Vegas Play of the Day: Stanley Cup finals game 2

Ross Houston
June 3, 2017

Guentzel scored his 10th goal of the playoffs in Game One; Malkin has eight goals, while Crosby and Kessel have seven each. Finally, it seemed the youngster had slowed down.

So let's assume the Pittsburgh Penguins win two more games before the Nashville Predators win four and they capture their fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history.

The game-winning goal in the opening game of the series broke the streak, and two goals in Game 2 showed that Guentzel has smashed through that rookie wall. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne sits on the bench after being pulled during the third period in Game 2 of the team's NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Pittsburgh. He leads all postseason scorers with 26 points and has two goals so far in this year's Stanley Cup. He trails only Dino Ciccarelli for the most goals by a rookie in single postseason. He trails Dino Ciccarelli and his 14 goals in 1981.

Could have been worse: Patric Hornqvist appeared to score the Penguins' fourth goal of the third period, but it was nullified by an offside call on a coach's challenge by Nashville's Pater Laviolette.

"I think confidence comes from the actual games you play", Laviolette said. "He's getting his legs back".

"You have to put it behind you", Rinne said. He came into the series 1-5-2 with a.880 save percentage and 3.57 goals-against average in his career against the Penguins, numbers that ticked in the wrong direction even though he spent a majority of three periods standing in his crease with nothing to do while his teammates were at work at the other end of the ice.

The Nashville Predators came out flying in the first period, and it looked like Nashville would take game-one over Pittsburgh.

Sullivan also talked about wanting to limit Guentzel's minutes given that this this season his first taste of pro hockey coming out of college and not being used to the demands of an NHL schedule. "The environment has been really good since I've been here", said Laviolette.

"If he just plays the game the right way, you know, it's winning puck battles, it's the wall play, it's gaining lines, it's taking what the game gives you". "When the plays are there, (Guentzel's) instincts will take over".

Throughout the slump, Sullivan encouraged Guentzel to stick to the process and eventually it would yield results again. "There's not one ounce of doubt in our locker room".

The Predators actually had a lead in this game, if you can believe it. He understands that. He's played with Sid.

The difference now is that Nashville lost the opener to Pittsburgh 5-3 on Monday and another Game 2 defeat would create a dire situation.

"Right away the focus shifts to 'we don't lose in our building.' We're going back home".

With less than four minutes remaining in the first, Game 1 hero Guentzel tied things up when he followed up a Conor Sheary rebound and snuck a backhand through Rinne's equipment.

Still, it was a goal that Rinne should have had.

"We've been talking about just throwing pucks off the pad and see what happens", Guentzel said.

The defending Stanley Cup champions needed just over three minutes at the start of the third period to turn a taut Game 2 into a runaway, beating Pekka Rinne three times in a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night to inch closer to becoming the first team in almost 20 years to win back-to-back titles. His shooting percentage for the playoffs is a robust 28.6 percent, and at this point he's made himself one of the frontrunners for the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP.

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