Last night's 4-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champs puts the Nashville Predators in one deep 0-2 hole in this best-of-seven. Predators trail the Penguins 1-0 in the series. That triggered roars and chants of "We want the Cup!" from fans at PPG Paints Arena.
That said, home ice won't mean a thing if the Penguins continue to be as opportunistic as they've been.
"It's fun. We're excited".
"He's fantastic", Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin said. "Our game is never stop".
"Right away the focus shifts to 'we don't lose in our building.' We're going back home". In terms of overall balance of play, it felt similar to Game 1 (plus a lot more Penguin shots), which was both optimistic and ominous for Nashville. I gutted it to an extent, cut some of the spine out of it because the one I got was entirely too big to try to hide.
While the Predators lost Game 1, many fans remained optimistic about Nashville's hopes of winning its first Stanley Cup.
Rinne was consigned to play hockey in his head again for most of the third period Wednesday, watching from the bench after being replaced by backup Juuse Saros.
"The limited chances they've had they've done a good job", Rinne said. "I think his hockey sense kind of allows those skills to really be shown".
During the game, which the Penguins won 5-3, Waddell pulled the fish from his trousers in the toilet but kept it concealed until the second period.
When at its its best, Nashville does not allow odd-man rushes.
Faith... it's the thing that leads me to the most important three little words...
Well, through two periods of Game 2 Sidney Crosby and Malkin didn't have a shot on goal, and the Predators were controlling 64.7 per cent of the shot attempts at five-on-five, and the shots Pittsburgh did get were distant, helpless.
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic). Pittsburgh Penguins' Ian Cole, center, checks Nashville Predators' Mike Fisher (12) in front of Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) during the first period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. This time around, Pittsburgh was outshot, 38-27, but Pekka Rinne couldn't shake his recent stumbles. After a scoreless second period, the Penguins took control in the third and seemed to score at will. "I think it serves a goal, I don't know if it tells the whole story, but if you see or evaluate things a certain way, sometimes it can confirm or deny what happened out there".
"You have to put it behind you", Rinne said. They're certainly doing it from everywhere.
It also should be pointed out, though, that the Penguins are a ideal 3-0 in Game 2s this postseason.
Rinne kicked a Bryan Rust rebound to the slot where Guentzel scored his 12th of the playoffs and second of the game. Only one rookie, Dino Ciccarelli in 1980-81, has produced more playoff goals with 14.
"You have to put it behind you", Rinne said.
"I think this team has an inner belief that we can score goals", Sullivan said, "and they've provided plenty of evidence to suggest that". They went 9 minutes and 50 seconds without a shot, reminiscent of the second period of Game 1when they had no shots at all. "I thought I was OK in Game 1".
After the game, a composed Subban projected the confidence he's so famous for and came close to guaranteeing a home game win for the Preds.
All signs point to that direction being toward a second straight Stanley Cup championship.
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