From Hockey 101, Preds bring Stanley Cup Final to Music City

From Hockey 101, Preds bring Stanley Cup Final to Music City

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in control of the Stanley Cup Final but are aware of the challenge that awaits when the series shifts to Nashville where the Predators have been near ideal during the National Hockey League playoffs. Scott Wilson followed up on Guentzel's go-ahead goal 3:03 later and Evgeni Malkin added his ninth of the playoffs (and NHL-leading 26th point) 15 seconds after that.

Their explosiveness is at once mesmerizing and demoralizing.

Game 3 between the Predators and the Penguins is scheduled for 7PM CT.

Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel was on fire, while his teammate Sidney Crosby was being shut down during the second game of the Stanley Cup Finals in Pittsburgh.

Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette has been given three chances to name his starting goaltender for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.

They need to figure something out in a hurry.

A disheartened Predators squad returns home searching for answers after losing in Pittsburgh in two games they otherwise dominated. Nashville has gradually developed into the very model of a young franchise, playing consistently solid hockey while also growing a fan base despite a non-traditional hockey market, and Rinne has been a steady presence for most of that process.

The first period Nashville got the upper-hand with a beauty of a goal by Pontus Aberg on Pittsburgh's Matt Murray, who went down early expecting a quick shot, but Aberg was patient and shot late right over Murray.

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Some teams have lost some key players who could have made an enormous difference - whether it's Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard . They do something, we come back and do something. "But we did something, and then they come back, they'll do something".

Undrafted out of Ferris State University, waived twice as a professional and heartbroken when the Ducks traded him to a team that was out of the playoff picture less than two years after he helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2007, Chris Kunitz is two wins away from being a four-time Cup champion. "And if not, then someone else who steps in is ready to take on that challenge". This Penguins team has elite offensive talent, and a goalie. But Rinne also entered the championship series with a career mark of 1-5-2 record against the Pens, and that was before he suddenly became a liability for Nashville in back-to-back defeats. It is 1-for-10 against Nashville (0-for-7 last night), with the lone goal coming on a 5-on-3. Don't count on it.

PITTSBURGH-It was then-Ottawa coach Paul MacLean who said a few years ago, "They should rename the game of hockey and call it goalie". "I think to his defense, it's just been a really tough circumstance that he's doing his best to overcome". There have been 37 total comebacks from the 291 times in which a best-of-seven series was 2-0, for a 12.7 percent success rate, according to NHL.com. "I believe all of them were on 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s".

Rinne has earned the right to play this series out. Penguins C Evgeni Malkin and Nashville D P.K. Subban - two of the biggest names in the game - fought at 12:14 of the third, with Malkin picking up an extra roughing penalty. It might be time to move Frederick Gaudreau down to center the fourth line and move the speedy Harry Zolnierczyk back into the lineup.

Just ten seconds into the third period, Guentzel scored his second goal of the game, and started a cascade of goals.

In the second period, "Nashville" constantly going forward, but could not punch the goalkeeper of owners of Murray. Eight of his goals have come at even strength, but 11 of his assists have come on the power play. He has only saved 28/36 shots (a.78 save percentage) in the Stanley Cups Final so far. My how fortunes can turn.

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

Crosby's Conn Smythe case is the same as it was last season when he won the award despite finishing two points behind Phil Kessel in the team scoring race.