Nashville helps Preds' celebrate history with 1st Cup Final
Jun 04 2017 by Lorena Waters
Two unfortunate losses in Pittsburgh behind them, the Predators returned to their country confines a rejuvenated bunch and punched back on the Penguins for a decisive 5-1 victory.
Golden State wasted no time in the early third quarter taking over the game and building a big lead. If Nashville continues to rack up the shots, they will start to find the net against Murray.
So many questions lingered: How would Pekke Rinne respond after unravelling in Game 2? The goal was Guentzel's 13th of the postseason and fourth of the Cup Final.
Right wing Patric Hornqvist particularly lamented a power play that was frittered away late in the second period, before Nashville scored to take a 3-1 lead.
It wasn't until the second period when the Predators finally broke through. Frederick Gaudreau skated into the high slot with no opposition and pumped a wrister by Murray for his second playoff goal.
"Well I think these first couple games and the beginning of the game, it's been a battle", Rinne said.
James Neal made it 3-1 with 23 seconds remaining. Craig Smith's unassisted goal 4:54 into the final stanza gave Nashville that much more of a cushion at 4-1. "We can't force any plays and that's what we did there on all our power plays".
"You thought it was loud today?" The Preds don't have a centre of outcome but have a terrific defence with Ryan Ellis, Josi, P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm on the blueline while the Pens have a defence of other guys. Wilson wouldn't even entirely rule out playing in Game 3, but it doesn't look as though that will be the case.
Rinne made 27 stops on 28 shots in the win. But shortly thereafter, the opportunistic Gaudreau scored his second goal of the Stanley Cup final, a quick wrister. But Nashville is 7-1 at home in these playoffs. Matt Murray played very well, making 37 saves. Pittsburgh is striving to become the first team in two decades to win back-to-back Stanley Cup champions and at different times, looked tired and nearly out of gas, even after getting two days off between games.
Off a defender, off the net and onto Neal's stick.
It turned out to be just what was needed for the Predators to claw their way back into the series.
Pittsburgh has been rather opportunistic in this series against a mediocre Pekka Rinne.
The Pens, meanwhile, will try and flush tonight's performance, regroup for Game 4, then hopefully head back to Pittsburgh with a shot at finishing the series. Jake Guentzel was wide open on both of his scores in Game 2, and Evgeni Malkin's tally was a 2-on-1.
P.K. Subban, dental hygiene enthusiast. In game one, Golden State tied a finals record with just four turnovers in total and moved to 13-0 in these playoffs.