Nashville's Pekka Rinne benched after allowing 3 goals in first

Nashville's Pekka Rinne benched after allowing 3 goals in first

Nashville's Pekka Rinne benched after allowing 3 goals in first

A comment made after Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final by Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban didn't just inflame his rivalry with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. He gave up two goals in the first 6:43 of the game and it never improved from there as h started the second period on the bench. But after the Pittsburgh Penguins' 6-0 rout of the Predators, Crosby is now one win away from a third Stanley Cup, and approval ratings don't matter much in that elite company.

After the Penguins won Games 1 and 2 at home and Nashville answered with victories in their building in Games 3 and 4, Game 5 returns to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pekka Rinne is a friendly, polite man off the ice.

We'll see if Rinne can continue to make this a homer series in Game 6 on Sunday. The biggest thing is just competing in those puck battles. Rinne chopped his stick against a goalpost not once, but twice after giving up a fifth and final goal a year ago when Nashville was ousted from the playoffs. Even Pittsburgh defenceman Ron Hainsey, who after 907 regular season games is performing in his first Stanley Cup playoffs, scored to make it 6-0 in the second period.

The Penguins already seemingly had Game 5 well in hand after the first period, as they went into the locker room up 3-0 after one frame.

"It's disappointing, for sure", Rinne said. "When bounces not going your way, sometimes you question, have second thoughts in your head, but that's life".

Rinne is now 1-8-2 lifetime against the Penguins - his lone win came in relief at Nashville - and he owns a career 5.15 goals-against average and.822 save percentage in Pittsburgh. "We still need one more game, one more win".

Yet the goalie and the Predators stand between Pittsburgh and a big chunk of history. The Penguins won their two home games by a combined 9-4.

The Predators, in contrast, just want more of the same results they got the past two games as they chase the franchise's first Stanley Cup.

All four of Pittsburgh's Stanley Cups have been clinched on the road with Chicago the last team to win the Cup on home ice back in 2015.

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Crosby started the first-period surge for Pittsburgh when he split Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis on the opening shift of the game and hit the post.

The Predators haven't scored a goal in 63 minutes, 23 seconds since Filip Forsberg's empty-net goal in Game 4. Crosby added his third helper on Phil Kessel's first goal of the final.

"I think Sid really understands the opportunity that this team has and he's not taking anything for granted", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Crosby had his way with the Predators on Thursday, but the shame of that statement is that it extended to classless acts. Part of that is being better in front of Rinne. I think we've got to play with urgency. The two-time MVP ended up on top of a stickless Subban and attempted to get up only to have Subban refuse to let go of Crosby's right leg.

Pittsburgh fans couldn't care less about Crosby's reputation and they shouldn't.

The coach also noted that center Nick Bonino will be a game-time decision for Thursday's contest. "It's a good chance to again lead the series".

Here's a list of where you can catch the game with your fellow Smashvillians. "And when they do that, they're hard to defend".

The NHL will get a seven-game Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2011, when the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks. Nashville went 3-1 in such games a year ago.

"We know we're no Kris Letangs back here", Schultz said.

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