Penguins Take Commanding 2-0 Stanley Cup Lead, Beat Predators 4-1
The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 in the second game of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday. Much like the first game of the series, the Predators held strong for the majority of the game, but all it took was a couple of minutes for the Penguins to pull ahead. Pittsburgh now has a 2-0 lead.
Jake Guentzel again proved to be the difference maker, scoring the game-winning goal – and his second of the night – at the top of the third period. He now owns the record for most game-winning goals by a rookie in the playoffs, with five – he tied the record in game one.
— NHL (@NHL) June 1, 2017
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The reigning champs bolstered their lead with two more goals coming from Scott Wilson and Evgeni Malkin, several minutes after Guentzel scored. They poked in a fifth goal with only a few minutes remaining in the game but it was called back for off-sides after a review of the play.
Nashville scored first on the night, when Pontus Aberg put the puck through the legs of Pittsburgh defenceman Olli Maatta and floated it past goalie Matt Murray for the 1-0 lead. It was the first and only lead Nashville has held thus far in the series.
The game remained tight and even during the second period, as neither team scored, despite the fact that Nashville had far more shots on goal.
By the end of the night, the Predators had 38 total shots on goal, while the Penguins, who only had 12 on Monday night, had 27.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was pulled from Wednesday’s game after Malkin scored Pittsburgh’s fourth and final goal. His save percentage during the finals, compared to his percentage over the rest of the playoffs, is abysmal. In two games Rinne has .777 save percentage despite coming into the series at .947.
“The limited chances [Pittsburgh has] had they’ve done a good job,” Rinne told the AP. “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.”
The series heads to Nashville on Saturday, where the Predators have a 7-1 record over the course of their 2017 playoff run. If the Penguins win, they will be one victory away from becoming the first NHL team in nearly 20 years to win back-to-back titles.
Game three will be played on Saturday, June 3 at 8 p.m. EST on NBCSports.
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