Penguins hoping home ice remains huge factor

Evgeni Malkin left of the Pittsburgh Penguins is sent flying to the ice courtesy of Nashville Predators' Roman Jossi during Game 5 action in the Stanley Cup Final Thursday in Pittsburgh. Malkin had a goal and assist as the Pens prevailed 6-0 to tak

Evgeni Malkin left of the Pittsburgh Penguins is sent flying to the ice courtesy of Nashville Predators' Roman Jossi during Game 5 action in the Stanley Cup Final Thursday in Pittsburgh. Malkin had a goal and assist as the Pens prevailed 6-0 to tak

The Penguins, looking to repeat as Cup champion, and the Predators, in the Cup Final for the first time, are tied at two games apiece with the home team winning each time.

But the referees saw the exchange as coincidental minors, That call infuriated Predators' coach Peter Laviolette, who then took a calculated risk and switched to backup goaltender Juuse Saros for the start of the second, after Rinne surrendered three goals on nine shots. "(Gaudreau's) been unbelievable for us, just the way he's come in and he's been so good with the timely goals and so composed", Predators captain Mike Fisher said of the 24-year-old, who had one assist in nine regular-season National Hockey League games in his career.

Only players not on ice for Predators optional are Neal, Smith and Watson.

Although that advantage seems to magnified for Nashville, who have created an atmosphere both inside and outside of the arena never before seen in a Cup Final, fans have certainly been vocal in their support of the Penguins while in Pittsburgh as well.

Mike Sullivan confirms Matt Murray as the Penguins' starter, but you already knew that. But they'll have to win again in Pittsburgh next week to lift the Stanley Cup.

Sports' Kevin Allen explains why Pittsburgh and Nashville can feel good about their chances heading into Game 5.

A mild rookie contributor with eight goals and 16 points in 56 games, Arvidsson came into the year with modest goals. Pittsburgh's two goals came 5:12 apart early in Game 5, on the power play from Justin Schultz and at even strength from Bryan Rust.

Will Pekka Rinne mirror Games 1-2 or Games 3-4?

The Penguins are 1-4 in their last 5 road games, 15-4 in their last 19 Sunday games and 1-4 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest. "Right now, our mission is to win Game 6 and then come back and play the best game of the series".

The Penguins and Predators have provided plenty of drama, from the roller-coaster play of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to the running feud between Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban.

Many hockey fans were (rightfully) anxious about the change in the crowd atmosphere before Game 5 after two loud and fun games in Nashville, but some traditions, like the catfish, made their way back to Pittsburgh.

A holding penalty on Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis 50 seconds in gave the Penguins the power play. So Rinne will need to be at his best to give Nashville a chance at its first Game 7 and Pittsburgh's third this postseason. Neither Pittsburgh nor Nashville has yet won a game in the series whilst on the road. For a player to have a Corsi For percentage (CF%) of over 50% means that when that player is on the ice, his team usually has control of puck.

Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final is a can't-miss show and not just for Penguins and Predators fans in Pittsburgh. Center Nick Bonino (ankle) tried to play in Game Four but let the ice in warmups.

Kessel, who had gone six games without scoring, broke out with a goal and two assists. When they got behind us, they were able to do some damage off of that. "We're going home, we're going to be re-energized and our focus now has to be on that game and getting one win". Neither looked very good on Thursday, as the two bottom-pair defencemen combined for a minus-5 rating.

If the Penguins have it their way, that party won't stop Sunday, and for months thereafter, with Lord Stanley's Cup joining them once again for the ride. Nashville F Colin Wilson made his series debut after missing the first four games with an undisclosed injury.

Second to Malkin with 27 points in the playoffs, the 29-year-old has emerged as the Conn Smythe Trophy favourite for what would be a second straight spring.

Head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed the decision following an optional morning skate on Thursday morning.

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