Pittsburgh’s 22-year-old rookie sensation was in some kind of scoring funk himself

It might have been a different outcome if P.K. Subban’s first-period goal hadn’t been reversed on a controversial coach’s challenge (more on the below). But the Penguins pulled a rabbit out of their hat to take the first game of what promises to be a wild championship series. Pittsburgh’s 22-year-old rookie sensation was in some […]

It might have been a different outcome if P.K. Subban’s first-period goal hadn’t been reversed on a controversial coach’s challenge (more on the below). But the Penguins pulled a rabbit out of their hat to take the first game of what promises to be a wild championship series.

Pittsburgh’s 22-year-old rookie sensation was in some kind of scoring funk himself, having gone eight games without a goal since piling up nine in his first 11 career playoff games.

Frederick Gaudreau, the Predators’ own rookie hero, netted his first-career NHL goal with 6:31 to play in regulation to erase a three-goal deficit and overtime seemed inevitable. But less than three minutes later, Guentzel corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone, burst into the attacking zone and roofed a perfect wrister over Rinne’s glove to send PPG Paints Arena into a frenzy.

Guentzel’s shot, somehow, was Pittsburgh’s first in nearly two full periods. Sullivan pleaded with his players to get a shot to the net just as Guentzel left the bench to start his shift.

It stood as the game winner as Bonino added another goal with Nashville’s net empty to give the Penguins a 5-3 win of the most improbable variety.

A week after cutting ties with longtime heart-and-soul defenseman Dan Girardi via a buyout, Gorton traded veteran center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta to the Coyotes in exchange for 21-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall selection in Friday’s NHL Draft, which they used to select Swedish league forward Lias Andersson.

Gorton added that the Rangers are trying to remain a top contender they have reached three Eastern Conference finals, won the 2014-15 Presidents’ Trophy, and played in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finaleven while changing their personnel on the fly.

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