Aberg, Guentzel trade early goals in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Finals

Doug Mendoza
June 1, 2017

"We knew what we were facing going into this series", Predators captain Mike Fisher said after today's morning skate.

Ten seconds into the third period, after an opening 40 minutes that had tilted toward Nashville even as the scoreboard read 1-1, Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel blasted in a rebound that Rinne had kicked right to him.

Head coach Peter Laviolette sang a similar tune. His mug shot from the jail - showing lifeless eyes and scraggly facial hair - provided a stark illustration of how much Woods' mystique has been shattered since a decade of domination that golf had never seen.

Jake Guentzel broke his scoring drought with a game-winning tally to start off the series.

With the game tied 1-1 through two periods on goals by Pontus Aberg and Guentzel, it took just 10 seconds into the third for Guentzel - who scored the victor in Game 1 - to get his second of the night. It was his league-leading 10th goal of the postseason and NHL-record fourth-game victor of the postseason, breaking the rookie mark set by Montreal's Claude Lemieux in 1986 and equaled by Colorado's Chris Drury in 1999.

Only if Rinne turns back into Rinne.

It should be noted that the Predators' first second game of these playoffs was a 5-0 whitewash of the Blackhawks in Chicago, arguably their best performance of the postseason. Nashville Predators' Craig Smith (15) jokes with teammate Brad Hunt during NHL hockey practice before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Rinne stopped 21 of 25 shots. He was 12-4 with a.945 save percentage entering the Cup final.

The Penguins may have won 5-3, but they were outshot 26-12.

You could also argue that without Fleury stepping into the breach and carrying the Penguins through the better part of the first three rounds, they aren't even in the Stanley Cup final.

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Pittsburgh has just two shots on five power plays and has not scored on any of them.

Guentzel leads the NHL in postseason goals and is one of just four rookies in league history to score double digit goals in the playoffs. He has scored every important goal of the Stanley Cup final and has led the charge for a quick-strike team that, despite being outshot 64-39 in the first two games of the Stanley Cup final, finds itself with an nearly inexplicable 2-0 lead. 2 goals tonight were huge- an important answer in the 1st period to tie the game than the eventual GWG early in the 3rd to help open the floodgates. Why do that when you get to chase Stanley Cups every spring with Sidney Crosby?

The game was tied at 1 at the start of the third period when Guentzel jumped on a rebound to put Pittsburgh ahead.

For the Penguins, having Murray in goal is proving to be a good place to start.

A lot of goaltending is played between the ears.

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. "I always try to think when you're watching a game, you're actually getting better, you're learning more".

At least fans recognized Steve Carlson and his brother as the Hanson brothers from "Slap Shot" fame when they busted into one Hockey 101 lesson. We need to keep our composure and keep our dominance in games. Subban has to believe in his team's ability to win the next game or he might as well not play.

"Everything was there that we liked but the result", Ellis said.

NOTES: Penguins C Matt Cullen left in the first period briefly after being hit from behind into the boards by Predators D Matt Irwin. It didn't hurt the Penguins in this game, but it could become an issue moving forward.

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