Predators frustrated but confidence not shaken

Posted June 03, 2017

Nashville and Pittsburgh both are in the 20s for media market size.

Fifteen seconds later Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin scored off of a two-on-one, lofting a shot over Rinne's glove to make it 4-1 in the first 3:28 of the third.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says his team needs to stick to its identity after being outplayed for large swaths of the first two games of the series.

So it's far from over, especially with Bridgestone Arena likely to be a hornet's nest Saturday night for the first Cup final game in its history.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A text message sent to the wrong number led to a Pittsburgh couple scoring free tickets to see the Penguins play Game 2 in the Stanley Cup Final.

The barrage started with rookie Jake Guentzel.

Pittsburgh's third-period onslaught took a game that was tied at the second intermission and broke it wide open. "You have to put it behind you". Rinne was helpless with the move and Guentzel was alert to bang home the rebound. After all, the guy has been the net-minder for Nashville for 11 years now.

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If Rowney anticipates that he'll be playing center in Game 3, he said that he'll take more face-off reps ahead of time on Saturday, although he said he's already comfortable with them.

The Penguins said they'd take more shots on goal than the 12 they took in Game 1, and they made good on that with 12 shots in the first period Wednesday. 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. In the second series against St. Louis, Rinne was.932.

"I'm sure they'll hear the noise and the energy in the building", Subban said of the Penguins.

"Pekka has been terrific through this entire playoffs", Laviolette said.

Two nights later, the Penguins used a three-minute stretch at the start of the third period to turn a tight Game Two into a runaway win. He came into the series 1-5-2 with a.880 save percentage and 3.57 goals-against average in his career against the Penguins, numbers that ticked in the wrong direction even though he spent a majority of three periods standing in his crease with nothing to do while his teammates were at work at the other end of the ice.

"Your game kind of changes a little bit". And it was once again led by the baby-faced son of a coach who has no problem shouldering the responsibility of playing alongside star Sidney Crosby.

The oddsmakers believe the Predators have a good chance of getting back in this series. He has given up eight goals in less than six full periods.

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After the Malkin goal, Predators coach Peter Laviolette turned to backup Juuse Saros, another awful performance for Rinne against the Penguins in the books; in four career starts in Pittsburgh before Wednesday, Rinne was 0-4 with a 4.71 goals-against average and an.831 save percentage. He also scored the game-winner with 3:17 left to win game one.

Last time we checked, scoring winning goals was most valuable.

Nevertheless, the Penguins were "pretty confident" going into the third, Conor Sheary said. The Predators can be pleased with a lot of aspects of their game, but they don't have much room for error now.

Pittsburgh vowed to put more pressure on Rinne than it managed in their 5-3 victory in Game 1, a win they managed despite going 37 minutes without throwing a single puck Rinne's way and none in the second period, the first time that's happened since the National Hockey League started tracking shots in 1957.

A Subban blast with the ensuing power play would briefly hobble Penguins centre Nick Bonino, who tried crawling to the bench before later returning for the second period.

In four playoff games following a loss this postseason, Nashville's Pekka Rinne had posted a.960 save percentage. He's been Pittsburgh's most consistent - if not most unsafe - player.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray stopped 37 of 38 Nashville shots while waiting for the top offense in this year's playoffs to kick in. Minutes later, Penguins forward Chris Kunitz became tangled up with P.K. Subban and ended up cross-checking Subban in the head, part of a sequence that saw Malkin go off for hooking. He was also huge for the Penguins' penalty kill, which was ideal in the game.

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