Stanley Cup Finals: Penguins Take 2-0 Series Lead

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne sits on the bench after being pulled during the third period in Game 2 of the team's NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday

With the PPG Arena roaring and the Predators reeling, Evgeni Malkin fired a shot past Rinne just:15 later and that was it. Rinne was pulled and the game, for all intents and purposes, was over. The first, a ricochet off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm, gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead with 17 seconds left in the first period.

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

It's just been that kind of a series for Rinne.

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. The coach did not commit to starting him when the series resumes this weekend, though he praised his goaltender throughout the postgame news conference. Rinne's.778 save percentage and 4.00 GAA through two games has TVA Sports' hockey insider Renaud Lavoie wondering what Rinne and Peter Laviolette's team can do get back in the series before it's too late.

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Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

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. Yes, they have been the better team. "We're going to feed off that energy and we're going to be ready". He has found his touch at the right time for Pittsburgh, which leads the Final 1-0. It was during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and legend has it that that octopus spurred the team toward their Stanley Cup run. Even before the game, some Pittsburgh fish markets announced they'd temporarily halt the selling of catfish to prevent such incidents. "I think you just have to bury these two games and move ahead". However, should the 6-foot-5 Finn falter, his countryman Juuse Saros is more than capable of stepping in.

The Penguins scored three goals in 3:18 and became the 46th team since 1939 to lead the Final 2-0. That chased goaltender Pekka Rinne. But including his time in the American Hockey League to start the year, his time with the big club in the regular season and the playoffs to this point he has now scored 49 goals in 94 games this season.

"I'm sure they'll hear the noise and the energy in the building", Subban said of the Penguins.

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It hasn't been easy against Pittsburgh. They erased a three-goal deficit and outshot Pittsburgh 26-12 before losing 5-3.

Locally, Nashville posted a 22.5 rating, an all-time record for a Predators game on the networks of NBC.

"No matter how often we explained it, no matter how we tried to explain it, they couldn't figure it out", Crisp said. There's a bit of a changeling quality to this group as opposed to the one that beat San Jose in six games to win the Cup last spring.

Guentzel tied it 1-1 at 16:36 of the first, four seconds after a Penguins power-play expired.

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And then Crosby won the opening faceoff in the third, and Rinne sent a rebound of a Bryan Rust shot out like a pinball flipper and Guentzel buried it. And while the Predators desperately need Rinne to rebound and return to form, they also need a way to keep Guentzel, who scored his leading 11th and 12th goals of the playoffs, off the scoresheet. Left wing Scott Wilson was credited with the Penguins' third goal, at 3:13.

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