After recording the game-winner in Monday's series opener, Guentzel scored Pittsburgh's first two goals on Wednesday night, giving him an NHL-leading five game-winning playoff goals and 19 points in the postseason, the most of any American-born rookie in National Hockey League history.
Rinne not sharp: Rinne has been the Predators' top performer in the postseason, but he has not looked sharp in the Predators' first two games of the Cup Final. Guentzel has been the leading goal scorer throughout the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 goals and now owns the record for most game-winning goals in the postseason by a rookie with five.
Then, just over three minutes later, the Predators had their second own-goal in as many games, when Vernon Fiddler's skate knocked a bouncing puck through Rinne's five-hole - the goal officially goes to Scott Wilson, but equal credit should go to Phil Kessel, who earned the assist for sneaking the puck into a risky position.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are just two wins away from claiming their fifth Stanley Cup championship. "We're going to feed off that energy and we're going to be ready". He dribbled a puck through Rinne for Pittsburgh's first goal in Game Two and then made no mistake with Bryan Rust's rebound to net the victor here. After Malkin's goal, Rinne's night was over and Juuse Saros was called in to finish up the game between the pipes.
A team like Nashville isn't your typical Stanley Cup contender, which is why this series has been so choppy and awkward.
The amusing thing about Game 2 is that it started nearly completely the opposite of Game 1.
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. Murray finished with 37 saves in all as he helped move the Penguins to within two victories of becoming the first team to go back-to-back since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998.
Defenseman P.K. Subban said after Game Two in Pittsburgh that his club would win Game Three and go from there.
In Game 1, the Penguins had gone 37 minutes - including the entire second period - without a shot. Pittsburgh had 11 shots on Rinne, and scored four times. He didn't start on Crosby's line in Game 2, but ended up there as the Pens offence stalled through two periods - contained by the Preds' fearsome defence. Bonino returned briefly late in the opening period and appeared fine when he skated back out for the second.
The Preds are probably shell-shocked by what happened at the start of the third period but they have to be completely mystified about Rinne, who has given a Swiss cheese performance.
Rinne allowed four goals on 11 shots in Game One and has allowed 20 goals over his past six games after conceding just 16 over his first 11 playoff games.
Also rooting are Grizzlies forward Brandan Wright, who grew up along with the Predators in Nashville, and 2012 FedEx Cup champion golfer Brandt Snedeker, who took the Ryder Cup with him to a playoff game earlier this spring.
Ten seconds into the third period, Guentzel - who delivered the game-winner in Game 1 - notched his second of the game. The Predators came apart some after allowing that second goal, and Pittsburgh ran them out of the building.
"I treat this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity", said the 34-year-old Rinne.
"Obviously, it's very disappointing right now", said Rinne. 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 of them went past Pekka Rinne, chasing the Predators goaltender for the first time this postseason. "We need to be better in front of him". "Nerves and excitement kind of mixed together, but yeah, that's every game for me".