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Stanley Cup Finals Game 1: Penguins vs Predators

04 Juin 2017

The floodgates are open in Pittsburgh.

The reigning champion Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship series, which shifts to Nashville for Game 3 on Saturday. The coach did not commit to starting him when the series resumes this weekend, though he praised his goaltender throughout the postgame news conference.

Jake Guentzel scored 10 seconds into the period.

Evgeni Malkin extended Pittsburgh's lead to 4-1 just 15 seconds later, beating Rinne with a wrist shot during a two-on-one.

The 22-year-old Penguins rookie, one season removed from college hockey at Nebraska-Omaha - his hometown - scored two more goals, including scoring the victor for the second straight time in the series.

It stayed 4-1 after Pittsburgh's Matt Cullen was ruled offside following a coach's challenge of a goal by Patric Hornqvist.

On his fight with Malkin, Subban said he took offence to a comment Malkin made in Russian and chose to drop the gloves. Pittsburgh also did it in 2009, losing both games on the road against Detroit. Crosby won the third-period faceoff, Nashville's Roman Josi lost a puck battle at centre ice, and Bryan Rust's shot from the wing came off Rinne's pad like it was a pinball flipper; Guentzel, who scored the victor in Game 1 and Pittsburgh's first in this game, buried it.

Guentzel was also the hero in Game 1, beating Rinne to break a 3-3 tie with just over three minutes left in regulation.

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.

"After that, we made a couple mistakes and those mistakes ended up going back in our net, so I think that's something we need to clean up", remarked Laviolette. The former second round pick undressed Maatta on a drive to the net and then out-waited Murray for the 1-0 lead. That gave Pittsburgh as many shots as it had in Game 1. He stopped a rushing Filip Forsberg with the glove and then got that same yellow, black and white glove on a powerful Roman Josi shot from the point. "It looked like after two periods, that their quality penalty killing was going to serve them well in the outcome". And if they don't smarten up, it's going to be a short series against the Penguins.

After starting the playoffs with 10 goals in his first 11 games, he went through an eight-game goal-scoring drought that almost made him a healthy scratch heading into Game 1 of this series when Patric Hornqvist was ready to return to the lineup.

The result was the kind of up-and-down play that showcased the speed on both sides and included more than a dash of antagonism, particularly early. It was a totally different case in Game 2.

Murray had another strong playoff performance at home.

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne sits on the ice after being scored on by Jake Guentzel in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. If the Predators are to have any chance in this series moving forward against the Penguins, Rinne must find a way to get back into his goaltending groove from the first three rounds of these playoffs.

Rinne has been the Predators' best player through out this playoff run.

Nashville has gotten contributions from those like Aberg throughout the playoffs.

The teams traded first-period goals, with Pontus Aberg opening the scoring with a beauty for Nashville.

"We're going back home, we're going to win the next game", Subban said after the Predators' Game 2 loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Ken Campbell of HockeyNews wrote about Murray's superb play this postseason for the Penguins and quoted him on his pre-game nerves. Mike Sullivan needs to get his players to generate shots, while Peter Laviolette, must work his goaltender back into his usual form.

Stanley Cup Finals Game 1: Penguins vs Predators