FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

2017 STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 2 NOTES & QUOTES – NASHVILLE PREDATORS VS. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

“Matt Murray was sensational. He was by far my first star of the game.” – Mike Milbury

The kid is lighting it up in the Stanley Cup Final.” – Keith Jones on Jake Guentzel

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 31, 2017 – NBC Sports continued exclusive coverage of its 12th consecutive Stanley Cup Final tonight with Game 2 between the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins on NBCSN. The Penguins won Game 2 by a score of 4-1, as Jake Guentzel broke a 1-1 tie with 19:50 remaining in the 3rd Period, and Scott Wilson and Evgeni Malkin followed with back-to-back goals at 16:45 and 16:32, respectively.

Five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire called Game 2 tonight from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. This marks the 11th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.

Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with NHL LiveKathryn Tappen hosted alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter on-set outside of PPG Paints Arena. In addition, Paul Burmeister spoke with Stanley Cup Champion and Penguins Assistant GM Bill Guerin, D Ian Cole, Olympic silver medalist and National Champion Amanda Kessel, as well as Associate Coach of the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team Mike Guentzel. Brian Boucher spoke with Predators C Colton Sissons.

Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.

Post-Game

Milbury: “Matt Murray was sensational. He was by far my first star of the game. They have found a way to do what Pittsburgh has done in so many different ways, which is win under different circumstances.” 

Jones: “They did a very good job in adjusting to what was causing them problems in Game 1, and that came through big time in the third period of this game.”

Jones on Guentzel: “The kid is lighting it up in the Stanley Cup Final. He’s the calmest guy I have ever seen. He scored two huge goals in this game. Scored a huge goal in Game 1. And he sat there (being interviewed by Pierre) like he had be a 20-year veteran in the National Hockey League.”

Third Period

McGuire: “Nick Bonino has been tremendous. He has been a tower of power.”

Emrick: “Just an observation. It’s a spontaneous game, and there are mistakes, but I have not seen or Ian Cole or Nick Bonino make any of them tonight. What they have done has been perfect.”

Olczyk: “You talk about being red hot. Guentzel has scored the last three goals for the Penguins, when the opposing goalie was on the ice.”

Emrick: “That’s it. Two games to none, with an exclamation point on the night.”

Second Intermission

Milbury on Matt Murray: “He has been brilliant. He’s the best player on the ice tonight. It’s not even close. He had to be. If the Penguins are getting this kind of performance by Murray, they have to take advantage of it.”

Jones on Predators: “The game plan is perfect. They have had plenty of opportunities, but the discipline has been an issue.”

Second Period 

McGuire on P.K. Subban: “He’s got one mission and one mission only, make sure Crosby is not comfortable when he gets the puck.”

Olczyk on Sidney Crosby: “He’s the orchestrator and the ignitor. The Penguins need to get the puck on his stick and let him do his magic.”

First Intermission

Milbury on catfish: “I think it’s official. The catfish crotch concealment movement is alive and well… After the catfish was thrown on the ice here in Pittsburgh, within minutes our very own Pierre McGuire knew what lake it swam in and what school of fish it swam with.”

Jones: “P.K. Subban was unbelievable during the first period. He did so many things well. He’s got his mojo tonight.”

Jones: “It was an exciting period of hockey. The fans are into it, and the players are into it on the ice. When you get into that dressing room, the message to your team is ‘Continue to play. Don’t focus on the officials. They will figure it out.’ The officials need to get it together. They are in the locker room as well. They will figure this game out. They did not do a good job during the first period, but the players need to continue to play.”

Milbury on officiating during first period: “This is a nightmare for coaches and players. They set an unthinkable standard. You just don’t know what to expect. There were several examples of that in the course of the first period. The officials were putrid during the first period. They need to be a lot better than that.”

First Period

Olczyk on goal by Pontus Aberg: “You are not going to see a prettier goal than that. You talk about skill level, it doesn’t get any better than this. Beautiful play.”

McGuire: “Perfect example of why Nashville is so good. That’s a second-round draft pick coming in and working some magic. Aberg had the Game 5 winner against Anaheim, and once again shows why he is such a talented player.”

 Olczyk on Matt Irwin’s hit on Matt Cullen: “It looked like it was directly square into the numbers. That is a penalty without a doubt. Look at Irwin, he looks really quick to see where the official is. Talk about getting your hand caught in the cookie jar. He took a look first to see where the official was.”

Olczyk: “That’s what makes Pittsburgh so dangerous. You turn the puck over 10 feet inside the blue line, and next thing you know they are off to the races and creating chances.” 

Pre-Game on NBC (8 p.m. ET)

Jones on Crosby: “I think he is the best player in the league down low. You can see it in everything he does. He can knock pucks down, knock defensemen down, and set up goals.”

Milbury on Trevor Daley: “This year he has to be labeled as the best defenseman on the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has a team high in minutes, and we don’t expect to see anything less tonight. He’s a guy the team can rely on in every situation, during penalty kills, and power plays.”

Olczyk on Predators: “They were the better team without question in Game 1. But as we all know in playoff hockey, the best team doesn’t always win come Stanley Cup Playoff hockey time. In Game 1, the best team did not win.”

NHL Live on NBCSN (6-8 p.m. ET)

Carter on Jake Guentzel: “His hockey IQ is what allows him to play with guys like Sidney Crosby. He can think about the game at the same level as Crosby does, and has a lot of success playing with Sidney because of that. That said, when Guentzel scored the goal in Game 1, he was playing with Matt Cullen, a fourth-line center. Guentzel is smart enough to know what other guys strengths are on the ice. He wasn’t leading on the ice, he came from behind. It’s another example of how smart Guentzel is. By showing that patience and that poise, not getting ahead of the play, coming underneath, and using his speed, his skill level just took over.”

Roenick on Guentzel: “Jake Guentzel couldn’t have been more effective in Game 1. With the first shot after 37 minutes, he responded to Mike Sullivan’s challenge. These kids don’t sit and pout when their coach challenges them. They get up, fight, battle and make their coach proud of them.”

Milbury on Game 1: “Nashville completely dominated the game. You couldn’t expect any of those things to happen, let alone a catfish concealed inside a guy’s pants. I have no recollection of any game like that ever before.”

Roenick on Game 1: “It was one of the strangest games I’ve ever seen. Definitely one for the ages.”

Boucher on Game 1: “Luck was not on the Predators side. This is a team that played fantastic hockey in Game 1. They deserved a better fate than what they had in that game. The goal by Subban was taken back because of the off-side call. If you ask many of the Nashville Predators, they still believe that was an inconclusive replay.”

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–