PITTSBURGH — Rookie brazen Jake Guentzel continued his vehement postseason pace, scoring twice Wednesday night to assistance a Pittsburgh Penguins kick a Nashville Predators 4-1 and take a 2-0 lead in a Stanley Cup Final. Scott Wilson and Evgeni Malkin scored 15 seconds detached in a third duration during PPG Paints Arena, as Pittsburgh again struggled for prolonged stretches before anticipating a approach to win.
2017 Stanley Cup playoffs coverage
Visit a 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs page on ESPN to get dates, diversion schedules, group matchups and featured news all a approach into a finals.
Guentzel owes it all to … Nebraska?
Penguins game-winning-goal appurtenance Jake Guentzel hails from Minnesota, though his time with a University of Nebraska was pivotal in moulding him — and is because he’s increasingly apropos kind of a large understanding in his adopted state.
What is goalie interference? A visualisation call
What constitutes goalie division has undone fans and players comparison during a playoffs — and, interjection to a disproportionate enforcement, a chastisement has turn hockey’s chronicle of a NFL’s treacherous locate rule. It could even establish who wins a Cup.
Guentzel’s league-leading 12 postseason goals have him dual bashful of Dino Ciccarelli‘s rookie record, and his 5 playoff diversion winners are a rookie record.
Under encircle by dual periods, Pens goalie Matt Murray hold down a installation until Pittsburgh took over in a third, and he finished with 37 saves. Pontus Aberg scored for Nashville, and Preds goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 21 of 25 shots before being transposed by backup Juuse Saros, who done dual saves.
How it happened: For a second true game, a Predators outplayed a Penguins most of a night. The Penguins’ energy play went 0-for-5 with dual shots by 40 minutes, and conjunction Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin purebred a shot by a initial dual periods. Plus, Malkin mislaid 7 of 8 faceoffs in that span.
Despite a struggles, Pittsburgh seemed to get a lift from Nick Bonino, who hobbled to a locker room early in a diversion after holding a P.K. Subban slap shot off a left foot. Bonino returned quickly late in a opening duration and seemed excellent when he skated behind out for a second.
Then came a opening mins of a third, that eventually motionless a game. Malkin done adult for his progressing ineffectiveness by finishing a 2-on-1 rush with a snipe that finished Rinne’s night.
Murray winning goalie battle: Penguins rookie Murray is outplaying his maestro counterpart, and it isn’t close. Murray was a standout early, creation 18 stops in a initial period, nothing bigger than a larcenous left-pad sack on Filip Forsberg in a shutting seconds of a duration off a miscarry of Aberg’s shot. Those back-to-back saves accounted for dual of a 7 stops Murray done in a final 34 seconds of a period.
How good was Murray? It took a conspicuous particular bid from Aberg to open a scoring with 7:03 left in a first. Crossing a blue line, Aberg went outward and kick Olli Maatta down a wing before out-waiting a sprawling Murray to give a Predators their initial lead of a series.
That lead finished with 3:24 left in a initial period, when Guentzel scored his initial of a night. Rinne seemed porous on Guentzel’s restraining goal, afterwards kicked out a fat miscarry directly to a rookie for his second of a night.
Conn Smythe watch: 1. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins: Despite struggling for most of Game 2, he scored an critical idea in a third and is still a best actor in these playoffs. 2. Jake Guentzel, Penguins; 3. Sidney Crosby, Penguins; 4. Nick Bonino, Penguins; 5. Pekka Rinne, Predators
What’s next: After Pittsburgh hold offer during home, a array swings to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, where a Predators will horde Game 3 during 8 p.m. ET Saturday. Nashville is in a tough spot, as teams that have won a initial dual games of a Final during home have won 34 of 37 series.