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Nashville Predators 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 4: 3rd Period Dooms Preds, Pens Up 2-0

That game was fun up until the 3rd period.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Through two periods, the Predators looked like they might pull out a Game 2 win. But then the 3rd period happened.

The Penguins scored three goals in the first seven minutes of the 3rd period, chasing Pekka Rinne and putting a close game out of reach.

It got real ugly, real quick.

Early on the Penguins brought the pressure, pumping several 1st period shots on Pekka Rinne. The Preds had to dodge an early Pens power play before getting their legs back. Then, with just over seven minutes left in the period, Pontus Aberg scored an unreal, highlight-reel goal to put the Preds up 1-0. It was insane.

Unfortunately, the Penguins tied it up a few minutes later on a short side goal by Jake Guentzel that Rinne probably should have stopped. So it was a 1-1 tie going into the 2nd period.

In the 2nd period, the Predators and Penguins had their share of chances. Filip Forsberg had an open shot on a 2-on-1, P.K. Subban and Roman Josi had a couple chances from the blueline, and some Penguins did some things. Both teams combined for 21 shots in the middle frame, so there was a lot of shooting going on. There was also a lot more hitting in the 2nd period. Both teams had their share of questionable hits, but only two penalties were called, both on the Predators.

The game went to the 3rd period all tied up at a goal apiece. It didn’t stay that way for long.

Jake Guentzel scored to make it 2-1. Then Scott Wilson knocked one in off of Vernon Fiddler. And then Evgeni Malkin sniped one by Rinne, to end his night. A Hornqvist goal was taken off the board by a replay challenge, but that didn’t matter much.

I’m not sure what happens at this point. Certainly the Preds won’t roll over and give in, but I mean—what positives do you take from this? You played ok through two periods, but that final 20 minutes was just awful. And now you are down 2-0 and look completely frazzled.

All eyes will be on the situation in goal—Juuse Saros made just two saves in 15 minutes of relief—but the whole team has to play better to have a fighting chance.

Random Observations

  • The Preds, who lost on Monday, roll with the same lines, while the Penguins, who won, make some tweaks. Sounds about right.
  • Craig Smith with an early penalty. Not a great start.
  • Somehow the Preds escape that penalty and some intense pressure by the Pens. Not sure what happened. Rinne had a solid stop on a wrap around that I was sure was a goal.
  • The Penguins are absolutely bringing it in this first 10 minutes.
  • Seriously, this was so sick.
  • The Penguins tie it up though. Guentzel again. Ughh... Rinne.
  • Good early pressure in this 2nd period. Forsberg and Aberg looking very comfortable together.
  • And still, more good pressure. The defense is looking really hungry for a goal. Josi and Subban both with a couple bombs.
  • Boy, Rinne just does not look comfortable. That lateral movement from the Penguins seems to have him guessing. The defense is playing very well in front of him though.
  • The Penguins are 0-5 on the power play. Through two periods. WHY MUST YOU PLAY WITH FIRE
  • There it is. An early goal by Guentzel and its 2-1.
  • That was as big of a rebound as you can give up in the NHL. He had so much net to shoot at.
  • Uhhhhh. What is going on?
  • This has become a very, very ugly game.
  • Not good at all.
  • The 4th line is absolute garbage. Take it to the dump, unload it, and start over.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pontus Aberg: Score a goal like that and you get on this list. He will be something to look forward to for a while.

Tweets of the Night

You be the judge:

Game Extras

Game Video