Penguins beat Predators 4-1, take 2-0 lead

10 June 2017, 07:04 | Santos Harmon

Penguins beat Predators 4-1, take 2-0 lead

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne watches the puck shot by Pittsburgh Penguins Jake Guentzel land in the net for a goal during the third period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final Wednesday

The Pittsburgh Penguins are now two wins away from repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

Charges were dismissed against a Nashville Predators fan who threw a catfish onto the ice in Pittsburgh during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, WTVF reports.

The Penguins' 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 2 on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena is a flawless example.

Guentzel scored on a rebound 10 seconds into the third off the pad of Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.

"It's insane", Guentzel said of his two big games this series after an eight-game goal drought.

"Obviously, it's a mental thing", said Rinne, who entered the Stanley Cup final with a 1.70 goals-against average and a.941 save percentage.

"Pekka's been excellent for us all year long", Laviolette said. The rest, they say, is history, as the Penguins turned on the heat and snuck another two goals behind Rinne in a matter of moments.

Guentzel struck again 10 seconds into the third period to put Pittsburgh in front for good. If the Predators win, they will be able to restart the series heading back home where they hope to gain momentum. Last night's game was the third-most streamed game of the 2017 playoffs so far, behind only the Game 7s of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh and Washington-Pittsburgh series.

Even worse, the game was tied 1-1 after the first two periods.

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Then, 3 minutes, 13 seconds into the third, Scott Wilson scored when a centering pass caromed off Predators center Vernon Fiddler.

Laviolette was purposely vague when asked post-game whether he would stick with Rinne for Game 3 in the Music City on Saturday night, where his team has been almost unbeatable in the playoffs with a 7-1 record on home ice.

"We talked a lot about elevating our play", center Matt Cullen said of Pittsburgh's second intermission team talk.

"He's mature beyond his years, and I think the guys feed off that calmness and that confidence he has". He made some big saves, there's no question.

"There's no question", Subban said Thursday. "And then, like an ignorant redneck, I thought 'Wouldn't it be awesome to throw a catfish on the ice at this game?'" He allowed four goals for the second consecutive game Wednesday, tying his playoff-high. They had been out-shot 32-19 at that point.

After the Pittsburgh Penguins chased him from the net in a 4-1 win on Wednesday, he might want to get back to that happy place again. It's hard to see anything changing should Rinne remain the starting goaltender, and if the Predators fall behind 3-0 in the series, they'd be facing a near-impossible mountain to climb to win their first Stanley Cup.

The decision gave the Penguins all the wiggle room they needed to take charge.

Pittsburgh has just two shots on five power plays and has not scored on any of them. Ken Campbell of HockeyNews wrote about Murray's superb play this postseason for the Penguins and quoted him on his pre-game nerves. They went 9 minutes and 50 seconds without a shot, reminiscent of the second period of Game 1when they had no shots at all.

But for Pittsburgh this isn't Columbus, the victim of a gentleman's sweep despite outshooting Pittsburgh; this isn't Washington, which eventually succumbed to its own internal demons in Game 7; it's not Ottawa, which Pittsburgh solved as the series went on.



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