Guentzel, who played college hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, was unknown to Crosby before the season began but finished behind only Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine in goals and points per game among rookies (16 goals, 33 points in 40 games). The most frustrating aspect about playing the Penguins, as Rinne and Nashville have discovered, is that although they can make mistakes and bungle chances and put their own goalie in untenable positions, all those problems can be rendered irrelevant by a few swipes of a stick.
The Penguins beat the Predators, 5-3, in Monday night's Game 1 despite blowing a 3-0 first-period lead, being held without a shot in the second period, generating just 12 shots over the full 60 minutes and, in general, being thoroughly outplayed.
The Nashville Predators have to be feeling some nerves after a blowout 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, but defenseman P.K. Subban sure isn't letting it show.
He delivered an All-Star guarantee for Saturday night. The fish that splatted on the Nashville blue line earned the thrower three misdemeanor charges and also came as close to Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne as anything the Penguins managed during 20 minutes in which the highest-scoring team in the league couldn't even muster a single shot. And for the second straight game the Penguins prevailed, taking flight toward a 4-1 victory when rookie Jake Guentzel ignited a third-period scoring spree that ended when previously impeccable Pekka Rinne was removed from the Predators' net in order to preserve what remained of his dignity. We're going to learn from those two games, and there's not one ounce of doubt in this locker room.
"We don't lose in our building", Subban said after the game. Ultimately, we have to be realistic with where we're at. "So it starts Saturday".
Conn Smythe watch: 1. Skating one-on-one against Olli Maata, the Predators rookie turned Maata inside out on a deke and then cut towards the net and went upstairs on goalie Matt Murray.
His save percentage has dipped throughout the playoffs -.976 against Chicago, then.932 against St. Louis and.925 in the West finals against Anaheim.
The Penguins pulled even four seconds after the end of a fruitless power play. 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. Aberg's goal was assisted by Viktor Arvidsson and Mike Fisher. "We know we can do a better job in front of him". "Overall these two games, like I said, it's disappointing to be down 2-0 but we have to be feeling still positive with the way we played as a whole and creating chances". "And certain parts of the game where we got to help him out".
He is now winless in five career starts at Pittsburgh and looking to change his luck in Nashville where the Predators are 7-1 in the playoffs.
May 31, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) tries to cover the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins center Jake Guentzel (59) and center Sidney Crosby (87) skate in during the third period in game two of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena.
"I think you're probably just seeing it now because we're getting a little more media attention", said Ellis, who is partially correct. "It's a fun atmosphere to play".
When at its its best, Nashville does not allow odd-man rushes.
The Penguins won the game 5-3. The only area where Nashville wasn't markedly better than the defending Stanley Cup champions is the only one that really matters.
Johansen, who had 13 points in 14 games, added the series is far from over.
So yes, the Nashville Predators have dominated five-on-five, dominated territory. "We have emotions to keep going. That's where our focus is going to be".