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Pens strike back, 1-1 in Game 2 vs Predators

03 June, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Caleb Marshall
  • Jake Guentzel

The defending National Hockey League champion Penguins moved into a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which now shifts to Nashville for Game Three on Saturday. Conn Smythe Trophy candidate Evgeni Malkin chose to get in on the action in the third shortly after Guentzel made it 2-1 and Scott Wilson made it 3-1.

Which means in what's likely the make-or-break game of the series for the Predators, they'll turn to the guy who led them to the Western Conference championship, and ask him to lead to lead them again. "There's not one ounce of doubt in this locker room". "He was playing a lot of minutes".

For extended periods a play during the first two games of the Final, the Predators carried play and looked to be the far superior team. In the series opener, he gave up three goals in a span of 4:09 late in the first period. There was no penalty.

Jake Guentzel has scored his second goal of the night to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead early in the third period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against Nashville. The following year, however, Saros struggled at the tournament, making just two starts and posting a 3.03 goals against average with an.875 save percentage.

"It's insane", Guentzel said of his two big games this series after an eight-game goal drought.

"It's insane. You can't even put into words what it feels like", he said.

The Penguins pulled even four seconds after the end of a fruitless power play.

A Phil Kessel shot grazed Wilson's stick before it was knocked into the net by the skates of Nashville's Vernon Fiddler.

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Then, just over three minutes later, the Predators had their second own-goal in as many games, when Vernon Fiddler's skate knocked a bouncing puck through Rinne's five-hole - the goal officially goes to Scott Wilson, but equal credit should go to Phil Kessel, who earned the assist for sneaking the puck into a unsafe position.

Malkin added his ninth of the playoffs and second of the series just 15 seconds later and Rinne was skating to the bench in favor of backup Juuse Saros after stopping 21 of 25 shots. That said, Rinne needs to stop the easy ones and he needs to stop one or two of those no-fault goals if the Predators are to rally and win the Cup. Every time we heard that it was time to go to bed, we played one more game. The first shift in the third period, we score. Since Mike Sullivan took over behind the Penguins' bench in December 2015, his team has dropped four of five on just two occasions-immediately after former coach Mike Johnston's firing and during a four-game slide this March that included two shootout losses.

"We have a tough Game 3 ahead of us that's in an atmosphere that's going to be a raucous building, a place that's going to be really loud and insane and we've got to go out there and play maybe one of the dullest road games of the season and take that crowd out of it and try and keep their team from getting that momentum", he said. "There's things that we could have done [better]".

Could have been worse: Patric Hornqvist appeared to score the Penguins' fourth goal of the third period, but it was nullified by an offside call on a coach's challenge by Nashville's Pater Laviolette.

Rinne doesn't want to have any carryover from the two losses. "I've played a long time, and the first time having a chance to play for the Cup, so I just think you have to bury these two games and move ahead, and just find a way to find some success". Murray is the first goalie age 24 or younger to be the starter in two Cup Finals since Hall of Famer Patrick Roy for the Canadiens in 1986 and 1989. Subban said, "We're extremely confident in him", and maybe they are. "So we're going back home".

In Game 2, despite being physically battered and bruised, and badly outshot again, the Penguins did what has become their calling card: winning in all sorts of situations.

But the Predators, in the finals for the first team, head home with a mountain to climb.

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