Pittsburgh, PA – The Nashville Predators dropped the second game of a two game series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-4, after a controversial late game penalty against the Predators.
Nashville had dug themselves out of an early deficit to tie the game at 4-4, but with less than two minutes remaining, Austin Watson was called for goalie interference after being knocked into Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray.
The ensuing power play was all the Penguins needed to seal the game as Jake Guentzel stuffed the winning goal past Pekka Rinne. An empty netter by Bryan Rust gave us the final score, 6-4.The night started in similar fashion as last night’s game in Nashville, with Pittsburgh scoring just 32 seconds into the game, then at 1:05, Dominik Kahun gave the Pens at 2-0 lead, scoring past starting goalie, Juuse Saros.
When Kris Letang scored on the power play at 9:04 of the first period to extend the Pittsburgh lead to 3-0, that would be the end of the night for Saros. Pekka Rinne came on in relief, just as Saros had the night before.
The Predators just didn’t have a game in the early stages, but that would change.
Viktor Arvidsson would get the Predators on the board at 4:07 of the second period scoring the power play goal to cut the lead to 3-1 and suddenly the boys had some momentum.
Just as soon as there was life on the Predators bench, Alex Galchenyuk would give Pittsburgh their three goal advantage after firing a shot past Rinne for the 4-1 lead.
Craig Smith, who’s been playing great of late, would help claw the Predators back in this one at16:03 of the second period on a wrist shot that beat Murray, and Pittsburgh’s lead was 4-2.
Mikael Granlund would then take a juicy rebound at 19:01 of the second frame and park it in net to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 4-3.
At 8:56 of the third period, Granlund would score again, tapping in a mid-air rebound for his 100th NHL career goal and suddenly this game was knotted at 4-4.
As time was ticking away in this one, Austin Watson was called for goalkeeper interference in a controversial call at 18:34. Replay would show that Watson was clearly knocked into Matt Murray and couldn’t avoid the collision.
The power play that followed would prove to be the difference as Guentzel would get the game-winner for the Pens with just 1:03 remaining in the game.
Nashville will remain on the road for the next week, with the Winter Classic on New Year’s day against the Dallas Stars.