luck of the first two games, the Pens have slowed.

The guy that scored the victor in Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final doesn't even have a locker in the Nashville Predators' dressing room.

Prior to the game, a Predators fan tossed a catfish on to the ice.

But what if Nashville's Big Four defensively becomes a Big Three? The Penguins believe he remains the same player and the same person every shift, every night.

Evgeni Malkin expects Phil Kessel to score in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, and anticipates his own "best game" too.

This postseason, home had not been a safe haven for teams not name the Nashville Predators. That could be due to the Penguins' strong offensive playoff advantage. With Malkin, he's shot the puck a lot less (2.8 per-game) but still remained largely productive.

"It starts with Sid, our captain", coach Mike Sullivan said. The Predators took the body far more often in the first period, outhitting the Penguins 17-8 in a scoreless 20 minutes. Matt Murray was supposed to be the goalie of the future for the Penguins last season when an injury to Marc-Andre Fleury on the eve of the playoffs made him very much the goalie of the present.

Crosby has lead the way for the Pittsburgh scoring brigade with one goal and six assists.

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