Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Pens, Preds could have same lineups for Game 2 of Cup Final

Pens, Preds could have same lineups for Game 2 of Cup Final

The Penguins and Predators could have the same lineups for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, two nights after a weird start to the series that few could have expected. That was more than he allowed in the entire first-round series against the Blackhawks. That gave Pittsburgh as many shots as it had in Game 1. Driven by work and the system... and a little bit of faith. In Game 1 against Nashville, Malkin, Conor Sheary, and Nick Bonino scored in just over four minutes in the first period to put the Penguins up 3-0 - they'd go on to win 5-3.

Nashville staged a three-goal comeback in Game One when they tied the score at 3-3 in the third period.

The floodgates are open in Pittsburgh.

Welcome to regression, Pekka Rinne.

Guentzel, who snapped an eight-game goalless drought when he pumped the victor by Rinne with 3:17 left in the series opener, tied it later in the period.

Evgeni Malkin extended Pittsburgh's lead to 4-1 just 15 seconds later, beating Rinne with a wrist shot during a two-on-one.

Murray outplaying Rinne is largely the difference in the series so far with the 34-year-old Finn yielding eight goals on only 36 shots (.778 save percentage) so far.

P.K. Subban and Malkin dropped the gloves for a fight after all the scoring. That puck luck swings in both directions and that it will swing back in Nashville's favor, but those swings are driven. The puck trickled under goaltender Pekka Rinne's pads at 3:13 to make it 3-1. It was Guentzel's 12th goal of the playoffs, which is the most of any American-born rookie in playoff history and just two behind Dino Ciccarelli's all-time rookie record of 14. But the difference in the series has been goaltending and Rinne, specifically, getting outplayed by Murray. The rookie from Omaha, Nebraska, leads the playoffs with 12 goals and has scored the past three goals for Pittsburgh. The Predators are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 18.9 percent of their power play opportunities. That's a big reason why Nashville has 53 shot attempts to Pittsburgh's 31.

He said he sprayed the fish with cologne and body spray, packed it in a cooler, and sneaked it into the arena by stuffing it down his trousers between two layers of regular and compression underwear - having tested the method by wearing the fish at his in-law's home for 20 minutes without them suspecting anything. Crosby's line got caved in all night, and the Penguins won going away anyway.

By the end of the first period in Game 1, the Predators were already down three goals. Matt Murray has been strong in goal for the Penguins.

That Waddell threw the catfish on the ice is not a random event.

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Penguins forward Jake Guentzel has tied Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against Nashville at 1-1 late in the first period. That was it for Rinne, who has a record of 0-7-2 against the Penguins in his otherwise distinguished career. It's Guentzel's playoff-leading 11th goal.

Still, it was Nashville striking first on a gorgeous individual effort from rookie Pontus Aberg.

It's Aberg's second goal of the playoffs. He had stopped almost 95 percent of the shots he'd faced through the first three rounds.

It is such a hard thing to maintain when the chips are down, you watch it ebb and flow on social media among Pred Nation.

Cullen, a former Moorhead Spuds star, left briefly in the first period after being hit from behind into the boards by Predators D Matt Irwin.

Finally, the Pens need to play their game.

The Penguins have been extremely opportunistic this series, a trend that's been on display all postseason long.

Chris Kunitz had two assists for the Penguins for a second game in a row.

This series is not over yet, but if the Preds' don't respond in game three at home it will be. Keep in mind, the "meeting" was a hockey game and the "instrument" was a catfish. Game 2 is tonight. It was a rather chaotic game, encapsulated in this weird scene shown during the pregame (although it happened during the West final), which also happens to be the greatest gif in hockey history.

Game 3 at Nashville is 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. The newest Country Music Hall of Fame inductee says he's proud to be included in the Predators' Cup Final run. Malkin won the Conn Smythe when Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in 2009. Pittsburgh made no lineup changes, meaning LW Carl Hagelin was a healthy scratch. Going into the third period of game one the Pens had a two goal advantage over the Predators and blew it.

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