This resulted in zero goals however, and Nashville finds themselves down 3-2 in the series after the disappointing 6-0 defeat.
But while those subjects are worth discussing, so are the small adjustments that Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan made heading into Thursday.
That was on the heels of getting just one goal in each of the two previous games, in Nashville.
Gonna to try to avoid the Crosby/Subban stuff now.
Both players got minors for holding.
In the process Crosby moved into a tie for 19th on the all-time list for playoff points and is within one victory of celebrating a third championship with Pittsburgh, something even his Hall of Fame mentor was unable to do.
Keys to tonight's Stanley Cup Final Game 2
By the end of the second, the Predators' shot advantage was 32-19, but it remained 1-1, thanks to a stellar effort from Murray. The Penguins matched that at 16:36, when Guentzel somehow squeezed the puck between Rinne's left arm and the goalie's body.
Then things got chippy (and a little weird) for the game's best player. We just have to do a better job in front of him.
Having the Stanley Cup in Bridgestone Arena gives the Predators plenty of motivation as well in the first game they've faced elimination this postseason. He wasn't tested much in this one, but veteran wing Chris Kunitz had an interesting take on the young netminder.
"I think Sid really understands the opportunity that this team has, and he's not taking anything for granted", Sullivan said. He was especially locked in during Game 4 when the Penguins dialled up their attack. In the nine games prior to that, the Penguins scored 2.2 times per contest.
In his short National Hockey League career, which began with a Cup win as the unlikely Penguins starter last spring, Murray has demonstrated an ability to rebound from poor performances. It was the correct call to stick with the 23-year-old for Game 5. Pittsburgh walked out with an early lead, and wouldn't let up in Game 5.
The Predators are 9-1 at home in the playoffs, a place they will need to be a haven once again if they want to extend their improbable Cup run back to Pittsburgh.
After dropping two straight to Nashville, Pittsburgh came out ready to play, and never looked back.
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In Barcelona maybe I didn't help him too much because he played wide. He is a fighter in spirit, he is a character, he is a victor .
When Hainsey, who waited 907 regular-season games before reaching the playoffs for the first time this season, tapped in a pass from Malkin to make it 6-0, the stage was set for the Penguins to return to familiar territory. It couldn't have worked any better in Sullivan's dreams.
Ron Hainsey. 6-0 Penguins.
Gaudreau also scored in Game 1. There was one thing about the game that was smart for the Predators.
The live bands in the lower Broadway bars have had to work their sets around game action, and Predators' goals have been met with enormous cheers roaring through the city's main commercial thoroughfare from fans watching on big screens. The team that has won Game 5 in a 2-2 series has gone on to win the Cup 71 percent (17 of 24) of the time since 1939.
As several Nashville players said, he still might be the best goalie in the playoffs. But on Thursday, they were battered and beaten so badly that they couldn't do much offensively. "And when they do that, they're hard to defend". And when a night like they had on Thursday, a beauty of an offensive showcase that most teams dream of touting in the Stanley Cup Final, is darn near overshadowed by the way Crosby handled moments of frustration in between an otherwise dominant outing at the forefront of Pittsburgh's blowout, that's a shame. It gives the Penguins two very different ways to score. Importantly, five points came from the defense, including two goals. Without a doubt, the Nashville crowd will be in a frenzy, and the Predators are going to have an extra gear. They've crammed any mutual hostility into that limited period, which has been fairly even in regard to pace of play.
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