Phil Kessel 

Phil Kessel 

Michael Miller, Wikimedia Commons

Phil Kessel of Madison, Wis. has helped the Pittsburgh Penguins to within one victory of their second consecutive Stanley Cup title and their fifth Stanley Cup victory in franchise history. On Thursday, Kessel led the Penguins in scoring with three points (one goal and two assists) as Pittsburgh hammered the Nashville Predators 6-0 to take a three to two series lead in the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals. 

Kessel was one of two Penguins born in the United States to have a multi-point game. The other was defenseman Ron Hainsey of Bolton, Conn., who notched one goal and one assist for two points.

Kessel scored his goal at 8:02 of the second period from Olli Maatta and Sidney Crosby to put Pittsburgh up 5-0 at the time. It was one of three assists Crosby had in the game. Hainsey scored his goal at 16:40 of the second period from Evgeni Malkin and Kessel to put the Penguins up 6-0. Hainsey and Kessel also picked up assists on Malkin's first period goal with 11 seconds left in the first period which put the Penguins up 3-0. 

Two other Americans scored for the Penguins. Bryan Rust of Pontiac, Mich. put the Penguins up 2-0 at 6:43 of the first period, and Conor Sheary of Winchester, Mass. put the Penguins up 4-0 at 1:19 of the second period. Game six goes Sunday in Nashville.