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game recap

Penguins recover to sweep Predators, give Murray rare win

Score on late power play, goalie makes 44 saves for second victory since Nov. 9

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

Guentzel's go-ahead PPG

NSH@PIT: Guentzel jams home go-ahead tally on the PP

Jake Guentzel stuffs the puck home from the side of the cage on the power play to give the Penguins a 5-4 lead late in the 3rd period

  • 00:45 •

PITTSBURGH -- Jake Guentzel scored a power-play goal with 1:03 remaining in the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 6-4 at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Bryan Rust had two goals and two assists, and Evgeni Malkin had three assists for the Penguins (23-11-4), who are 6-1-0 in their past seven games. They defeated the Predators 5-2 at Nashville on Friday.

"We get an opportunity on the power play late in the game, and obviously those guys made the difference," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "My hope is that we can take a lot out of this game. ... It's a great opportunity for us to take lessons out of this without getting hurt, without getting stung in the win-loss column. So we've got to make sure we hold one another more accountable."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Penguins highlights]


Mikael Granlund scored two goals, and Roman Josi had three assists for the Predators (18-14-6), who were 4-0-1 prior to the home-and-home losses.

Video: NSH@PIT: Rust finishes loose puck in first minute

Guentzel curled a shot around the right post to give Pittsburgh a 5-4 lead. It was upheld after review, and Rust scored an empty-net goal to make it 6-4 with 38 seconds left.

"The emotions of the game were so high and low," Guentzel said. "I think you're going to go through that during the stretch of the season. So just to come out on top, I think it's big for us. We're finding different ways to win."

Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray made 44 saves for his first home win, second overall, since Nov. 9.

The Predators, who trailed 3-0 in the first period, tied the game after falling behind 4-1 late in the second.

"We all knew that was bad in the first," Josi said. "We need to show a response, especially after last night and losing that game at home. We need to come out strong, and we were mad about our first period. So it was a good response, but we have to do it for 60 (minutes)."

Craig Smith made it 4-2 at 16:03 of the second period before Granlund scored twice. He cut it to 4-3 on a wrist shot with Murray scrambling in front of the crease with 59 seconds remaining in the second, and batted the puck out of the air to tie it 4-4 at 8:56 of the third period.

"Not a good start, obviously. It wasn't good enough at all," said Granlund, who has six goals this season. "Second period, we started playing the way we can play, play with the puck and not just throwing it away. Winning some battles. We found a way to get back in the game, but that's obviously a tough ending there."

Video: Rust's four points push Pittsburgh past Nashville

Rust gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the first period, and Dominik Kahun made it 2-0 33 seconds later.

Kris Letang extended the lead to 3-0 on a power play with a slap shot past a screen from Patric Hornqvist, who returned after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury, at 9:04.

Nashville goalie Juuse Saros was pulled after making five saves on eight shots. Pekka Rinne made 25 saves in relief.

Viktor Arvidsson scored for a third straight game, getting Nashville within 3-1 with a power-play goal at 4:07 of the second period. Alex Galchenyuk made it 4-1 from the slot during a power play at 8:02.

The Predators' next game is the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 1.

Video: NSH@PIT: Letang unloads massive one-timer for PPG


They said it

"I thought that the response in the second period was good. In the third period, we had a lot of shots. Generated a lot of chances. Gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game. Didn't happen." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

"We started unbelievably well. Kind of took our foot off the gas there and they pushed back really hard. We were on our heels a bit, probably in the last half of that game. ... We've been in pretty much every situation you can think of this year." -- Penguins forward Bryan Rust


Need to know

Nashville pulled its goalie in each game against Pittsburgh. Rinne allowed three goals on six shots before exiting Friday. ... Predators forward Colton Sissons (lower body) and defenseman Dan Hamhuis (upper body) did not play after leaving in the first period Friday. Sissons was placed on injured reserve. ... Defenseman Jarred Tinordi played 11:35 in his Predators debut. He last played in the NHL for the Arizona Coyotes on March 3, 2016. ... Murray started instead of Tristan Jarry for the third time in December. Murray has allowed at least four goals in six of his past seven starts. ... Guentzel had an assist on Rust's first goal for his 100th in the NHL (in 242 games). ... Josi has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in a six-game point streak.


What's next

Predators: 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Dallas Stars at Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas (2 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS)

Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, ATTSN-PT, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Rust has four-point night to propel Penguins to win

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