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Stanley Cup Final

Mike Sullivan trying to stay on task with Penguins heading into Game 6

Pittsburgh coach wants to keep to his routine with chance to win Stanley Cup against Predators

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- With so much on the line, it's not surprising that sleep is in short supply for Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan. But there are plenty of worries.

The Penguins are one win from becoming the first team in nearly 20 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Game 6 of the Cup Final between the Penguins and Nashville Predators is at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports) with the Penguins holding a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.


[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Penguins series coverage | Kunitz going for fourth Stanley Cup]


No team has won the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

"I think coaches always worry," Sullivan said Saturday. "It's just part of our DNA. We worry about everything all the time. There isn't much sleep from the day training camp opens. I think that's just the nature of the business. Of all the coaches that I've been around, we all seem to be the same.

"I think we go about our business just like the players do. It's a process. It's routine … making sure we stay on task. Coaches are no different in that regard."

Sullivan previously said the Penguins "really found their game" in the last four games of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators.

Again, they've been saving their best hockey for when it counts the most. The Penguins are coming off a 6-0 victory in Game 5 at Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"I just think we're playing better," Sullivan said. "We're playing harder. We're playing smarter. I think we're executing and we've got good players.

"Their talent and their instincts are going to take over. When they do that, they're hard to defend. They're going to get quality chances because of the talent that these guys have. I believe with each game that we've played, we've gotten better."

Game 6 is an entirely different challenge for the Penguins, who have lost the previous two games at Nashville.

"We know we're going to have to be on another level," Sullivan said. "And we believe we have it. That's what we're preaching to these guys.

"It boils down to execution and effort. But certainly it's not like we've devised a new game plan."

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