NASHVILLE -- On the eve of a chance to win the Stanley Cup for the fourth time, Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz said patience and trust will be important before Game 6 of the Final against the Nashville Predators on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).
The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and would repeat as Stanley Cup champions with a win.
"It's obviously one of those things where you don't want to get too far ahead of yourself," said Kunitz, who won the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and with the Penguins in 2009 and 2016. "We know that we have to go out there and still perform tomorrow to achieve the ultimate goal, to go out there and have our best game of the season to beat the best they're going to throw at us. If we don't do that, we're not going to be able to accomplish anything.
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"I think you always have to go to the reassurance of how well your team can play, and once you understand and trust that process, we know we can go out and have our best game and hopefully that [leads] us to win."
The 37-year-old from Regina, Saskatchewan will play his 161st Stanley Cup Playoff game. He has 91 points (27 goals, 64 assists) and his 27th goal was the double-overtime winner in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators.
It put the Penguins in position to be the first repeat Cup winners since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 and gave Kunitz a chance to win the Cup for the third time as Sidney Crosby's teammate.
Kunitz said that events before he was traded to the Penguins by the Ducks for Eric Tangradi and Ryan Whitney on Feb. 26, 2009 have shaped Crosby's ability to lead.
He was referring to Crosby's first Cup Final, a six-game loss to the Red Wings in 2008.
"I wasn't with them to see him the first time in Detroit," Kunitz said. "I think a lot of his character-building and things come from that defeat, driving the team to be better every single night."
Knowing the Stanley Cup will be inside Bridgestone Arena on Sunday won't make Kunitz more nervous, he said, only more focused.
"If you can see your ultimate goal right in front of you, you should be able to drive yourself to have the best game of your life," he said. "That's why we're all here, to win.
"You don't get this opportunity too much, but they're also going to be coming with their best game. If we sit back or [don't] stay focused, then that's their chance to jump into it. If we come out and play like we started last game and take their fans out of it and pressure them all over the ice, we're going to have success."