Both teams will have two days to regroup and travel to Music City for Game 3, which will be at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.
Guentzel wasn’t done. Just ten seconds into the third period, the rookie netted his second goal of the night, and his 12th of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Guentzel, who snapped an eight-game goalless drought when he pumped the victor by Rinne with 3:17 left in the series opener, tied it later in the period.
Bonino, who scored in Game 1, took the puck to the left foot or ankle and could not put weight on it as he was helped off the ice. In two games so far, he’s scored three goals, two of them being game-winners and has increased his postseason goal lead to 12, three more than anyone else.
Rinne doesn’t want to have any carryover from the two losses.
Nashville, a first-time Final participant, heads home with a sizeable task. They expect a loud arena for Game 3, which is the first Cup Final home game in Nashville history and it comes on a Saturday night. He was pulled when Evgeni Malkin ended Pittsburgh’s surge with his ninth of the playoffs 3:28 into the third.
As expected, his save percentage in this series is, uh, something else.
“Nerves is one way to put it, (but) a lot of excitement too”, said Murray, the 83rd overall pick of 2012 draft. “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”. Three of the Pens’ four goals in Game 2 were the result of odd-man rushes and poor coverage by the Predators. His 19 playoff points are the most by an American-born first-year player and he’ll have at least two more cracks at adding to that total.
Pontus Aberg scored the lone goal for the Predators, who were once again undone by a sudden barrage from the NHL’s highest-scoring team.
The Penguins are 7-2 in their last 9 Stanley Cup Finals games, 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record and 4-1 in their last 5 overall. That rookie: Jake Guentzel.
This time, Pittsburgh’s flurry came a little bit later. Ken Campbell of HockeyNews wrote about Murray’s superb play this postseason for the Penguins and quoted him on his pre-game nerves. In the third, the wheels fell off, as Rinne gave up a goal just 10 seconds into the period.
Then, 3 minutes, 13 seconds into the third, Scott Wilson scored when a centering pass caromed off Predators center Vernon Fiddler.
“It’s a bad fight”, Malkin said. I, the most useless hockey commentator on planet Earth, will continue offering my invaluable hockey commentary.
“Right away the focus shifts to ‘we don’t lose in our building.’ We’re going back home”.
Also rooting are Grizzlies forward Brandan Wright, who grew up along with the Predators in Nashville, and 2012 FedEx Cup champion golfer Brandt Snedeker, who took the Ryder Cup with him to a playoff game earlier this spring. “We’ve got guys in here that are learning, and we’re going to learn from those two games”, Subban said. Against the quick-strike Penguins, it’s just.778. “They’re an opportunistic team that finds ways to win”.
And Carter Rowney. A man who’s made himself into an everyday National Hockey League player by virtue of his willingness to put in the hard work, and the last remaining former UNDer with a chance to put the engraver to work on the most coveted trophy in all of sports. Nashville again controlled play through two periods – even-strength shot attempts were 44-24 for the Preds – but the 23-year-old kept it close for the defending champs.