The defending NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins came out flying and blasted the upstart Nashville Predators in game five of the Stanley Cup finals on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena.
In a see-saw series, the Penguins had lost the momentum after getting soundly defeated in two road games in the raucous Bridgestone Arena. With the series tied up at two games apiece, game five was as close to a must-win as it can get for Pittsburgh.
But the champs were more than up to the task, putting up three goals on Nashville in the first period and chasing Predators goalie Pekka Rinne from the net.
Justin Schultz opened the scoring less than two minutes in when he scored on the power play, Bryan Rust scored five minutes later and Evgeni Malkin delivered the dagger and ended Rinne’s night with 11 seconds into the period.
The Penguins poured it on in the second with three more scores for the final 6-0 verdict. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray bounced back from two subpar outings with a shutout.
15 down, 1 to go. pic.twitter.com/0YIVSaWal9
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 9, 2017
Pittsburgh superstar center Sidney Crosby exhibited his inner Hanson brother when he mixed it up with Predators defender P.K. Subban.
There had been a running feud between the two after Subban accused Crosby of telling him that he had bad breath.
The hostilities erupted behind the net with Crosby repeatedly cross-checking Subban in the head. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette was mystified why there wasn’t a major penalty assessed on Crosby remarking that “I saw my guy get his head crosschecked into the ice 10 times”, but the refs only called minors on both players.
The Penguins beatdown doesn’t bode well for the Predators, the team that has won the fifth game of a tied series has gone on to win the Stanley Cup 17 of 24 times.
While Thursday was about as butt-ugly as it gets for the Predators, they have been a tenacious bunch that can never be counted out. zhame six is also in “Smashville” where the team will be fired up to show that last night’s game was an aberration.
They better come out strong because if they lose, it’s over.
Game 6 will start at 8 PM on Sunday Night.