Defencemen help Penguins play fast in Stanley Cup Final

Justin Schultz, Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin scored during a first-period barrage against Pekka Rinne that sent the Nashville goaltender to the bench for the rest of the night, all the good mojo he created during a pair of wins in Games 3 and 4 gone. Backup Juuse Saros didn't fare much better, giving up three goals in relief.

After repeatedly pushing P.K. Subban's face into the ice during the first period of Game 5, Crosby lost his cool again in the second period, even with his team leading 5-0, and threw a water bottle from the bench onto the ice.

The defending champions are winless in two Game 6 contests during these playoffs, failing to close out their sets against both the Washington Capitals and the Ottawa Senators while holding 3-2 series leads. The final score tied for the seventh-biggest blowout in Cup Final history.

The 40-year-old country singer and Nashville Predators fan will open NBC's broadcast of the match with a performance on the roof of the honky-tonk Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge on Sunday (June 11). "Moreover, it's telling that despite those modest workloads-the fewest minutes of anyone on the team who'd appeared in all four games-they'd been on the ice for three and two goals against [in Game 5], also respectively". "We just have to do a better job in front of him".

Crosby looked to be upset a penalty wasn't called on Nashville, but told officials the move was unintentional.

When asked if it's getting personal between him and Crosby, Subban said, "It's hockey, man". "It's about going back and forth".

Malkin now has a darn good case to be the Conn Smythe Trophy victor, should the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. Crosby also moved into a tie with Denis Potvin for 19th on the all-time career playoff scoring list. The home team is unbeaten through the first five games of the Stanley Cup Final, outscoring visitors by a 24-6 margin. The teams combined for 100 penalty minutes (58 for Nashville, 42 for Pittsburgh). Guentzel's assist moved him into a tie with Dino Ciccarelli and Ville Leino for the most playoff points by a rookie in National Hockey League history (21). Nashville F Colin Wilson made his series debut after missing the first four games with an undisclosed injury. Pittsburgh C Nick Bonino missed his third straight game. Wilson skated on the fourth line with Frederick Gaudreau and Harry Zolnierczyk.

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  • Julie Sanders