Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

In the final minutes of the first period, Crosby collided with Subban behind the Pittsburgh net and ended up on top of him. Rain kept the crowd outside from reaching the more than 50,000 who turned Saturday night for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Tennessee.

On Sunday night, Bridgestone arena will be electrified once again.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are one game away from a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. This would be his second Conn Smythe, having won it during the 2008-09 postseason. Pittsburgh had averaged one goal per game in the series to that point. Rinne has allowed 11 goals on 45 shots in seven periods of play during the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh.

The valuable Nashville defenseman left the ice in pain early the second period and has not returned.

With their win Monday in Game Four, the Predators became the 13th team to even the Final at 2-2 after dropping the first two games of the series.

Sidney Crosby has avoided two penalties in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

In the second period, Crosby found Conor Sheary with a backhand pass from behind the net to make it 4-0. Sullivan took over as Penguins coach midway through last season and was struck by how Crosby "controls everything within his power to be the very best".

The series is tied 2-2.

The Nashville Predators have offensive firepower.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel played a role in finishing, but it all started from the back end with a style of play that emulates Letang. That didn't help much as Saros allowed two more goals in the first 8:02.

It's asking a lot for a team to rely exclusively upon their superstars to win the Stanley Cup. He also assisted the third goal for his first multi-point game since February.

UNDATED (AP) - Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is expected to come off the disabled list and return to the lineup when Boston opens a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. He didn't just breakthrough - he backhanded through with a stunning goal in the first period of Game 5. Nine of the 24 total goals have come from first-year players.

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If Crosby brought his "A" game, Pekka Rinne once again brought his road game. Well things definitely escalate between the two of them in Game 5.

Bryan Rust has made a name for himself as a Penguin by performing well in elimination games.

It was as if after watching the Predators for four games, the Penguins were finally able to finally figure out their opponent's weak spot. Against Pittsburgh, Nashville won 5-1 in Game 3 and 4-1 in Game 4. It's his seventh goal of the playoffs. We're playing against a good team.

The Penguins scored in the ensuing 4-on-4 to go up 3-0 and take momentum into Nashville for Game 6 on Sunday night. Of course, the biggest weak spot right now is that Pittsburgh has Crosby and Nashville has no answer.

The night started with a catfish throw.

The Predators say their watch party at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville was sold out nearly an hour before puck drop, with thousands of fans inside. But once the game started, the ice belonged to the Penguins. "That hasn't changed", Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. It would be erroneous to assume the Predators can take this as a regular loss and move on.

Rinne returns to Pittsburgh, where he was shelled in the first two games of the series and is 0-5 with a 4.85 goals-against average and.833 save percentage over his National Hockey League career. What began as a two-month slog to the Cup is now a three-game dash, one that appears to be a coin flip.

An eighth-round pick of the Preds way back in 2004, Rinne has been excellent at home throughout the playoffs with a 9-1 record and.949 save percentage.

Thursday's victor will have a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6 on Sunday night in Nashville. "They doing all the little things, I think, that don't necessarily show up on the score sheet, or you can't necessarily quantify in a statistic, but those little things add up to helping a team win games".

"He certainly had it going", Ron Hainsey, one of six Penguin goal-scorers, said of Crosby. "It seemed hard for us to get anything going".

"We know we've got to win one road game and then a home game to boot".

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