Penguins Halfway Home To The Stanley Cup

Penguins Halfway Home To The Stanley Cup

So given what he's meant to the franchise, it was hard to watch Rinne skate to the bench after being pulled during the Pittsburgh Penguins' 4-1 victory in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night.

"Alan Jackson is a staple in the Smashville community", says Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry, "and we know he'll bring the excitement of our great city's first ever Stanley Cup Final game to the stage on Saturday". You can see how good of a player he is. Then it's way too much. After performing in stellar fashion through the first three rounds of the playoffs, Rinne has faltered in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. In the third, the wheels fell off, as Rinne gave up a goal just 10 seconds into the period. "I feel even more confident now that I've had a night of rest", he said.

Guentzel tapped home a loose puck under the left arm of Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne at 16:27 of the first. After all, the guy has been the net-minder for Nashville for 11 years now. They came out quickly out in Game 2, firing five shots in the first six minutes with quality offensive zone pressure.

Unlike Rinne, who also gave up four goals on 11 shots in a Game 1 dominated by the Preds, Murray gave his team a chance to rally in Game 2.

Rinne has earned the right to play this series out.

NBC Sports released ratings information Thursday afternoon for Wednesday's Game 2 in Pittsburgh (the Predators lost 4-1) and - not surprisingly - Pittsburgh and Nashville had the most viewers of all US markets with local shares of 31.1 and 16.3, respectively.

"They're opportunistic", Laviolette said.

"We have a tough Game 3 ahead of us that's in an atmosphere that's going to be a raucous building, a place that's going to be really loud and insane and we've got to go out there and play maybe one of the dullest road games of the season and take that crowd out of it and try and keep their team from getting that momentum", he said. The Penguins thrive off of high-intensity, chaotic situations that turn broken plays into instant odd-man rushes. With No. 1 defenceman Kris Letang gone midway through the season, they finished 14th in shots for and against at five-on-five; going into Game 2 Wednesday night, Pittsburgh had the second-lowest percentage of five-on-five shot attempts of any team in the playoffs at 46.9 per cent, which in the regular season would make them the 29th-ranked team in hockey, and then it got worse.

This time, Pittsburgh's flurry came a little bit later. 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. The Penguins lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Guentzel pounced on a rebound from Pekka Rinne, and just passed it into the net past the goaltender.

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Coach Peter Laviolette pulled him after the Pittsburgh Penguins scored three goals in the first 3:28 of the third period and broke open what had been a close, tense affair. "I think we're looking forward to playing in front of our fans". Every time we heard that it was time to go to bed, we played one more game.

The Penguins had difficulty maintaining momentum with several poor power plays. And since Murray returned from injury and replaced Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final, we're saying it again.

Pittsburgh vowed to put more pressure on Rinne than it managed in their 5-3 victory in Game 1, a win they managed despite going 37 minutes without throwing a single puck Rinne's way and none in the second period, the first time that's happened since the National Hockey League started tracking shots in 1957.

The teams traded first-period goals, with Pontus Aberg opening the scoring with a beauty for Nashville.

The defending champs just got away with a win in Game 1 despite going 37 minutes without a shot.

Numerous key players who contributed to the team's growth over the past decade are gone now - guys like Shea Weber, Patric Hornqvist, and Ryan Suter who were either traded away or left via free agency.

With a 1.54 GAA and a.943 SV%, Murray's been the best goalie in the playoffs.

Nashville had a nervous moment at the midway point of the first when P.K. Subban took a cross-check to the neck from Kunitz.

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