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Pens Points: Time to Hold Serve

Stanley Cup Final returns to Pittsburgh for Game 5. More goalie drama for Pens after rocky trip to Nashville. Gas tank running low for battered Pens team. Crosby needs teammates to produce for another Cup.

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2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As the Penguins fell behind and the Predators took control in the second period of Game 4 on Monday night questions began to swirl around whether the Pens would consider making a switch in goal for Game 5. While he didn’t commit to a starter for Game 5, head coach Mike Sullivan made it clear that Matt Murray was not the reason the team lost Game 4. [Trib Live]

If you were tuned into social media during Game 4 you probably saw a lot of goaltending debate between fans. That debate continued well into the day on Tuesday and will likely continue up until Sullivan names a starter for the next game. Every fan has their own opinion who should be in net and there is a case to be made for both Murray [The Incline] and Marc-Andre Fleury [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette].

Playing over 200 games in less than two calendar years will eventually take its toll on a team in the long haul. Coming off a Stanley Cup run last year on top of this years’ run to the Final, the Penguins might finally be running on empty. [The Hockey Writers]

Down a goal in the second period, the Pens had a golden chance to tie the game off a Crosby breakaway but rookie Jake Guentzel couldn’t bury a rebound past Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne who made a desperation save that sent Finnish commentators into a frenzy. [The Tennessean]

To this point, the Final has played out exactly how logic would have it. The Pens won both of their home games followed by the Predators winning both of theirs. What we are left with is a best-of-three series for the Stanley Cup. Good news for the Pens is two of the remaining three games are scheduled to be played at PPG Paints Arena. [The Incline]

Through four games Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby has arguably been the best player on the ice for both sides. If he wants to lift the Cup for the third time in his career, Crosby will need some help from his teammates to finish the job. [National Post]

When the Pens won the Stanley Cup last season, it was considered a legacy defining moment for the superstar duo of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Less than a year later, the legacy of this generation’s two seminal superstars is once again being called into question. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Even though the league is in the middle of the Stanley Cup Final an eventful offseason is on the horizon. Shortly after the Stanley Cup is handed out the league will undergo drastic change with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights. Here are some important dates to keep in mind as the offseason approaches. [USA Today]

Today, EA Sports will give fans their first look at NHL 18, the newest release of the company’s annual hockey installment. The full reveal, including cover athlete and release date, will be shown during the NHL Awards on June 21. [Forbes]