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Three things we learned from Game 2

Three things we learned from Game 2”

Scott Wilson (23) puts the puck between the pads of Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) for a goal during the third period of the Pittsburgh Penguins' 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

After scoring the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, helping the Penguins escape with a win in one of the crazier playoff games in recent memory, he played the role of hero again on Wednesday in the Penguins' 4-1 Game 2 win by scoring two more goals, including another game-winner. Murray is the first goalie age 24 or younger to be the starter in two Cup Finals since Hall of Famer Patrick Roy for the Canadiens in 1986 and 1989.

When the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup a year ago they received major contributions from rookies Matt Murray and Conor Sheary.

Rookie Jake Guentzel has seemed to forgotten his sub-par Eastern Conference Finals performance and has begun playing like he had been in the opening two rounds. For the Penguins to be able to skate out onto the ice in a big game with the confidence of having that kind of calm presence in their net is a huge advantage for them. "That's a championship team there".

Laviolette was purposely vague when asked post-game whether he would stick with Rinne for Game 3 in the Music City on Saturday night, where his team has been almost unbeatable in the playoffs with a 7-1 record on home ice. "We gotta be better". "We're learning. We're going to learn from those two games". The Predators would storm back defensively, and not allow the Penguins a single shot in the period while they added one goal to start their climb back on the scoreboard. It only took 15 more seconds for Evgeni Malkin to widen the Pens' lead to 4-1 after a rip that went glove side top shelf. It was 1-1 because Nashville's Pontus Aberg scored a beauty, and Guentzel snuck a rebound through a crack in Rinne's body, between his torso and his arm.

Guentzel collected a long rebound off Bryan Rust's shot and fired home to make it 2-1. After Malkin's goal, Rinne's night was over and Juuse Saros was called in to finish up the game between the pipes. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and Guentzel had several conversations about the amount of hockey the kid has played, all positive, all with a go-out-and-get-'em sort of ending.

But for Pittsburgh this isn't Columbus, the victim of a gentleman's sweep despite outshooting Pittsburgh; this isn't Washington, which eventually succumbed to its own internal demons in Game 7; it's not Ottawa, which Pittsburgh solved as the series went on. A tied game turned into a full-on Penguin rout.

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel, right, celebrates after scoring early in the third period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Predators on May 31, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, the goal was challenged by Nashville for being offsides and was overturned upon review. The 34-year-old goalie has instead given up eight goals on 36 shots through two games.

"There's no frustration. We're learning", Subban said. The Penguins beat Rinne four times on just 11 shots in Game 1 and scored four goals on 25 shots Wednesday for their 2-0 series lead.

"Those guys have stepped up, and a few others, too, but you really have to say the same thing about Pittsburgh", he said.

The Penguins pulled even four seconds after the end of a fruitless power play. "But he cares so much about the Pittsburgh Penguins and helping them win".

This game was closer to what we had expected out these two up-tempo teams.

Bonino could not put weight on his left foot as he was helped off the ice when a shot from Predators defenseman P.K. Subban struck him during a Nashville power play.

If the Predators don't get it together back home in "Smashville", it might only be two.



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