NHL's Penguins take 2-0 Stanley Cup lead

  • NHL's Penguins take 2-0 Stanley Cup lead

NHL's Penguins take 2-0 Stanley Cup lead

Against Pittsburgh, it's at.777 and he remains winless in his career against the Penguins in games he's started. The regrettable equalizer that Rinne ceded came as Nashville remained pinned in its zone after killing a Pittsburgh power play, with Guentzel, positioned by the near post, squeezing a rebound between Rinne's body and glove at 16:36. The Nashville Predators have allowed three or more goals in five of their last seven games.

After recording the game-winner in Monday's series opener, Guentzel scored Pittsburgh's first two goals on Wednesday night, giving him an NHL-leading five game-winning playoff goals and 19 points in the postseason, the most of any American-born rookie in National Hockey League history.

Scott Wilson and Evgeni Malkin followed with the other two third-period goals.

With the game clearly out of reach, Predators coach Peter Laviolette made a decision to sit his star goaltender for the rest of the contest, replacing him with backup Juuse Saros seeing his first-ever action in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins did take a pair of minors in the first period, but never hit the box again until Crosby went for interference at 9:20 of the third.

The Pens chased the six-foot-five Finn Wednesday night and the Preds now find themselves down 0-2 in the series as the action heads back to Nashville for Game 3 Saturday.

It was easy for Guentzel to be overlooked during the regular season on a team full of superstars, elite scorers, and Stanley Cup champions.

The floodgates are open in Pittsburgh. The puck trickled under goaltender Pekka Rinne's pads at 3:13 to make it 3-1. There's no frustration. We're learning. we're going to learn from those two games. They had another chance 6:48 into the frame, but the referees reviewed and disallowed it after ruling that Matt Cullen was offside.

Rinne doesn't want to have any carryover from the two losses.

The game had an average audience of 3.278 million viewers on TV, which was up 27% from last year's Final between the Penguins and the San Jose Sharks. Rinne was pulled from the net after the fourth goal three-and-a-half minutes into the third, as he allowed four goals on 25 shots.

Rinne kicked a Bryan Rust rebound to the slot where Guentzel scored his 12th of the playoffs and second of the game. The 22-year-old leads the league with 12 playoff goals, including three on Pekka Rinne. After that, we have confidence we're going to score goals. He has found his touch at the right time for Pittsburgh, which leads the Final 1-0.

Ten seconds into the third period, Guentzel - who delivered the game-winner in Game 1 - notched his second of the game.

A style that now has the Penguins two victories away from history.

His goal and point (19) totals are the most ever for an American-born rookie. Fans weren't shy about booing the penalty on Kunitz because they thought P.K. Subban had exaggerated the impact of the blow, and they booed him whenever he touched the puck.

Murray had another strong playoff performance at home.

And no catfish have been thrown on the ice so far. Just not in the stretch of 3 1/2 minutes that mattered during their 4-1 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Jake Guentzel then tied it up with 3:24 left in the period. It's Guentzel's playoff-leading 11th goal.

"He's the reason why we're here", captain Mike Fisher said.

Nashville has gotten contributions from those like Aberg throughout the playoffs.

"We've done good things", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "You get to go out and play the game you love on the biggest stage". "We can not go the penalty box". It was a rather chaotic game, encapsulated in this freakish scene shown during the pregame (although it happened during the West final), which also happens to be the greatest gif in hockey history.

As much as Murray was not on his game Monday, he has still stopped 54 of 56 (.964) at even strength in the series vs. Nashville.

Those numbers have only gotten worse since the start of the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh also did it in 2009, losing both games on the road against Detroit. It didn't hurt the Penguins in this game, but it could become an issue moving forward.