It was a masterful performance by the Penguins captain, who finished with three assists and literally rubbed P.K. Subban's face in it. Crosby also passed Mario Lemieux for first in Penguins history with 20 career points in the Stanley Cup final. They don't come along very often, these generational talents. "I'm not going to judge what's over the line and what's not".
"I think we turned the page", added Crosby.
Pittsburgh rose to the occasion in Game 6 of last year's Stanley Cup Final, tallying a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks as -109 road chalk to close out the series and claim its second championship since 2009.
The Game 5 collapse leaves the Predators without much confidence in Rinne and no room for error.
Crosby played out of his mind, in more ways than one. They'd go on to hammer the Predators, 6-0.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The health of Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis is in question after he couldn't finish Game 5, and the Predators are offering no clues at all for Game 6 on Sunday night.
It took Crosby less than a minute to dispense with the formalities, and cut through the game like a saw. That's simply not good enough from a player who scored 31 goals in the regular season and who has been Nashville's top offensive player in the playoffs. He started the game by drawing a penalty and setting up Justin Schultz for the opening goal on the ensuing power play. Hell of a start.
Heading into Nashville, Pittsburgh was leading the series 2-0 but the Predators won Games 3 and 4 and tied the series 2-2. Bryan Rust golfed in a backhand five minutes after the first goal, and it was clear: Nashville hasn't really controlled a game since Game 3.
And so we head back to Nashville, where you know it's going to be nuts. They've been jousting for a long time.
Pittsburgh's best players had their fingerprints all over this one, and none more than their greatest.
"I don't know what he was trying to do", Crosby said.
"It's just hockey", said Subban. Some people will never love him because he complains, or because of stuff like this. Nitroglycerin Goalies is are the most risky and unstable explosive hockey players known to man. Nashville has been a better team at home, in that howling barn: Goaltender Pekka Rinne has been especially better there. And by the end of the night, he was trying to fight Malkin. Message-sending makes no real difference, but they do it anyway. Game 5 was by far their best performance of the series. And if this becomes an even series possession-wise, which team has the finishers? He was on fire early in the playoffs, when he had five goals in seven games during the second and third rounds. He tied Paul Coffey and Glenn Anderson, and only trails Jari Kurri, Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that Matt Murray would remain in goal and said that center Nick Bonino was a game-time decision.
The Penguins may have limped here, but the Penguins are the champs.
"You're playing in the finals, the biggest stage in your career, and you're not happy obviously", Rinne said.