The Penguins and Predators each have a goal as Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is tied at the first intermission. The hottest goaltender in the playoffs was only tested 11 times in 58 minutes - and lost.
Rinne gave up four goals on 25 shots and was outclassed again by Matt Murray, who stopped 37-of-38 shots. The last team to lead 2-0 and take home the Stanley Cup? "As a goalie, it's important that you feel good going into the night".
Okay. Pittsburgh didn't want fans from Nashville to come into the arena with a catfish and hurl it onto the ice. That rookie: Jake Guentzel. It's Guentzel's playoff-leading 11th goal. That was more than he allowed in the entire first-round series against the Blackhawks. And this is not the same Rinne. The Preds received two assists from Mike Fisher while PK Subban added a helper on Nashville's first goal after he had a first period tally waived off.
The team that takes a 2-0 lead in the Cup Final is 45-5 all time.
It's a Nashville tradition of sorts: Throw a catfish onto the ice during a Nashville Predators game and receive some laughter and cheers.
After all, Guentzel had 16 goals in 40 games - a pace for about 33 during a full 82-game season.
One thing is for sure: a new favourite has emerged for the Conn Smythe Trophy. We need to keep our composure and keep our dominance in games.
With the game tied 1-1 through two periods on goals by Pontus Aberg and Guentzel, it took just 10 seconds into the third for Guentzel - who scored the victor in Game 1 - to get his second of the night. But he has never started and won a game against the Penguins, and he has looked decidedly shaky, posting a.777 save percentage, in the first two games of the biggest series of his life.
Nashville is very strong defensively. Skating one-on-one against Olli Maatta, the Predators rookie turned Maatta inside out on a deke and then cut towards the net and went upstairs on goalie Matt Murray. Those five goals are more than every Nashville forward has except for Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons. But the biggest takeaway on this night was that the Penguins are the most explosive team in hockey, at times breathtaking with their quick-strike ability. Guentzel, at the right post, took two whacks at a rebound of a Conor Sheary shot.
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Still, it was a goal that Rinne should have had. With the way Murray has been playing, it was a goal Rinne needed to have. But then, just about two minutes later, the Penguins had a two-on-one, and this happened.
So far, the Predators haven't been able to make them stop.
The Predators are 0-4 in their last 4 vs.
Subban expressed confidence in Rinne, as the team did after the Game 1 loss. The Predators outshot the Penguins 18-12 in the first and 14-7 in the second. He scored 19 goals in 35 games in his final season at Nebraska-Omaha and had 21 goals in 33 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier this season.
Jake Guentzel pounded in a rebound of a Bryan Rust shot just:10 into the period to give the Penguins the lead. About three minutes later, Phil Kessel banked in a centring pass off Scott Wilson's skate.
Guentzel has three more goals than anyone else in the playoffs (teammate Evgeni Malkin is tied for second with nine).
Rinne, who was last pulled on February 21, was mercifully replaced with Juuse Saros.
"You kind of realize things that you don't really see at the ice level", Letang said.
Penguins center Nick Bonino is back for the second period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final after taking a puck to his left ankle or foot in the first.