BRIDGESTONE ARENA JUNE 3, 2017
THE FLOODGATES OPENED for the Penguins 10 seconds into the third period of Game 2 when Bryan Rust put a shot off Pekka Rinne’s pad, with the rebound coming out to Jake Guentzel, who scored to put Pittsburgh ahead for good. After the game, the Penguins almost bragged about it being a set play, one they work on all the time. Fast-forward three long, agonizing days for Rinne, with his team ahead 2-1 and the Pens pressing in Game 3. This time it was Phil Kessel who directed one off Rinne’s pad right to Chris Kunitz, but Rinne was ready for the rebound and robbed Kunitz, prompting P.K. Subban to get really excited and say a very bad word. Neither Rinne nor Subban would reveal exactly what was said. At least Subban didn’t get close enough for Rinne to smell his breath. According to Subban, Sidney Crosby pointed out that it was offensive. “When guys chirp after the game or during the game, it’s usually about your game or something personal, but he went on to tell me that my breath smelled bad,” Subban said. “I really don’t understand why, because I used Listerine before the game, so I thought my breath smelled great.” Rinne stepped up for his teammate’s sense of oral hygiene. “He’s a classy guy,” Rinne said. “He flosses every day.” For the third straight game, the Preds were indisputably the superior team on the ice. The differences in Game 3 were that Rinne was much, much better, they had some bounces go their way, and coach Peter Laviolette’s lineup changes had the desired effect. Of more importance to the Penguins was the fact their three best offensive players – Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kessel – were rendered impotent. Crosby and Malkin didn’t have a shot between them.