Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead on Nashville in the first period outshooting Nashville 9-8 in the first period. Justin Schultz scored on a power play thanks to an assist by Sidney Crosby to put Pittsburgh ahead 1-0 early in the first period. Bryan Rust followed up that goal to make it 2-0. Then Evgeni Malkin scored. Nashville pulled Pekka Renne after Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead. The clinic continued in the second period.
Pittsburgh continued to rout Nashville outshooting Nashville 10-7 in the second period. Crosby and Jake Guetzel dished an assist to Conor Sheary. That made it 4-0 Penguins. Phil Kessel got an assist from Sidney Crosby and Olli Maata to take a 5-0 lead. Ron Hainsley made it 6-0. Pittsburgh outshot Nashville 19-15 through two periods.
Crosby dominated with 3 assists. He also got away with shoving P.K. Subban on the ice. If the roles were reversed Subban would have been ejected while Crosby got spared with a 2-minute offsetting penalty. Crosby also threw a water bottle onto the ice.
Nashville outshot Pittsburgh in the third period. That didn't matter though since Pittsburgh led by 6 goals at that point. They also had twice as many blocked shots as Nashville with a 16-7 blocked shots advantage.
The Penguins defeated Nashville even though Nashville had the better face off percentage, more takeaways from turnover, and more hits. Nashville executed in these areas, but they could not execute on the scoreboard where it mattered the most. Pittsburgh is now one game away from repeating as a result of this.
Game 6 is on Sunday in Nashville. I think the Penguins will end the NHL Season winning their fifth Stanley Cup on the road in Nashville. I would like to see the Predators win in 7, but I just don't think Nashville can pull it off.
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