Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Murray to start in goal for Penguins in Game 5

The powerful Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, against the Nashville Predators, the final team to get into the playoffs.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The night started with a catfish throw. "I don't think we have anybody back there that wows you offensively". That's something that we've talked about, how we can just get better at our transition speed.

Who should be in the net for Game 5 for the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Predators coach Peter Laviolette smiled but would not answer when asked if Wilson was physically available to play in Game 5.

Bottom line, the blue line needs to play their best hockey yet in this now best-of-three series.

The Predators, in contrast, just want more of the same results they got the past two games as they chase the franchise's first Stanley Cup. However, with offensive linchpins such as Crosby and C Evgeni Malkin and their supporting cast that includes LW Conor Sheary, RW Jake Guentzel and RW Phil Kessel, the Penguins are very efficient offensively.

The final score from Pittsburgh: Penguins 6, Predators 0.

None of the Predators have, but none would say they were hungrier for it than Crosby and Co.

"I don't know that we feel that we're against the ropes".

It will either be the biggest day in Nashville history or a game the Predators must win to stave off elimination and force a game seven back in Pittsburgh next Wednesday.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as he has for each of the last two springs when his team finds itself in a tight spot, pushed all the right buttons again.

So here they are, each team having defended home ice twice, the Predators trying to be the first to sustain momentum and the Penguins trying to take control before the caravan heads back to Nashville, where the Predators are 9-1 in the playoffs.

Referee Dan O'Halloran announced it as a goal, giving Nashville a 2-1 lead 3:45 into the second. "We certainly value what he brings", Sullivan said. "We need to play a little bit tighter than we did [Monday] night in those situations". We have to play a game and decide who's going to get it. As we all have seen, fans of both teams can get rather rambunctious. It was Arvidsson's first goal in 15 games. "Right now we've just got to focus on Game 6 at home and put all our energy in that one".

Malkin, the leading scorer in the playoffs (26 points), went pointless with only two shots in the two defeats and has been suffocated - all series really - by the Preds' menacing duo of P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm.

"We don't have anything to do with it", backup goaltender Juuse Saros said of the locker assignments. It's fun to play here, play at home, whole family here, every player, parents, grandmothers. He's stopped just 34 of 45 in Pittsburgh during the series. Kessel ended a six-game goal drought 8:02 into the second.

Fleury got the Penguins through the first two rounds, then was replaced by Murray at the first sign of faltering against the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference final. The road to the Stanley Cup can be a bumpy ride. A shot at a fifth awaits Sunday, though it'll hardly be easy. The Penguins scored only one goal in each of their losses in Games 3 and 4. "You're in the Cup final, this is what it's all about".

Sullivan smiled and said being referred to as Penguins co-owner and Hall of Fame center Mario Lemieux "brightened my week". Wilson had 12 goals and 23 assists in the regular season while playing 70 games. The teams combined for 100 penalty minutes (58 for Nashville, 42 for Pittsburgh). "And so this is another game tonight". It's the third consecutive game he has missed with a left foot or ankle injury.

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