Predators won't reveal Game 3 starter against Penguins

Predators won't reveal Game 3 starter against Penguins

"For me, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

The Penguins' quick-strike ability has allowed them to win the first two games while being outshot, outhit and outplayed for stretches.

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.

Their explosiveness is at once mesmerizing and demoralizing.

"This time of year you are going to get that in any building but they have played really well there and fed off their crowd so our start is going to be important", Crosby told reporters on Friday.

In Game 2, Rinne played two solid periods, allowing one fluke goal in the first period, but stopped 18 of 19 shots faced through 2 periods.

"It will be coming back to Pittsburgh..."

None of that mattered when Guentzel struck again 10 seconds into the third, slamming home a juicy Rinne rebound.

They need to figure something out in a hurry. The goalie who had been so dominant in the playoffs has now given up eight goals on 36 shots and has a.777 save percentage in the Stanley Cup final. He has five game-winners, and has been the offensive hero in each of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators have to figure something out and fast.

"Pekka's been terrific through this entire playoffs", Laviolette said. "But it's a (seven-game) series". The Penguins lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.

Bryan Rust used Rinne for a boomerang, pounding a ideal "shot-pass" into the goalie's pad. The crowd at the SAP Center in San Jose a year ago was deafening during the final and the Penguins managed to win two games there, including the one in which they clinched the Stanley Cup in Game 6. Pittsburgh RW Patric Hornqvist redirected the puck past G Juuse Saros at 6:48 of the third on a power play, but the goal was waved off after a review determined the Penguins were offside. It had all vanished so suddenly for Nashville and its goalie, snatched away by this black-and-gold nitrous button of a Pittsburgh Penguins team. Nashville Predators' Craig Smith (15) jokes with teammate Brad Hunt as he pushes him into the corner during NHL hockey practice before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG.

It doesn't matter how well the offense plays, how many shots they put on the Penguins' goal, or how the six defenders play; the success of this team hinges exclusively on the play of the goalie. "We're going to win the next game and then we'll see what happens from there". Don't count on it. We can move him up and down the lineup. "... I think there's things we can do better".

In the third period, after Guentzel pushed the Penguins ahead, 2-1, Scott Wilson converted a feed from Phil Kessel, and Malkin kept it going, scoring on a determined rush for a 4-1 Penguins edge at 3:28 into the period.

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

Game 3 at Nashville is 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. The fourth line of Cody McLeod, Vernon Fiddler and Austin Watson has looked slow and out of place all series. From Matt Irwin's blatant boarding and repeated cross-checking to post-play punches to the face (Jake Guentzel knows what we're talking about), the list goes on.

Not only does Guentzel have a knack for scoring, but he's been a key player in scoring big goals that have shifted the momentum of games in Pittsburgh's favor. But, the Stanley Cup Finals, it's not about me, it's about the team. My how fortunes can turn.

Just 15 seconds later, Malkin scored off a two-on-one, firing a ideal shot over Rinne's glove for a 4-1 lead.

After the first three rounds, Rinne was considered among the favorites to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the MVP of the playoffs.

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