PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins’ power play has been a major sore spot through the first four games of the Stanley Cup Final, converting on just one of its first 16 attempts. Even worse, they were struggling to even generate shots on goal.
They broke out of that slump early in the first period of Game 5 on Thursday night when Justin Schultz blasted a slap shot from the blue, beating Pekka Rinne through the five-hole to give the Penguins an early 1-0 lead.
Sidney Crosby not only assisted on the goal, but also helped set it up by drawing the penalty with an incredible individual effort that forced Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis to take a holding penalty in an effort to slow him down.
Just five minutes after Schultz’s goal, Bryan Rust added to the Penguins’ great start with his seventh goal of the playoffs (and first in seven games) to give them a 2-0 lead.