Not often will a team that played one of it’s worst games of the season come out victorious. That’s exactly what the Penguins did Monday night. If the Penguins want to win Wednesday, they will absolutely have to be better.
They went 37 consecutive minutes without a shot on goal and were sloppy in their zone entries. They allowed Matt Murray to be tested more often than they would’ve preferred without a doubt. So where do they go from here?
This Mike Sullivan led team does not lose consecutive games. It’s in their DNA to avoid being unacceptingly horrific in two straight contests. They just won’t accept it.
Sullivan kept reiterating the lack of pushback from his team in his postgame conference after game one and how the Penguins were unable to do so when the Predators went on attack.
“When you’re playing a team like Nashville that has a balanced attack, you’ve got to have some pushback. I don’t think in the second period we had any pushback.”
As the Penguins somehow tip-toed out of a shotless second period, the first in the franchise’s history, only allowing one goal after a three goal onslaught in period one, it became increasingly clear that the Penguins couldn’t cling to the lead much longer. The Predators then tied the game accordingly until Jake Guentzel, a near scratch before Monday, and buried a laser in behind Nashville goalie, Pekka Rinne, who was absolutely abysmal in that game.
It’s very likely the Penguins won’t see this bad of a Rinne and this lackluster of a Predators team the rest of the series. They will need to be better and, if they are, the Penguins should be in the driver’s seat comfortably heading into Nashville.