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Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Predators goalie Rinne struggling as Pens take 2-0 lead

Predators goalie Rinne struggling as Pens take 2-0 lead

Zach Smith, of Crafton, Pa., covers his Stanley Cup replica as he waits in the rain outside PPG Paints Arena before Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators, Wedne.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said the veteran has a lower-body injury and will be a game-time decision against the Predators on Saturday night. "Once you make a little mistake, they're jumping, making a play on you".

Subban came very close to guaranteeing a win in the moments after Pittsburgh's 4-1 win Wednesday night.

Jake Guentzel scored 10 seconds into the period.

The 22-year-old Guentzel has produced 12 goals in 21 post-season games.

"It's insane", said Guentzel, who had tied it at 1-1 at 16:36 of the first period. "But you have to put those things behind and focus on the things you can control and that's Game 3".

"We've put in a lot of time to build ourselves as a team that is ready to play, is ready to win, and confident about our ability to do that", said Laviolette.

Returning home should provide a boost for both Rinne and the Predators. Now he's the biggest reason the Predators head back to "Smashville" for Game 3 on Saturday night reeling. Seconds after an own goal off the left skate of Nashville's Vern Fiddler that was credited to Scott Wilson, Evgeni Malkin beat Rinne to give Pittsburgh a three-goal lead.

Rinne entered the series with a.947 save percentage in the postseason. It was the first time an National Hockey League game had been played in June. Rinne has ooked shaky in yielding eight goals on 36 shots, but he got the Predators this far and Saros has never started a playoff game. "It kind of changes and I think that's something I take pride in in my game just to be versatile", Rowney said.

The score was knotted at 1-1 through two periods after goals from Pontus Aberg and Guentzel. "There's no question. We're going to win the next game, and then we'll move forward".

It wouldn't take much to be better than what happened in Pittsburgh. Kunitz had just two assists through his first 13 playoff games, but he now has seven points in his last three, starting with a two goal, one assist effort in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Winning Game 4 may be a different story, but the Predators will win Game 3. 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. Three minutes and 28 seconds into the third period, Rinne was done after surrendering a fourth goal on a perfectly placed shot by Malkin. It was 1 second shy of the fastest goal to start a period in Final history.

"Cleaning up just a few mistakes, that would help", Laviolette said. The Predators had 38 shots to the Penguins' 27, but Rinne allowed four goals on 25 shots and got the hook in favor of backup Juuse Saros in the third period. The first shift in the third period, we score.

But the Preds can't take back those minutes and, consequently, are down two games to none heading into Game 3.

"I just tried to make the next save, tried to hold them off as long as possible", Murray said. "Not probably, it has been our best period of the series".

It was a scene hard to imagine through the first two taut and chippy periods.

NOTES: Pittsburgh C Nick Bonino needed assistance to the locker room after blocking a shot off his left ankle area in the first period, but he returned.

A style that now has the Penguins two victories away from the cusp of a dynasty.

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