Nashville Preys On The Penguins And Ties Stanley Cup Series 2-2

Rinne got the hook after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period, and Nashville backup Juuse Saros didn't fare much better, giving up three goals in relief.

"You always have ups and downs, and you try to stay even-keeled", Rinne said. "I know it's a nasty hole to be in". Our guys have a tremendous amount of confidence in him.

Crosby was everywhere, in the midst of the fray, at a moment when the Penguins needed his leadership to reverse a two-game slide, in which the Predators ran them out of the rink in consecutive games at their home, the Bridgestone Arena.

And so we head back to Nashville, where you know it's going to be nuts. "We're going home and we're going to be re-energized".

Some fans danced in the streets, some shouted "we want the Cup", some high-fived and hugged joyously, but none of their celebrations compared to the couple that vigorously made out on live TV immediately following the Preds' big win. They grabbed a 2-1 series lead by crushing the Penguins, 5-1, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

But the Predators had little to enjoy from this one.

"If we continue to do that, it's going to give us a really good chance to win games", center Sidney Crosby said. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan has called him a game-time decision since. He put up one of the worst seasons of his career with 18 wins, one shutout and a.909 save percentage in 38 games played. The crowd stuck with Rinne too, chanting his name in warmups in a goosebump-raising show of support.

Murray had never dropped back-to-back playoff games before taking the loss in Game 4. With the exception of the Sydney Crosby breakaway goal, the only score by Pittsburgh on the night, Pekke made superhuman saves tonight and looked to back on his most stellar form. The Penguins won the first two games in the series at home.

Where do you want to start? We've got good players. Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel did it in the first two games of this series and Roy Conacher did it for Boston in Games 3, 4 and 5 against Toronto in 1939.

Rinne insisted his confidence isn't shaken though he was disappointed with Thursday's result.

Predators Coach Peter Laviolette has a policy of not discussing lineup changes and wouldn't say if Wilson will return after missing four games because of a lower-body injury. I think we've got to play determined.

Eighteen years in the National Hockey League have led to 1,366 regular-season games for Cullen, but have hardly slowed the center, who logged 15 minutes, 27 seconds of ice time in Game 3 and 18:53 in Game 4.

Justin Schultz got the first goal for Pittsburgh at 1:31 of the first period after the Penguins earned a power play thanks to a strong move by Crosby.

Bonino, 29, has tallied four goals and three helpers over 21 playoff games. They've won five straight here and are 9-3 in these playoffs.

The consummate home-ice achievement - winning a Stanley Cup there - will have to wait until at least next Wednesday.

"If you've got a team that has momentum and a team that's got desperation, for me anyway, the scarier team is the one that's got desperation", Laviolette said.

Pittsburgh will host Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday evening, looking to pull ahead in a series now tied at two games apiece.

The Stanley Cup final resumes Thursday night in PPG Paints Arena, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators tied at two wins apiece. The Penguins hung six goals on the Predators in Game 5 on Thursday in a 6-0 shutout victory in Pittsburgh. They'd go on to hammer the Predators, 6-0.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) takes a shot as Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, defends during the third period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Monday, June 5, 2017, .