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Guentzel shines again as Penguins surge to Game Two win

June 1 (The Sports Xchange) - Red-hot rookie Jake Guentzel scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins erupted for three goals early in the third period to ease to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday.

The defending NHL champion Penguins moved into a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which now shifts to Nashville for Game Three on Saturday.

The game was tied at 1-1 through two tight periods on goals by Pontus Aberg and Guentzel, but it took just 10 seconds of the third for Guentzel -- who scored the winner in Game One -- to get his second of the night and 12th of the playoffs.

See images from the games:

28 PHOTOS
The 2017 NHL playoffs through photos
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The 2017 NHL playoffs through photos
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 21: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals lays on the ice after being injured in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 14: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores a first period goal past Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena on April 14, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 4-1 to take a 2-0 series lead. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13: Artem Anisimov #15 of the Chicago Blackhawks is tripped by Viktor Arvidsson #38 of the Nashville Predators in Game One of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cuo Playoffs at the United Center on April 13, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Predators defeated the Blackhawks 1-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Ryan McDonagh #27 of the New York Rangers gets the stick up on Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 16, 2017 in New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Bobby Ryan #9 of the Ottawa Senators reacts after scoring against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins during overtime in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 17, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 14: Alexander Radulov #47 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates his overtime goal with teammates against the New York Rangers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on April 14, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save in the third period against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (56) scores on Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the first overtime during game three of the quarter-final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks, held on April 17, 2017, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - APRIL 17: Brandon Montour #71 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Calgary Flames during Game One of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 17, 2017 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - APRIL 17: Alex Chiasson #39 of the Calgary Flames shoves Brandon Montour #71 of the Anaheim Ducks during Game One of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 17, 2017 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: Marcus Kruger #16 of the Chicago Blackhawks is called for holding against Harry Zolnierczyk #26 of the Nashville Predators in Game Three of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 17, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Tyler Bozak #42 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal in the 1st overtime against the Washington Capitals in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 17, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Capitals 4-3 in overtime and take a 2-1 series lead.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 17: Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask gets slammed into the net by Senators Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the third period. The Ottawa Senators visit the Boston Bruins in Game Three of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden in Boston on April 17, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins hits Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Ottawa Senators into the boards in the second period against the Boston Bruins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 17, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 17: Boston Bruins player Ryan Spooner gets checked into the Ottawa Senators bench by Senators player Zack Smith in the third period. The Ottawa Senators visit the Boston Bruins in Game Three of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden in Boston on April 17, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO. - APRIL 16: Linesman Trent Knoor (63) separates St. Louis Blues leftwing Zach Sanford (82) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) during game 3 of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues on April 16, 2017, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 30: Goalie John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks makes a save against the Edmonton Oilers in Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on April 30, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a save as Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals players battle for the puck in the first period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Pittsburgh Penguins won, 3-2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers scores a third period goal against Mike Condon #1 of the Ottawa Senators in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 4, 2017 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Senators 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 29: Dion Phaneuf #2 and Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators celebrate their overtime win as Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers sates off the ice in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 29, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 30: Viktor Arvidsson #38 of the Nashville Predators battles for the puck against David Perron #57 and Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues in Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 30, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 2: Ryan Ellis #4 makes a save in the crease with Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators against Vladimir Tarasenko #91and Jaden Schwartz #17 of the St. Louis Blues in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - MAY 19: Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his goal in the second period on goaltender Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on May 19, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 21: Scott Wilson #23 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates after scoring a goal against Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators during the first period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 21, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 22: Colton Sissons #10 celebrates a goal by Austin Watson #51 of the Nashville Predators against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period in Game Six of the Western Conference Final during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 22, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 29: Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates a goal past Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators in Game One of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena on May 29, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 29: A light show is displayed on the ice prior to the first period between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators of Game One of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena on May 29, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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He got a long rebound of a shot by Bryan Rust and took advantage of an open quarter of the net to make it 2-1 and establish a Pittsburgh record for their fastest playoff goal at the start of a period.

"We talked a lot about elevating our play," center Matt Cullen said of Pittsburgh's second intermission team talk.

"We didn't think we had reached our best play yet and we were in a good spot at 1-1, and it's an opportunity to go out and throw up your best period and put yourself in a good spot, and I thought we had a really good period."

That was not the end of the Penguins' quick start in the period, however.

Phil Kessel sent a shot towards the net from the right wing, and it glanced off team mate Scott Wilson, then hit Nashville's Vern Fiddler's skate and went under goaltender Pekka Rinne's pads at 3:13 to make it 3-1.

See more on the NHL:

10 PHOTOS
NHL WAGs: Wives and girlfriends of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals
See Gallery
NHL WAGs: Wives and girlfriends of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals
Mike Fisher and wife, Carrie Underwood
Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette with wife Kristen Laviolette
Eric Nystrom's girlfriend Chelsea Nicole
Ryan Johansen's girlfriend, Madison Bell
Kris Letang's partner Catherine Laflamme
Filip Forsberg's girlfriend Jennifer Persson
Chris Kunitz's wife Maureen Kunitz.
Bryan Rust's girlfriend Kelsey Burton

Evgeni Malkin's girlfriend Anna Kasterova

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Just 15 seconds later, Evgeni Malkin scored off of a two-on-one, firing a perfect shot over Rinne's glove for a 4-1 lead. That gave Pittsburgh three goals in the first 3:28 of the third.

It was enough for Nashville coach Peter Laviolette to send in backup goalie Juuse Saros to replace Rinne, who had stopped 21-of-25 shots.

TWO MORE WINS

Rinne allowed four goals on 11 shots in Game One and has allowed 20 goals over his past six games after conceding just 16 over his first 11 playoff games.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray stopped 37-of-38 Nashville shots and Chris Kunitz had two assists for the Penguins for a second game in a row.

The game started well for the visitors when a strong individual effort by Aberg gave Nashville a 1-0 lead at 12:57 of the first.

Aberg, cutting in from the left wall, got past Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta, who fumbled the puck, and swept across just above the crease, patiently holding the puck and roofing it past Murray.

Guentzel tied it 1-1 at 16:36 of the first, four seconds after a Penguins power-play expired.

Guentzel, at the right post, took two whacks at a rebound of a Conor Sheary shot. He lifted the second one, and it found a tiny sliver of space between Rinne's left arm and his side.

"It's crazy," Guentzel said of his two big games this series after an eight-game goal drought.

"You can't even put into words what it feels like. But we know the ultimate goal is two more wins, and they're going to be tough to get."

Nashville, a first-time participant in the Stanley Cup Finals, heads home with a sizeable task.

"We're concerned about where the series is at," Predators captain Mike Fisher said. "We're not where we want to be."

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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