Penguins Throttle Predators 6-0; Take 3-2 Lead in Stanley Cup Finals

The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated their return to home ice in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals by coming out firing and overwhelming the visiting Nashville Predators 6-0. Pittsburgh took the lead in the series at 3-2 and can wrap up its second straight Stanley Cup championship in Game 6 in Nashville on June 11th.

So far every game in this series has been won by the home team, which projects to a seven game series and Pittsburgh winning the Cup. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne has been outstanding at home, but completely the opposite on the road. Rinne allowed three goals in the first period, with six saves, and was benched for the second and third periods. Juuse Saros wasn’t a whole lot better, allowing three goals in fifteen shots. Matt Murray had 24 saves for Pittsburgh. The six Pittsburgh goals were scored by six different players; Sidney Crosby had three assists.

While we can understand a player doing better at home than on the road, Rinne’s wild differences in performance are somewhat surprising. Perhaps, like football place kickers or baseball closers losing effectiveness, it’s in his head as much as it is the opposition fans or whatever.

With the series returning to Nashville for Game 6, we’re still figuring on a seven game series.

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