Fleury, who backstopped the Penguins to the Cup in 2009 and backed up the-then rookie Murray in Pittsburgh's 2016 championship run, was diplomatic in answering questions about his role.
Nashville posted a 16.3 local rating, the market's second-best ever for a Predators game on NBCSN, trailing only Game 6 vs. Anaheim in the Western Conference final (16.5) last month. The Predators had 38 shots to the Penguins' 27, but Rinne allowed four goals on 25 shots and got the hook in favor of backup Juuse Saros in the third period. The NHL's stats showed that Bonino returned to play one shift late in the period.
The floodgates are open in Pittsburgh.
They beat Pekka Rinne anyway.
Jake Guentzel scored 10 seconds into the period.
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. Fans weren't shy about booing the penalty on Kunitz because they thought P.K. Subban had exaggerated the impact of the blow, and they booed him whenever he touched the puck.
It was the first time Predators goalie Pekka Rinne had lost back-to-back games since March. The rookie from Omaha, Nebraska, leads the playoffs with 12 goals and has scored the past three goals for Pittsburgh.
Matt Murray played spectacularly at times through the first two periods, buying his teammates enough time to find their footing and get to Rinne. He has found his touch at the right time for Pittsburgh, which leads the Final 1-0.
Subban was held off the scoresheet in the 4-1 loss in Game 2, he picked up an assist in Predators' 5-3 loss in Game 1. The Predators are also blowing away the Penguins in the faceoff circle, winning 62 percent of draws through 40 minutes.
Pittsburgh at Nashville, 7 p.m. The Predators can continue to dominate this series with their peerless back four and their aggressiveness, and they can get back into this series.
"When you lose a couple of games and get pulled, you're obviously not happy with how things went", said Rinne, who was last pulled on February 21. At the very least, he needs to go to a place where Jake Guentzel doesn't exist. He probably doesn't throw up before games the way Glenn Hall did, but the butterflies are there.More news: India's Manufacturing Sector Growth Weakens In May
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After starting the playoffs with 10 goals in his first 11 games, he went through an eight-game goal-scoring drought that almost made him a healthy scratch heading into Game 1 of this series when Patric Hornqvist was ready to return to the lineup. It's Guentzel's playoff-leading 11th goal.
All of that seems to have worked and Guentzel is not only a huge reason the Penguins are up 2-0 in the series, but he is also starting to insert himself into the Conn Smythe discussion.
It's Aberg's second goal of the playoffs. Rinne allowed eight goals on just 36 shots in the first two games. In terms of overall balance of play, it felt similar to Game 1 (plus a lot more Penguin shots), which was both optimistic and ominous for Nashville.
NOTES: Penguins C Matt Cullen left in the first period briefly after being hit from behind into the boards by Predators D Matt Irwin. 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.
How will you be watching the game? High demand made attending Stanley Cup games in Pittsburgh cheaper than it would be in Nashville for some fans.
A Tennessee man chucked a catfish onto the ice in Game 1, was ejected, charged and then had charges dropped.
A spokesperson for Tennessee House Republicans said Terry plans to give the proclamation before Game 3 on Saturday in Smashville.
Too busy for Rinne and the rest of the Nashville Predators to keep up with the surging defending Stanley Cup champions.
He tested out the strategy at his in-laws' house before going to PPG Paints Arena. Likewise, winger Carl Hagelin is expected to be a healthy scratch again for Pittsburgh.
After the game, a composed Subban projected the confidence he's so famous for and came close to guaranteeing a home game win for the Preds.