Predators goalie Rinne struggling as Pens take 2-0 lead

Catfish tosser says he was 'dumb redneck with a bad idea'

Catfish tosser says he was 'dumb redneck with a bad idea'

The Nashville Predators are frustrated at coming up empty after outplaying the Pittsburgh Penguins for most of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final but remain confident in their ability to turn things around. The Predators now have to win four of the next five games to win the Stanley Cup, and that's all.

Nashville threw 32 shots on Matt Murray in the first two periods and had out-attempted the Penguins, 53-32, during the opening 40 minutes. Then it's way too much. Guentzel has been the leading goal scorer throughout the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 goals and now owns the record for most game-winning goals in the postseason by a rookie with five.

If the Predators don't get it together back home in "Smashville", it might only be two. The 34-year-old spent the first three rounds of the playoffs helping carry Nashville to the Final for the first time.

It was the morning of Game 2, but the Nashville Predators goalie was somewhere else entirely.

Subban expressed confidence in Rinne, as the team did after the Game 1 loss. He was pulled when Evgeni Malkin ended Pittsburgh's surge with his ninth of the playoffs 3:28 into the third.

As expected, his save percentage in this series is, uh, something else. Against Pittsburgh, it's at.777 and he remains winless in his career against the Penguins in games he's started.

"He's excellent, made huge, huge saves for us at key times in this game, specifically one down low on his pad where he kept close, got the rebound and covered it up, even with them crashing the net", Penguins forward Chris Kunitz said.

"There's a stretch they're able to gain some momentum, able to capitalise and be opportunistic and that swung two games in their favour".

The Predators jumped out first at 7:03 in the first period on Pontus Aberg's goal. In the series opener, he gave up three goals in a span of 4:09 late in the first period.

The Penguins goaltender, on the other hand, has been phenomenal since returning to the pipes this postseason. And it was once again led by the baby-faced son of a coach who has no problem shouldering the responsibility of playing alongside star Sidney Crosby.

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Pittsburgh's third-period onslaught took a game that was tied at the second intermission and broke it wide open.

Then, 3 minutes, 13 seconds into the third, Scott Wilson scored when a centering pass caromed off Predators center Vernon Fiddler.

It was enough for Nashville coach Peter Laviolette to send in backup goalie Juuse Saros to replace Rinne, who had stopped 21-of-25 shots. "And we'll see what happens from there", he said. "That's the Game 3 right now that I'm focusing (on) and having the opportunity to go home and play in our building".

That was not the end of the Penguins' quick start in the period, however.

Nick Bonino, after blocking a P.K. Subban shot with his left ankle in the first period, appeared to be injured but returned for the start of the second period. "You just have to bury these two games and find a way to have some success".

A lot of goaltending is played between the ears.

When asked if he could translate Malkin's comments, Subban smiled.

It was a scene hard to imagine through the first two taut and chippy periods. Aberg, cutting in from the left wall, got past Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta, who fumbled the puck, and swept across just above the crease, patiently holding the puck and roofing it past Murray. Crosby's line got caved in all night, and the Penguins won going away anyway.

Guentzel tied it later in the period, planting his 5-foot-11 frame at the post, where he jabbed a backhand rebound to tie it. Entering this one 4-1 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a.936 save percentage these playoffs, Murray stopped 37 of 38, bailing the Penguins out whenever their defense struggled.

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