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Stanley Cup Final

P.K. Subban says Predators will be better in Game 6 against Penguins

Defenseman stops short of guarantee with Nashville needing victory to extend Cup Final

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- There was no bold guarantee this time from P.K. Subban.

The Nashville Predators defenseman simply acknowledged the obvious after the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Predators 6-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

"We will be better," Subban said. "Our season is at stake. That's it."

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Nashville on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Subban said he is welcoming the challenge.

 

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"The real hockey starts now," said Subban, who guaranteed a victory in Game 3 after the Predators fell behind 2-0 in the series. "You're in the Cup Final. This is what it's about. It's about going back and forth and back and forth.

"We've already parked the game and we're focusing on Game 6 in our building and we know the energy is going to be there. We know we're going to play our best hockey and we're going to come back with an even better performance."

Subban said the task of winning Game 6 is comparable to when the Predators used the crowd support at Bridgestone Arena, where they are 9-1 this postseason, to help them win Games 3 and 4.

"It's got to shift right to Game 6 now and we've got to focus on giving ourselves an opportunity to come back here for Game 7," he said.

"I still feel we have a lot of great hockey left to be played here."

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Subban said he thought the Predators had the proper approach and focus in Game 5. But right away, the Predators looked overwhelmed by the quick-strike capabilities of the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who scored three goals in the first period.

"You've got to give them credit," Subban said. "They executed. We didn't execute well enough to have success today. We have to turn the page real quick and get ready for Game 6."

Subban played 22:15 and was minus-2. It was the first time in 21 playoff games this postseason that he has finished worse than minus-1.

He also continued his back-and-forth drama with Penguins center Sidney Crosby. They've had their moments on the ice, and then there was their give-and-take when the series was in Nashville, starting when Subban claimed that Crosby told him he had bad breath following Game 3.

Crosby said he never said that to Subban.

It was good for many laughs and an amusing narrative.

In Game 5, Subban vs. Crosby took another curious twist near the end of the first period when the two got tangled behind the goal and Crosby pushed Subban's head onto the ice multiple times. Crosby said later that Subban was trying to do "some UFC move" on his foot.

They each received a minor penalty.

"I don't know," Subban said. "It's just hockey, man. It's just hockey."

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