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game recap

Penguins score six, shut out Predators in Game 5

Matt Murray makes 24 saves, Sidney Crosby has three assists to help Pittsburgh move one win from Stanley Cup

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win from defending their championship after defeating the Nashville Predators 6-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Nashville on Sunday.

The Penguins have won each of their previous four championships on the road. They won the Cup last season with a 3-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 at SAP Center.

"We understand that the next one is going to be the hardest," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "So we're going to have to reset our mindset and be ready to play that game."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Penguins highlights | RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final series coverage]


The Predators won Games 3 and 4 at home after trailing 2-0 in the series. 

"Our guys will be ready," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "I'm telling you, they have a lot of confidence in that room. They have a lot of confidence in the whole building. They have a lot of confidence in the way we've played this year. They have a lot of confidence with how we've played in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]."

Matt Murray made 24 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs after allowing eight goals in his previous two starts.

Sidney Crosby had three assists to reach 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) this postseason.

"There's still a lot of work to be done," Crosby said, "but I like the way we played tonight."

The Penguins scored three goals in the first period.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm5: Schultz hammers home early PPG

After Crosby forced Ryan Ellis to take a holding penalty 50 seconds into the game while splitting the Predators defensemen and shooting off the left post, Justin Schultz made it 1-0 at 1:31 on the power play. Crosby passed to Schultz at the point, where he one-timed a slap shot past Pekka Rinne's glove.

Bryan Rust extended it to 2-0 by backhanding a shot through Rinne's pads at 6:43.

Malkin, who had two points (one goal, one assist), made it 3-0 with 11 seconds remaining. He leads the playoffs with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists).

Juuse Saros replaced Rinne to start the second period. Rinne, who made six saves on nine shots, has been pulled in his past two road starts. Saros made 12 saves on 15 shots.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm5: Kessel rips a laser from the slot

Conor Sheary scored on Saros' first shot faced to make it 4-0 at 1:19 of the second period.

Phil Kessel pushed it to 5-0 at 8:02, one day after Malkin predicted Kessel would end his six-game goal drought. Kessel hadn't scored since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators.

Ron Hainsey made it 6-0 with 3:20 left in the second.

Ellis left in the second period because of an undisclosed injury. Laviolette did not have an update on Ellis' status after the game.

Predators forward Colton Sissons received a match penalty for cross-checking defenseman Olli Maatta with 34 seconds left in the third period. A match penalty carries an automatic suspension until the play is reviewed by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.


Goal of the game

Malkin retrieved the puck in the defensive zone before passing up to Kessel, who carried to the left circle. Kessel passed back to Malkin, who shot over Rinne's glove and into the right corner of the net.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm5: Malkin picks the corner late in 1st


Save of the game

With the Penguins leading 4-0, Roman Josi spun off Trevor Daley and took a wrist shot on Murray. The puck bounced up off Murray before he gloved it out of the air with 5:06 remaining in the second period and Predators forward Austin Watson skating toward the crease.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm5: Murray denies Josi's spinning wrister


Highlight of the game

Crosby dropped a pass to Guentzel, whose shot bounced to Crosby in the right circle. Crosby carried it below the goal line and backhanded a pass to Sheary for a one-timer past Saros.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm5: Sheary pads lead, Guentzel ties record


Unsung performance of the game

Pittsburgh forward Patric Hornqvist played after missing practice Wednesday. He had an assist and four hits, which was second on the Penguins, one behind Malkin.


They said it

"I thought the team played a pretty solid game overall. So, that helps a lot, obviously. But there are definitely things you can take from any game, no matter what happens. So I'll try to be better going forward. … Nothing in particular that I will share with you." -- Penguins goalie Matt Murray


"You have to win four games to win a series. We're going back to our building and we know we're confident in that building." -- Predators defenseman P.K. Subban


Need to know

The team that has won Game 5 in a 2-2, best-of-7 Cup Final has won the series 17 of 24 times (70.8 percent). … Guentzel had an assist for his 21st point (13 goals, eight assists),tying the rookie playoff record set by Minnesota North Stars forward Dino Ciccarelli (14 goals, seven assists in 1981) and equaled by Philadelphia Flyers forward Ville Leino (seven goals, 14 assists in 2010). ... Crosby has 20 Stanley Cup Final points, most in Penguins history, one more than Mario Lemieux. … Penguins forward Nick Bonino missed his third straight game because of a lower-body injury. … Predators forward Colin Wilson returned after missing the first four games of the series because of an undisclosed injury. He played left wing on the fourth line with center Frederick Gaudreau and right wing Harry Zolnierczyk.


What's next

Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports)


Video: Pens roll past Preds, 6-0, take 3-2 series lead

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