Luke Bryan opening Game 6 broadcast from honky-tonk roof

"You're in the Cup final, this is what it's all about".

This time, though, to a degree not previously seen in the series between the defending champion Penguins and the Predators.

The defending champions provided an emphatic and repeated reminder of what makes them such a hard out in a 6-0 demolition of the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to take a 3-2 lead. The home team has won each game in the series.

The Penguins are a win away from their second straight Stanley Cup and fifth overall. Sidney Crosby had three assists, and goaltender Matt Murray had 24 stops in the shutout.

Crosby was also spotted chucking a water bottle onto the ice while he was on the bench during the game. And the rout was on. It wasn't a good game for Nashville, but they now it's about a series win, one game.

It's like Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said back during the conference final: "He's probably the fiercest competitor that I've been associated with in the game". "He sets the tone right off the bat". I think we've got to play determined. "If he wants to make stuff up, what can I do?"

"I think that's an indication of his leadership and his will to win", Sullivan added.

"I don't understand it". I don't see Pittsburgh taking Game 6 as easily as Game 5, but I still see them taking it, and the series. 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).

Crosby was asked if Subban wrapping him up in the off-ice chatter made him hate his former Team Canada teammate like he hates the Flyers.

Yet the goalie and the Predators stand between Pittsburgh and a big chunk of history.

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period. Pittsburgh won't be intimidated by the Nashville atmosphere in Game 6 and they'll be ready.

This is exactly the type of game that the Pittsburgh Penguins needed.

"We've already parked the game and we're focusing on Game 6 in our building and we know the energy is going to be there".

"Our job should be to convert the 40,000 to 45,000 out-of-towners to become Preds fans before they leave, and the Preds fans to become CMA fans", said Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. The Stanley Cup Final got oddly sidetracked by Subban saying that Crosby accused him of having bad breath. The one power play goal they had was the game-winning goal.

Do it and they might not steal a title, but earn one. There's coverage that's missed after that. Pittsburgh's two goals came 5:12 apart early in Game 5, on the power play from Justin Schultz and at even strength from Bryan Rust.

It was Rinne who practically swept the Chicago Blackhawks on his own in the first round, posting two shutouts and a.976 save percentage.

Then things got chippy (and a little weird) for the game's best player. Bryan Rust golfed in a backhand five minutes after the first goal, and it was clear: Nashville hasn't really controlled a game since Game 3. Game 5 marked the fourth time in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs that a team has lost by six or more goals. Penguins RW Josh Archibald, who made his Final debut in Game 4, was scratched in favor of LW Scott Wilson.

With the Penguins leading the Predators 3-2 in the series, seats at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena for the pivotal elimination game are selling for an average price of $2,116 on SeatGeek, the secondary market ticket aggregator. It would be erroneous to assume the Predators can take this as a regular loss and move on. It did seem unusual to see Rinne let in that many goals in one game, but it was a unique high scoring game with six goals being scored by one team. This is still very much a series.

  • Julie Sanders