Five telling stats from the Penguins-Predators series

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

They responded with an attacking, never-stop approach that has helped Nashville go from the last team into the National Hockey League playoffs to one that is two wins from a championship.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray, left, stops a point-blank shot by Nashville Predators' Craig Smith during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

"It's simple. We've got to go home and win a game", Crosby said. Replacing Murray with the player slated to be his backup would be a bold adjustment with so much on the line, but the Penguins also risk going down 3-2 and heading back to Nashville for a decisive Game 6 if they don't make a change. When they got behind us, they were able to do some damage off of that. Both are fighting fatigue with adrenaline.

"Yeah, I don't think we really look at the big picture too much". "It's not only us exhausted". It was Arvidsson's first goal in 15 games. "We're not talking about being exhausted". The superstar forward scored in Game 4 after five consecutive games without a goal. He's not really anxious about the 190 feet in front of Murray, either. But once the game started, the ice belonged to the Penguins.

Sidney Crosby came alive in Game 5, with three assists on the night. It always has a connotation of hopelessness.

Nashville still is allowing just 2.19 goals per game, but the Predators are being stretched by the NHL's top scoring team. "I believe we have great leadership in our room".

"I know that Matt's excited to play tonight and he certainly has had success here at home and we're hoping that we have our best game in front of him", Sullivan said.

Rain kept the crowd outside from reaching the more than 50,000 who turned Saturday night for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Tennessee. Still, Pittsburgh is pretty good in the house that owner Mario Lemieux built. The victor goes on to win the Stanley Cup 70 percent of the time.

They also had appeared to have figured out Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, as they scored eight goals on 36 shots. Not that Fisher or his teammates keeping track anyway.

This season didn't start out so great for the Predators, and they qualified for the playoffs with a wild card position.

"Well, our experience as a staff has been that there hasn't been a ton of chemistry between the two when they have been together", Sullivan said.

Sullivan is 7-0 in playoff series with the Penguins, and the way he sees it, his team's inability to solve Rinne in Games 3 and 4 had little to do with lack of effort or opportunities. They'll take their chances. "We have no home ice in this series, so we have to go in and steal one at some point". "We knew that coming in here", Laviolette, whose team is 5-5 on the road, told reporters on Tuesday.

But Rinne struggled again Thursday in Pittsburgh, a place where he's never started and won in six career games. For Game 1, Pittsburgh is a -165 moneyline favorite against the +145 underdog Predators with a 5.5-goal total.

"It just seems to be like every second game, they're talking about how good we play defense and then the other game they talk about how good they are as an offense", Ekholm said Friday. "I think both teams have gotten better throughout the series and that's expected". "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".

Do it and they might not steal a title, but earn one.

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