wnol.info June 21 2018

Crosby has Penguins closing in on repeat Stanley Cup

June 21 2018, 12:34 | Van Peters

Crosby has Penguins closing in on repeat Stanley Cup

Sidney Crosby mashes PK Subban's face into the ice during NHL playoffs

It ended with haymaker after haymaker - both literal and proverbial - from the ever resilient Pittsburgh Penguins. But after the Pittsburgh Penguins' 6-0 rout of the Predators, Crosby is now one win away from a third Stanley Cup, and approval ratings don't matter much in that elite company.

"I try to contribute as much as I can", Arvidsson told reporters in Nashville before a flight to Pittsburgh.

"Right when I came over I knew I was going to have to play very gritty - go in front of the net, (play) hard", he said.

The Penguins scored two goals early and added a third before the end of the first period.

"Opportunities like this, they don't come around often, so you want to make the majority", Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.

At one point, Crosby made a decision to introduce P.K. Subban's face to the ice.

"It's just one of those things it slipped out of my hand", Crosby said. "I'm telling you that there is a lot of confidence in that room".

Pittsburgh's Bryan Rus, right, celebrates with goalie Matt Murray.

The Penguins' unheralded defense of Trevor Daley, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, Ian Cole and Hainsey lacks the No. 1 anchor present on every Cup victor over the past decade. "It's good to see for sure".While Pittsburgh center Matt Cullen said there are no moral victories during the postseason, the way the Penguins were able to generate odd-man rushes and stretch the ice were encouraging."It's not easy, but I know I can be better myself", Malkin said.Inactive for nearly a month and thrown into the highest-pressure situation of his playing career, Gaudreau won 10 of 14 faceoffs in a series-shifting Game 5 victory at Honda Center.

Colin Wilson is expected to play for the Predators after missing the first three games of the series. "It all started with that start and got us going for the rest of the game".

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Then things got chippy (and a little weird) for the game's best player. In the first period, he got locked in a scrum with P.K. Subban behind the Predators' net that lasted several seconds as referee Brad Meier inexplicably stood and watched. The romp continued.to the point where minimal-scoring defenseman Ron Hainsey got the last goal, finishing off a nifty Malkin pass through P.K. Subban's legs to make it 6-0.

"What I've really grown to admire and respect about Sid is not only is he a talented player, because there's a lot of talented players; I just think he has such a drive to be the best, and he's willing to do what it takes", coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Penguins held a 3-0 lead following the first period of play. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be figuring out a way to get the home version of their team to come along.

Pittsburgh couldn't close out Columbus, Washington or Ottawa the first chance the Penguins had in each of their previous three playoff series. Sheary took a pretty feed from Crosby and sent it by Saros 1:19 into the second to push Pittsburgh's lead to four.

"I don't understand the call", he said. While protesting a missed call by the officiating crew in the second period, Crosby disrupted the game when he appeared to toss a water bottle on the ice as the play transitioned back into Pittsburgh's zone.

After Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, Subban said that Crosby insulted his breath on the ice.

The franchise has won all four of its Cups on the road. A shot at a fifth awaits Sunday, though it'll hardly be easy. They have asserted themselves in Nashville, and they are nearly certain to have the raucous backing of their Stanley Cup-hungry fans Sunday.

Stark said she's not surprised by WalletHub's report about hockey fans in Pittsburgh.

Win, and they live to play one final game for the cup.

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