Sports

Alan Jackson to play free Stanley Cup Final party before Game 3

Alan Jackson to play free Stanley Cup Final party before Game 3

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray stopped 37 of 38 Nashville shots.

Too busy for Rinne and the rest of the Nashville Predators to keep up with the surging defending Stanley Cup champions.

Rinne also gave up a huge rebound to Guentzel on the Penguins' game victor 10 seconds into the third period. But they lost Game 2 by a score of 4-1, and trail the series 2-0, and it was like watching Ali come off the ropes.

Game 3 is Saturday night in Nashville, where the Predators are 7-1 this postseason.

That makes an NHL-high 12 goals in the postseason for Guentzel, who is suddenly in the lead for the Conn Smythe Trophy. The Predators can continue to dominate this series with their peerless back four and their aggressiveness, and they can get back into this series.

"It's insane. You can't even put into words what it feels like", said Guentzel, a native of Omaha.

He said he sprayed the fish with cologne and body spray, packed it in a cooler, and sneaked it into the arena by stuffing it down his trousers between two layers of regular and compression underwear - having tested the method by wearing the fish at his in-law's home for 20 minutes without them suspecting anything.

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There went Pekka Rinne, headed down the visiting tunnel and into the dark, leaving his stick on the carpet and a two-game series deficit on the ice.

Pittsburgh stayed in it thanks to Matt Murray (37 saves) and when Pittsburgh returned to the ice for the start of the third they, as coach Mike Sullivan is fond of saying, "got to their game". Pontus Aberg opened the scoring midway through the first, but Rinne gave it back moments later on a rebound that should have been sealed off.

In Game 1, the Penguins pushed three goals by Rinne in a span of 4:11 in the first period to build a 3-0 lead.

"I looked at the ice time; I think they're getting a little bit exhausted". 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.

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

With the PPG Arena roaring and the Predators reeling, Evgeni Malkin fired a shot past Rinne just:15 later and that was it. Rinne was pulled and the game, for all intents and purposes, was over.

Earlier this year, he was spotted partying with the New York Giants WR corps just before their playoff game and we all remember the result of that one. "Even in the second we had chances but couldn't get a goal". All three goals in the third period, we could have done something better.

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This game was closer to what we had expected out these two up-tempo teams. Against the quick-strike Penguins, it's just.778.

"Pekka has been terrific through this entire playoffs", Laviolette said. "For 5½ periods, we like what we did".

Separate minor penalties are rarely called against the same team on the same sequence, but it happened for the second game in a row, though this time, the calls went in Nashville's favour. But he has never started and won a game against the Penguins, and he has looked decidedly shaky, posting a.777 save percentage, in the first two games of the biggest series of his life.

The 34-year-old was on a historic run through the Western Conference. He has five game-winners, and has been the offensive hero in each of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. Crosby, of course, wasn't without his own antics, delivering a little bit of uncalled slashing earlier in the night, and Chris Kunitz was even rougher with a cross-check to Subban, but there was plenty of other after-the-whistle officiating - or a lack thereof - that had both sides on edge.

It was a scene hard to imagine through the first two taut and chippy periods. The Swede dangled the puck around Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta and beat Matt Murray at 12:57 of the first period.

"I think this team has an inner belief that we can score goals", Sullivan said, "and they've provided plenty of evidence to suggest that". That's eight goals against in just 36 shots faced in the series, a save percentage of.777, which is not going going to get it done against the league's highest scoring team.

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