Penguins Halfway Home To The Stanley Cup

The energy was electric in Downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday night.

After Wholey's Fish Market in Pittsburgh refused to sell catfish to Tennessee residents, Little's Fish Company in Nashville is offering complimentary bottom-feeders to Predators fans who present a ticket to Games 3 or 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins.

Technically still a rookie - he didn't play 25 games during the 2015-16 regular season - Murray already helped the Penguins win one Stanley Cup last season. Predators head coach Peter Laviolette was noncommittal about his Game 3 starter, despite being asked twice during his postgame press conference. Jake Guentzel, Penguins; 3. Guentzel now has 12 goals and seven assists in his first 21 National Hockey League playoff games after notching 16 goals and 17 assists in 40 regular-season National Hockey League games as he split the season between the Penguins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL). "You can't even put into words what it feels". Two Stanley Cup Final games later, and it's widely apparent that he hasn't. He got the Predators to this point and went into the series as an MVP favorite, but allowed four goals on 11 shots in Game 1 and then got the hook in Game 2. Scott Wilson followed up on Guentzel's go-ahead goal 3:03 later and Evgeni Malkin added his ninth of the playoffs (and NHL-leading 26th point) 15 seconds after that.

Rinne entered the series with a.947 save percentage in the postseason.

He is now winless in five career starts at Pittsburgh and looking to change his luck in Nashville where the Predators are 7-1 in the playoffs.

"You have to put it behind you", Rinne said. "Overall these two games, like I said, it's disappointing to be down 2-0 but we have to be feeling still positive with the way we played as a whole and creating chances". While Matt Murray at the other end of the ice has held the Penguins together with his spectacular saves and calm demeanor, Rinne might be the lone reason why the Predators are now facing a 2-0 series deficit.

Pittsburgh's defense also has struggled occasionally, and the Predators exposed them in Game 1. Pontus Aberg gave Nashville a 1-0 lead in Game 2 after he skated down the left side of the ice and skillfully breezed around Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta. Some of them have not been his fault, the Preds have given up an own goal in each game. There have been times in this series where it was nearly impossible to imagine Pittsburgh threading four wins together, on this narrow of a tightrope.

PITTSBURGH - P.K. Subban spent most of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final checking and chirping Sidney Crosby.

None of that mattered when Guentzel struck again 10 seconds into the third, slamming home a juicy Rinne rebound.

Still, the three-time Vezina Trophy finalist has allowed only 13 goals in eight playoff games at home and his teammates vowed to play better defense.

This game started out with Nashville controlling the play entirely. It's a team game, and everyone looks at shots and save percentage but forget about the quality and who we're playing. "After that, we have confidence that we're going to score goals". Focussing on details shift after shift.

"I get nervous before pretty much any game".

But, once the second period started, it was completely flipped with the Predators dominating zone time and shots on goal, but once again the Penguins capitalized on their opportunities and crushed any hopes of victory for the Predators late in the third period. He allowed four goals, and a goal on the first shot on goal in 37 minutes, which ultimately proved to be the game victor for the Pens en route to a 5-3 victory. "He is a pleasure to coach, and we just talked about just playing the game the right way". There might not be many cards left to play. In the third, the wheels fell off, as Rinne gave up a goal just 10 seconds into the period.

It was a scene hard to imagine through the first two taut and chippy periods. The Penguins last shot was a redirect that went in the net off a Nashville defender.

And then Crosby won the opening faceoff in the third, and Rinne sent a rebound of a Bryan Rust shot out like a pinball flipper and Guentzel buried it. While Guentzel is deserving of praise, the tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray have gotten the Penguins to where they are.

  • Julie Sanders