December 29, 2019 / 3:09 AM / 2 months ago

Guentzel gives Pens home-and-home sweep over Preds

EditorsNote: 8th graf, change ‘put’ to ‘puck’; 14th graf, correct excessive uppercase letters

Dec 28, 2019; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) takes to the ice to warm up against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Guentzel stuffed a puck in on a wraparound move for a go-ahead power-play goal with 1:03 left in regulation Saturday as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the visiting Nashville Predators 6-4.

The Penguins, who blew two three-goal leads in the game, swept a home-and-home series with the Predators.

Bryan Rust scored twice, including an empty-netter, and added two assists; Alex Galchenyuk had a goal and an assist, Dominik Kahun and Kris Letang also scored; and Evgeni Malkin had three assists for Pittsburgh.

Matt Murray, in just his third start in December, made 44 saves for the Penguins.

Mikael Granlund scored twice, including the tying goal, for Nashville. Viktor Arvidsson and Craig Smith also scored, and Roman Josi had three assists.

In a mirror to Friday’s game, Juuse Saros was pulled during the first period. He gave up three goals on eight shots. Pekka Rinne, who was the one pulled a night earlier, stopped 25 of 27 shots in relief.

Rust made it 1-0 just 32 seconds into the game. A shot by Guentzel squirted out behind Saros, and Rust swatted it in.

Kahun scored 33 seconds later. Off a feed from Galchenyuk behind the net, Kahun swept the puck in past Saros’ left skate.

Letang made it 3-0 and chased Saros at 9:04 of the first. During a power play, his one-timer from the center point sailed past Saros’ glove.

Arvidsson’s power-play goal at 4:07 of the second, when he lifted a rebound over Murray’s right pad, pulled Nashville to within 3-1.

Galchenyuk restored the Penguins’ three-goal cushion at 8:02 of the second when he scored on a power play from the slot off a feed from John Marino.

At 16:03 of the second, Smith made it 4-2 on a sharp-angle shot.

Granlund reduced it to a one-goal game, 4-3, with 58.3 seconds left in the second from the slot on a second rebound. It was his first goal since Nov. 27, but he didn’t wait long for another.

At 8:56 of the third, Granlund tied it when he knocked a backhand rebound out of the air, his 100th career goal.

—Field Level Media

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