After a competitive first two periods, the Pittsburgh Penguins came out quick in the third period to pull away for a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators, taking a 2-0 series lead on Wednesday night. Pittsburgh knocked Pekka Rinne out of the game by netting three goals against him just 3:28 into the final period. Evgeni Malkin's ninth goal of the playoffs ended that streak, as Rinne allowed four goals on 25 shots. He gave up the same amount of goals in Game 1 on just 11 shots. He entered this series with a .947 save percentage this postseason, but that number is at just .777 this Finals series, as he remains winless in his career against the Penguins. Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel remained hot this series with another goal 10 seconds into the third, which was his 12th of the playoffs. Pontus Aberg scored the lone goal for the Predators, who will look to take advantage of home-ice advantage in Games 3 and 4, as they are 7-1 at home this postseason. They will host Game 3 of the series on Saturday night, where the Penguins will look to inch closer to becoming the first team in 22 years with back-to-back titles.
Scherzer Dominates Giants in Complete Game Win
The Washington Nationals played without Bryce Harper for the first time during his suspension on Wednesday, but they needed just the right hand of Max Scherzer to cruise to victory on the road. Scherzer went the distance, allowed just five hits, and struck out 11 in a 3-1 Nats victory over the Giants. Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning, three-run home run was all that was needed, and was his 15th big fly of the season. Matt Cain surrendered that long ball, suffering his fourth loss of the year despite a nice outing. Just two of those runs were earned for the right-hander, who suffered his third straight defeat. Scherzer started the game by retiring the first 10 batters, improving to 6-3 on the season in his seventh career complete game, and moving manager Dusty Baker just one win away from becoming the 16th manager with 1,800 victories. Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner had two hits apiece in the win for Washington, who heads out west to battle the Oakland A's Friday night. The Giants will go to the east to visit the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend.
Astros Rout Twins for Seventh Straight Win
The Houston Astros' offense has been consistent all season long, but they have exploded on this recent road trip, including on Wednesday. The Astros hit six home runs in a 17-6 rout of the Minnesota Twins, completing the sweep and recording their seventh straight victory. George Springer led the offensive barrage by reaching base in all six plate appearances and hitting two home runs, including one that went 473 feet, which falls just shy of Jake Lamb's 481-footer for the longest in the majors this season. Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Evan Gattis, and Marwin Gonzalez also went deep in Houston's 38th win. They finished the series with 40 runs on 37 hits, 19 of which came in the series finale. Brian Dozier, Eddie Rosario, and Jason Castro homered in the loss for the Twins, who got six innings from Hector Santiago. The right-hander fell to 4-5 after allowing six runs on eight hits and walked three. Michael Feliz benefited from the run support for his second win for the Astros. Both Gattis and Correa drove in three for Houston, who will visit in-state and division rival, Texas Rangers, this weekend in Arlington. The Twins go out west to visit the Mike Trout-less Los Angeles Angels.