Predators goalie Rinne struggling as Pens take 2-0 lead

Predators' P.K. Subban guarantees Game 3 victory

Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel (59) celebrates his second goal of the night against the Nashville Predators.

The Penguins' dominant pedal-to-the floor approach Wednesday night lasted for 60 minutes and resulted in a 4-1 victory, leaving the Predators in a big hole and no doubt who the better team is as the series shifts to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for Game 3 and 4. Before his first appearance in the Cup Final with the Nashville Predators, Neal authored this piece about what going dancing with Lord Stanley means to him. This is a team that has to play now with the knowledge that if the Penguins get a chance there's suddenly a hell of a chance it's going to go in. Then it's way too much. Yes, the Penguins required slightly longer in Monday's Game 1-three goals spanning 4:10 during the first period-but the aftermath felt similar.

The barrage started with rookie Jake Guentzel.

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.

Guentzel has five game-winning goals.

"It's insane. You can't even put into words what it feels like", he said. The Predators can continue to dominate this series with their peerless back four and their aggressiveness, and they can get back into this series. Nashville again controlled play through two periods - even-strength shot attempts were 44-24 for the Preds - but the 23-year-old kept it close for the defending champs.

As Nick Bonino struggled to walk off the ice in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Predators after taking a slap shot to the ankle, it appeared that he had suffered a fairly serious injury.

Rinne entered the series with a.947 save percentage in the postseason.

Rinne is now winless in five career starts at Pittsburgh and looking to change his luck in Nashville where the Predators are 7-1 in the playoffs.

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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".

After watching Game 2, a phrase that my Dad who served in the Army for 20 years used to say popped into my head: SSDD (Same.er, Stuff.Different Day). "There's things we could've done. all three goals in the third period were odd-man rushes". They had been out-shot 32-19 at that point. The Predators rallied to tie before Guentzel's go-ahead goal with 3:17 remaining put the Penguins ahead to stay. 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 Pens struck back late in the period on yet another goal from Guentzel. The puck trickled under goaltender Pekka Rinne's pads at 3:13 to make it 3-1. Three minutes and 28 seconds into the third period, Rinne was done after surrendering a fourth goal on a perfectly placed shot by Malkin. We'll win that one and move forward. While the Pens have held the Preds off the scoreboard for most of those moments, they still want to limit Nashville's high danger chances to help their goalie.

The Penguins had difficulty maintaining momentum with several poor power plays.

So when he was pulled in game two, many asked if he would get benched for game three?

Ninety percent of teams with that advantage have gone on to win the Cup. He worked the "starter's net" at practice, and the Predators spoke with the assumption that he'd be back in against the Penguins. There might not be many cards left to play. Minutes later, Penguins forward Chris Kunitz became tangled up with P.K. Subban and ended up cross-checking Subban in the head, part of a sequence that saw Malkin go off for hooking.

Had that happened, the Penguins might not be two wins away from repeating as champions.

From there it was nearly all Penguins, as they drew five straight penalties and scored four straight goals.

Guentzel tied it later in the period, planting his 5-foot-11 frame at the post, where he jabbed a backhand rebound to tie it.

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