Stanley Cup Final 2017: Penguins vs

Solenn Plantier
Juin 3, 2017

It's ironic, perhaps, that the Stanley Cup Final's officiating crew is probably under fire more for its lack of calls despite the excess of extra-man advantages in Pittsburgh's Game 2 rout.

In Game 1 of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final, the Penguins rattled off three goals in just 4:11 of game play to take a 3-0 lead and a 5-3 win. Before the start of the series, the Penguins had -150 odds to win, while the Predators were +130 underdogs.

Jake Guentzel just keeps scoring and scoring and scoring.

"Pekka has been excellent for us all year long", Preds head coach Peter Laviolette said. "We made a couple mistakes".

"But we have to do a better job of not letting them come with the pace that they want to put pucks on our net and have their [defensemen] jump into the play, and when we can do that, that's going to lean the ice back in our favor and hopefully have a better outcome when we go out for Game 3".

"All three goals in the third period, we could've done something better", Laviolette added, putting the onus on the players in front of his goalie.

Pekka Rinne went from postseason MVP to Stanley Cup Final liability for the Predators. But Rinne is clearly fighting the puck, and the slump is coming at the worst possible time.

Malkin has a playoff-leading 26 points, including a goal in each of the first two games of the NHL's championship series, and has Pittsburgh closing in on their second consecutive Stanley Cup and third of his career.

A mere 10 seconds into the third period, Bryan Rust fired a long-range shot that bounced off Rinne and onto Guentzel's stick for the game-winner.

Murray was born 134 days before Guentzel in 1994. Matt Murray has been strong in goal for the Penguins. Marie Greyhounds. When he was in his second year, ready to be the No. 1 goalie, then Greyhounds general manager Kyle Dubas (now an assistant GM with the Toronto Maple Leafs) traded for Jack Campbell to be the starter. He's one of those guys that we have on our team that has the ability to make a difference in one or two shifts.

"Obviously, it's a mental thing", said Rinne, who entered the Stanley Cup final with a 1.70 goals-against average and a.941 save percentage. Game two was also up for grabs before the Penguins went on an unreal five minutes and just lit up Rinne.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin long ago set the standard for homegrown talent in the Steel City, but a fresh-faced rookie is now the talk of the town.

Bonino plays on Pittsburgh's fourth line, but the veteran is a key penalty killer. In those fives games Rinne has a 2-3 record.

Before reaching the NHL, Guentzel, far right, starred for the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

The Penguins also adjusted their defense pairs by moving Justin Schultz next to Maatta and Daley alongside Ian Cole. "He's such a great influence on them".

What makes me think that this series is falling into the same pattern as 1992 is not just one circumstance. "I think that's when our team is at its very best". Now we see whether they can get off the mat.

Guentzel has plenty of confidence in his game.

Guentzel has 12 goals and 19 points through the playoffs, despite going through a production lull during the seven game series against the Ottawa Senators. The Predators can be pleased with a lot of aspects of their game, but they don't have much room for error now.

Dino Ciccarelli of the Minnesota North Stars holds the current record with 14 goals scored in 1981.

Goalie Pekka Rinne was the favorite to claim the trophy at the start of the final series, but giving up eight goals in two games has him on the ropes. The Preds are 7-1 at home in the playoffs, and will look for some more magic.

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