Stanley Cup Final: Five keys to Game 3

Matt Murray was keeping them in the game because the second-year goaltender is as steady as they come, and big besides. To make matters worse, Rinne has never won a game against the Penguins in which he has started, but head coach Peter Laviolette still has faith in him heading into Game 3. Then it's way too much. The Penguins beat Rinne four times on just 11 shots in Game 1 and scored three goals on 25 shots Wednesday for a 2-0 series lead.

Jake Guentzel scored 10 seconds into the period. On the other end of the ice, Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, who is still classified as a rookie, was just all right in Game 1, but he brought his A game Wednesday night to help propel the Penguins to a 4-1 victory. "As a goalie, it's important that you feel good going into the night". We're going win the next game.

Only if Rinne turns back into Rinne.

Nashville, a first-time Final participant, heads home with a sizeable task.

The next two games are played in Nashville.

The question then is can the Predators trust Rinne to regain at least average form in this series or should they go to Juuse Saros? Against Pittsburgh, it's at.777 and he remains winless in his career against the Penguins in games he's started. "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". "All three goals in the third period we can do something better". Only two goaltenders have reached 20 playoff wins in fewer games than Murray, who did it in 28.

"We're concerned about where the series is at", Predators captain Mike Fisher said.

You could also argue that without Fleury stepping into the breach and carrying the Penguins through the better part of the first three rounds, they aren't even in the Stanley Cup final. The Predators rallied to tie before Guentzel's go-ahead goal with 3:17 remaining put the Penguins ahead to stay. Pittsburgh had 11 shots on Rinne, and scored four times.

Rinne is now 1-7-2 lifetime against Pittsburgh - his lone win came in relief at Nashville - and he entered the series with a.880 save percentage and a 3.57 goals-against average.

A mere 10 seconds into the third period, Bryan Rust fired a long-range shot that bounced off Rinne and onto Guentzel's stick for the game-winner.

"When we score one, we don't stop", Malkin said. "We have emotions to keep going".

This game was closer to what we had expected out these two up-tempo teams.

We hit on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two games, but that doesn't mean it's time to give up on the Predators just yet. Subban has to believe in his team's ability to win the next game or he might as well not play. One is that the defensive structure the Predators have displayed against the Penguins has been there all season long, and their goaltenders have faced the third-easiest workload in terms of shot quality after the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild goaltenders. Malkin later mixed it up with Predators defenseman P.K. Subban as things got chippy with the game out of hand. He moved up to the third line for Game 2, but by the halfway point, Guentzel was riding shotgun on the top line with Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins, as they've done when pressed throughout the postseason, responded nearly immediately. Guentzel, at the right post, took two whacks at a rebound of a Conor Sheary shot. From left, Brooke Staudt, of Munhall, Pa., and Maureen Sams and Pierce Sams, of Carnego, Pa., wait in the rain outside PPG Paints Arena before Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the. The Predators are also blowing away the Penguins in the faceoff circle, winning 62 percent of draws through 40 minutes.

  • Julie Sanders