Murray, Malkin lead Penguins past Predators 4-0

Murray, Malkin lead Penguins past Predators 4-0

October 7th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Sports

Nashville Predators' Craig Smith (15) loses the puck while skating in on Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray as Justin Schultz (4) defends in the first period of the NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Evgeni Malkin scored, Matt Murray stopped 26 shots and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 4-0 on Saturday night in a Stanley Cup Final rematch.

Olli Maatta, Ryan Reaves and Jake Guentzel also scored in Pittsburgh's first win in its third game of the season. The two-time defending champion Penguins were coming off an ugly 10-1 loss at Chicago at Thursday night.

Reaves, acquired in a June trade with St. Louis, also fought Austin Watson and Cody McLeod, finishing with 24 penalty minutes. He skated on a line with Sidney Crosby when the game turned chippy in the third period.

Murray, who allowed 11 goals on 65 shots in his first two games, posted his sixth career shutout. He also shut out Nashville in the final two games of the Stanley Cup Final in June.

The Predators went with Juuse Saros instead of Pekka Rinne, the franchise's winningest goaltender. Saros, who earned his first NHL win last October against Pittsburgh, stopped 30 shots. Rinne was 0-3 on the road during the Stanley Cup and is 0-6-0 with an .822 save percentage lifetime in Pittsburgh.

Nashville forward Nick Bonino faced his former team for the first time since signing a four-year, $16.4 million contract with the Predators in July. Bonino, who received his Stanley Cup ring from Pittsburgh on Saturday, scored in the first two games of the Final before a broken tibia in his left leg sidelined him for the rest of the playoffs.

Malkin put the Penguins in front 66 seconds into the game with a slap shot from the high slot that beat Saros to the blocker side. He has points in all three of Pittsburgh's games this season.

Murray denied Pontus Aberg on a breakaway later in the period. It was significant because Guentzel made it a 2-0 game less than a minute later, crashing the net and converting a rebound from the slot.

Nashville carried the play early in the second period with six of the first seven shots, but Pittsburgh scored the next goal. Reaves scored his first for Pittsburgh when he tipped a Maatta point shot between Saros' pads.

Maatta scored the Penguins' fourth goal 33 seconds into the third period.

NOTES: Penguins D Ian Cole took a one-time slap shot to the face from Predators D Roman Josi during a first-period power play. Cole, who did not return, quickly went down, but eventually got up on his own and immediately skated to the dressing room while crews cleaned blood from the ice. ... Predators C Calle Jarnkrok played in his 250th NHL game. ... Nashville F Kevin Fiala is day to day with an upper-body injury.

UP NEXT

Predators: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Penguins: Visit Washington on Wednesday.