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Preds at Pens Game Five: Five Things to Know

PITTSBURGH -- The Stanley Cup final resumes Thursday night in PPG Paints Arena, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators tied at two wins apiece. The winner tonight has the first chance of the series to hoist the Cup on Sunday in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

Here are Five Things to Know about tonight's game:

1. Game Five history: There have been 24 previous Cup finals tied at 2-2. The winner of Game Five has gone 17-7 in those series. The last two Game Five winners (Chicago over Boston in 2013 and Tampa in 2015) went on to win the Cup in Game Six. The last Game Five loser to win the series was Boston over Vancouver in 2011. In this year's playoffs, the winner of Game Five in a tied series is 7-0 in advancing.

"I've seen those stats but if the number is not 100 percent or guaranteed it doesn't matter to me," Pittsburgh winger Bryan Rust joked today.

2. In the net: Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan made the safe call, ignoring the growing clamor to put Marc-Andre Fleury in goal and sticking with Matt Murray. Murray is 33-6-3 in his career in PPG Paints Arena, including 12-2 in the playoffs. One of the losses, however, was Game Five of last year's final against San Jose.

"Matt is excited to play tonight, and he certainly has had success here at home," Sullivan said. "We're hoping that we have our best game in front of him."

Mike Harrington: Goaltending decision a tough one for Penguins heading to Game Five

3. Home cooking: Much has been made of the raucous atmosphere at Bridgestone, where the Predators have won 13 of their last 14 playoff games the last two seasons, but the Penguins are nearly as tough at home. They've won five straight here and are 9-3 in these playoffs. A 10th win would set a franchise mark, breaking the record held by Cup champions in 1991, 2009 and 2016, and equaled by the 2008 finalists.

4. Other lineup calls:  Nashville forward Colin Wilson (lower body) took turns on the fourth line today with Frederick Gaudreau and Harry Zolnerczyk, and seems ready to return after being injured in Game Six of the West Final against Anaheim.  Both of Wilson's goals in these playoffs have come on the power play.

Pittsburgh center Nick Bonino (ankle) remains a game-time decision. He sat out both games in Nashville after getting drilled by a P.K. Subban slapshot in Game Two. Bonino tried to skate during the warmup prior to Game Four but left the ice after a few minutes.

5. Seen in the Nashville room: The Preds are not going to mess with a good thing. Gaudreau -- who has scored the winning goal in the last two games -- still did not have a locker for the morning skate, simply using a chair and a shelf with his nameplate on it.

Mike Harrington: Gaudreau a stunning and unlikely hero as Predators even Cup final

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