The Pittsburgh Penguins would play a better game tonight than they did during game one. They would get as many shots on goal in the first period as they would take throughout game 1. With the score even after two, the Pens would jump on the Predators early in the third with three goals in the first 3 minutes, including 1 in the first 10 seconds. Rinne would get pulled and the game would end with the final score of 4-1.
The Nashville Predators jumped out early with lots of speed and physicality. Some of that physicality would result into some really stupid penalties taken by the Predators. And although the Pens would not score on those 5 or 6 power plays but I believe it was the extra hard work that had to be put in to work through the penalties that led to a fast start for the Pens in the third period.
The Pens and the Predators would go back in the forth in the first period, but it would be Nashville that would score the games first goal on a great play by Aberg at 12:57 in the period. It was a beautiful goal as he would skate around the crease from one side to the other getting Murray to commit early which would leave the net open. The only reason Murray committed as he did, was because Maatta was out skated by Aberg and it left Murray one on one with him.
About four minutes later the Pens would get their first by Jake Guentzel to tie the game. It was a bad goal for Rinne to give up as it would slip through a very small hole between his body and glove that opened up just briefly. For Jake, that was his second of the finals and 11th overall. The Pens and Preds would be fairly equal in shots going into the final minute of the period, But it would be a 7 shot surge by Nashville that would blow the shots on goal stat out of the water. The predators would lead in shots after one, 18-12.
During the second period, the Predators would once again out shoot the Pens 14-7 and would carry the bulk of the chances. Matt Murray made some sterling saves that kept the game in check. Pekka Rinne looked uneasy throughout the night, but the Pens were not able to get enough quick shot pressure on him to take advantage.
Then in the third, it took the Pens 10 seconds to spring Guentzel and allow him to score and give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. The arena was jumping and you could feel the momentum kick over into Pens side of the ice at that point.
Then just moments later, the Penguins would score 2 more goals in the span of 15 seconds. The first was a goal by Scott Wilson that upon further review looked like Rinne accidentally knocked it in on himself once the puck was on him. It was just 15 seconds later Evgeni Malkin would rip another goal pass Rinne to give the Penguins a 4-1 lead. At that point, Nashville would pull Pekka Rinne. The goalie that was coming in as the most highly touted goalie in the playoffs had been embarrassed in two straight games. The Pens had his number in regular season games over the years and so far in this series results seem to be no different.
It would take the Penguins just a few minutes before new predators goalie Saros would give up a goal to Kessel to make it 5-1. But upon further review, the Pens were offsides and the goal was not allowed.
Saros would stop 2 of 2 and Murray would finish the game giving up just 1 in 34 shots. Murray has played very well in the two games played in Pittsburgh. He will need to duplicate that if the Pens are going to win in Nashville.
The Pens figured out a way to get the puck up the ice which was the reason the team looked as good as they did on the rush. They would get more and more open chances and Rinne could not stop the shots coming at him.
Both teams will get two nights off before turning it up again on Saturday in Nashville.