The Pens rolled by Nashville 4-1 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Prior to the Stanley Cup Final, Rinne had not posted back-to-back losses in the playoffs and followed each of his four losses with a save percentage of.950 or higher.
Jake Guentzel scored 10 seconds into the period.
In Game 2, he let Jake Guentzel squeeze one past him from an impossible angle at the side of the net and he booted a big rebound to Guentzel 10 seconds into the third period to give the Penguins all kinds of momentum. On Wednesday night, Guentzel scored his 11th and 12th goal of the playoffs, two away from Dino Ciccarelli's rookie record of 14 from 1981.
Bonino, who scored in Game 1, took the puck to the left foot or ankle and could not put weight on it as he was helped off the ice. Two goals went off teammates and into the net, but it has not been the inspiring performance that the Predators and their fans are used to from the big Finn.
Returning home should provide a boost for both Rinne and the Predators.
"Pekka has been terrific through this entire playoffs", Laviolette said Tuesday when asked initially about his Game 3 starter.
Just 15 seconds later, Evgeni Malkin scored off of a two-on-one, firing a flawless shot over Rinne's glove for a 4-1 lead.
Rinne is a three-time Vezina Trophy finalist who entered the final as the hottest goaltender in the playoffs with a.947 save percentage. Nashville must show the Penguins why they have been 7-1 at home through these playoffs by getting off to a quick start and having their fan base behind them.
Predators captain, Mike Fisher said, "That's what's killed us in the first two games". The Pittsburgh Penguins took home a 4-1 win Wednesday in nearly the exact same fashion as their Game 1 win.
Guentzel has five game-winning goals.
One player that can change the tenor of this series is Predators defenseman P.K. Subban.
It's not a coincidence Pittsburgh's equipment manager Dana Heinze put Guentzel in a stall adjacent to Crosby's when the rookie was called up for good in January.
As a result, a Predators team that once again played well enough to win is once again shaking its heads after being down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series that is slipping from its grasp.
"He just keeps doing it", Crosby said. 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. And a 1-1 tie-assembled by Pontus Aberg's marvelous solo move and Guentzel squeezing a backhander through a coin slot-sized hole in Rinne's padding-quickly blown off its hinges. All three goals in the third period, we could have done something better.
Nashville was 0/4 on the power play, which included an extended 5-on-3. "We knew we had one in the room".
"We're trying to make it decisions whether it be defense pairs or line combinations that make us the most competitive team", Sullivan said. "All three goals in the third period were odd-man rushes". On Saturday the Stanley Cup Final will resume in Nashville with Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena. And that's essentially the same lament of the Blue Jackets and Capitals, who outplayed the Penguins, outshot the Penguins and lost to the Penguins in the end anyway.
There's more. Guentzel has 19 points, the most every for an American rookie and two shy of the all-time rookie mark of 21 by Cicarelli and equaled by Philadelphia's Ville Leino in 2010, back when he could actually play the game and not just live on Terry Pegula's millions. But it was something that Evgeni Malkin reportedly said to the Nashville Predators defenceman that sparked a late-game fight.
It was a scene hard to imagine through the first two taut and chippy periods. "Everyone's going to do whatever it takes to make sure they can play". The Penguins lead the series 2-0.