Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Preds Return Home After 2-Game Loss In Pittsburgh

Preds Return Home After 2-Game Loss In Pittsburgh

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) looks back to find a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel in the goal during the third period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators meet Saturday in game three of the NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Bridgestone Arena.

In the third period of Game 2, the Preds' hope turned into dread in an instant - or, to be precise, in 10 seconds, which is how long it took Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel to score the go-ahead goal.

It was a Pittsburgh record for fastest playoff goal at the start of a period.

The defending Stanley Cup champions needed just over three minutes at the start of the third period to turn a taut Game 2 into a runaway, beating Pekka Rinne three times in a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night to inch closer to becoming the first team in almost 20 years to win back-to-back titles. Phil Kessel set the puck to the front of the net and the puck appeared to hit Wilson's stick and the foot of Nashville forward Vernon Fiddler before getting past Rinne. Three minutes later he couldn't handle a Scott Wilson rebound on a two-on-one that bounced in off teammate Vern Fiddler, off his hoof; and 15 seconds after that Rinne got beat clean by Malkin on a attractive shot on another two-on-one. That gave Pittsburgh three goals in the first 3:28 of the third.

After the Malkin goal, Predators coach Peter Laviolette turned to backup Juuse Saros, another terrible performance for Rinne against the Penguins in the books; in four career starts in Pittsburgh before Wednesday, Rinne was 0-4 with a 4.71 goals-against average and an.831 save percentage. Aberg managed to make his way around Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta with a nutmeg-esque move before showing patience and beating goaltender Matt Murray with a top shelf shot.

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. "They're running the shot totals up".

Country music star Alan Jackson will play a concert prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in Nashville on Saturday. The OCRegister wrote about the Penguins Game 2 victory and quoted Guentzel on his performance throughout these playoffs. For the Penguins to be able to skate out onto the ice in a big game with the confidence of having that kind of calm presence in their net is a huge advantage for them.

It was 5-1 at that time, but game officials wiped out the fifth goal on an off- sides call against the Penguins. Our five-on-five game was really good and all of a sudden we're losing sync because we keep going to the penalty box. We're leaving them odd-man rushes. The 34-year-old goalie has instead given up eight goals on 36 shots through two games. Against Pittsburgh, it's at.777 and he remains winless in his career against the Penguins in games he's started. The Predators came apart some after allowing that second goal, and Pittsburgh ran them out of the building.

Nashville led in shots 18-12 at the end of the first, thanks to a late flurry.

"We have to be more responsible with our actions", said Laviolette. Pittsburgh RW Patric Hornqvist redirected the puck past G Juuse Saros at 6:48 of the third on a power play, but the goal was waved off after a review determined the Penguins were offside.

Wednesday, the Nashville Predators goalie went to the bench. "We get to go out and play the game we love on the biggest stage".

"We're concerned about where the series is at", Predators captain Mike Fisher said.

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