Mike Sullivan says Matt Murray will start for Penguins

But Sullivan pointed out that Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne also performed better at home than on the road. They've struggled to make entry passes and shadow the quicker Predators forwards.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that Matt Murray would remain in goal and said that center Nick Bonino was a game-time decision.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Chris Kunitz #14 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with Sidney Crosby #87 and Ian Cole #28 after scoring a goal agianst Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators in the second overtime with a score of 3 to 2 in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 25, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"We've got to be better in front of him", Laviolette said.

"I think our fan base is one of the big reasons why they're so supportive of our group". "(Gaudreau's) been unbelievable for us, just the way he's come in and he's been so good with the timely goals and so composed", Predators captain Mike Fisher said of the 24-year-old, who had one assist in nine regular-season National Hockey League games in his career. "We're going home and we're going to be re-energized. We need to do it again to win another game".

Both teams spoke of confidence Wednesday entering what has boiled down to a best-of-three series.

PITTSBURGH-A long run to last year's Stanley Cup win, a short summer, a World Cup, a grinding regular season and now another long run to the Cup final.

But the Predators had little to enjoy from this one. Evgeni Malkin scored his 10th and had an assist, while Ron Hainsey also had a goal and an assist. But his performances in Pittsburgh will be cause for concern if the series heads to a Game 7.

The first-period goals chased Rinne from Nashville's net; however, backup Juuse Saros ended up not faring any better.

"I don't know, that's anybody's guess", Sullivan said.

It was a familiar showing for Rinne.

First-period barrage: The Penguins jumped on the Predators from the start with forecheck pressure and two quick goals (Justin Schultz and Bryan Rust).

"That's all I wanted for my birthday", Fisher said afterward of the big win. "It seemed hard for us to get anything going". In Game 3, they scored three times in the first four minutes of the third period to pull away for a 4-1 win.

Crosby said the next game is key.

"I feel it", Malkin said.

The goal was Crosby's first in a Final since June 4, 2009, a span of 12 games for the Pittsburgh captain. That shift led to a Predators' penalty and the game's first goal on Pittsburgh's ensuing power play, as Schultz beat Rinne with a point shot that went between his pads.

The under is 5-1-3 in Predators last 9 Thursday games and the Predators are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest while the Predators are 11-3 in their last 14 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.

Before the start of the series, the Penguins had -150 odds to win, while the Predators were +130 underdogs.

"Both teams are trying to put pressure on one another, control territory, play that in-your-face game, always running the risk of the over-aggression can be used against you".

Predators coach Peter Laviolette stated his opinion earlier in the Stanley Cup Final, and did so in no uncertain terms again Thursday morning before his team faced off in Game 5 against the Penguins.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) stops a shot against Nashville Predators left wing Pontus Aberg (46), of Sweden, during the period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final Monday, June 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn. He's now 13-2 all-time at home in the playoffs, including 5-0 this postseason.

  • Zachary Reyes