The Pittsburgh Penguins had two three-goal leads on Saturday against the Nashville Predators but couldn’t hold them, until Jake Guentzel poked a rebound just fractions of an inch over the goal line with one minute remaining. Bryan Rust scored an empty netter which was his second goal of the game and the Penguins beat Nashville 6-4 Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena.
“We got on our heels in the second half of that game, but (Murray) made some unbelievable saves,” Rust said. “And we were able to get a power play goal at the end.”
Rust has 16 goals in just 24 games this season. He set a career-high with 18 goals last season.
Guentzel scored the game-winner from the side of the net. He stuffed a rebound into Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne. Replays showed the puck barely crossed the line but they count the same.
“No, I couldn’t see it (cross the line). When I saw (Hornqvist) celebrate, I figured one of us scored, at least,” Guentzel said. “I didn’t really see what happened until the end there. And it was nice to get that one.”
The Penguins improved to 23-11-4 and temporarily moved into second place in the Metro Division, one point ahead of the New York Islanders, though New York has two games in hand.
Nearly halfway through the season, Guentzel is also on pace to equal or surpass his career-high goal total set last year when he knocked 40 goals. The winner was his 19th goal of the season.