Guentzel’s goals lead Penguins past Predators in Game 2 victory

Jake Guentzel celebrates G2 SCF goal

Jake Guentzel scored two goals in Game 2, giving him 12 for the Stanley Cup playoffs

Jake Guentzel scored twice as the Penguins routed the Predators to take a 2-0 series lead in Stanley Cup Final, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Guentzel continues to make the most of his opportunity with the Penguins, writes Chris Adamski.

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Bombulie writes that Guentzel has joined the Conn Smythe discussion.

Matt Murray stops James Neal in SCF

Penguins goalie Matt Murray stops James Neal from scoring in the second period, one of his 37 saves

My column centers on goalie Matt Murray, who had 37 saves in the Game 2 victory after stopping seven shots in the final 39 seconds of the first period.

Sidney Crosby battles Mike Fisher for puck in SCF

Sidney Crosby’s familiarity with the wingers has allowed the Penguins captain to pull double shifts

In the Penguins notebook, Bill West writes that Sidney Crosby is getting double duty.

PLUS-MINUS (+/-): West breaks down Game 2 of the Penguins-Predators Stanley Cup Final.

Murray blocks Forsberg G2

Check out the Trib’s Game 2 photo gallery.

https://twitter.com/NHLonNBCSports/status/870087638472024064

ON THE DIAMOND

Jordy Mercer HR vs Dbacks

Jordy Mercer hit a solo home run in the 11th inning of a 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks in 14 innings

Jordy Mercer’s home run can’t save Pirates against Diamondbacks, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Alen Hanson strikes out

The Pirates waived infielder Alen Hanson, who played in 36 games and batted .193 with a .483 OPS. Two of his 11 hits were triples, and he went 2 for 3 in steal attempts

In the Pirates notebook, Biertempfel writes that Alen Hanson was placed on waivers and Gift Ngoepe optioned to Indianapolis.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Injuries gives Steelers defensive line a youthful look in team drills, writes Joe Rutter.

Game 2 for Pens-Preds; Coates out to show Steelers he can star at WR; Ray outduels Nova

Bonino celebrates G1 goal v Preds

Predators coach Peter Laviolette called Nick Bonino’s first goal ‘a nothing play’

My column centers on the Penguins’ puck luck in the Stanley Cup playoffs but asks how long it will last.

The Penguins are focusing on improving the breakout for Game 2 against the Predators, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Kris Letang opened up about his off-ice role during the Penguins’ Stanley Cup playoff run, writes Bill West.

Matt Murray SC final

Matt Murray stopped 23-of-26 shots against Nashville in Game 1, his fifth-worst save percentage in 27 career playoff appearances

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Bombulie writes that Penguins goalie Matt Murray has his hands full with Predators attack.

THREE PERIODS: Bombulie gives an inside look at the Penguins-Predators series.

Crosby G1 vs Preds

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was among those who skated Tuesday at UPMC Lemieux Complex

In the Penguins notebook, West writes that Sidney Crosby enjoys optional skate opportunities.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Sammie Coates 2

Through five weeks, Sammie Coates had 19 catches for 421 yards and at least one reception of 40-plus yards in each game

A healthy Sammie Coates is out to prove he can still be a game-breaking receiver for the Steelers, writes Joe Rutter.

The Steelers released their training camp schedule, writes Rutter.

Daimion Stafford

At 218 pounds, Daimion Stafford is 10 pounds below his playing weight with the Titans last season

A slimmer Daimion Stafford is eager to compete for a safety spot with Steelers, writes Rutter.

ON THE DIAMOND

Ivan Nova v Arizona

Ivan Nova gave up three runs on six hits, walked one and struck out three in seven innings

Arizona’s Robbie Ray outduels Ivan Nova in two-hour, 10-minute game, writes Rob Biertempfel.

https://twitter.com/JamesConner_/status/869670601987768320

In the Pirates notebook, Biertempfel writes that Chris Stewart goes to the DL and the Pirates call up Elias Diaz.

The scouting report for Wednesday’s Pirates-Diamondbacks game.

Penguins beat Predators in Game 1 of Cup Final; Cutch hits walk-off HR

Guentzel scores GW G1 SC final

Guentzel G1 GW SC final

Jake Guentzel ended an eight-game goal-scoring drought with the winner in a 5-3 victory over Nashville in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

https://twitter.com/penguins/status/869391574647681024

Jake Guentzel’s late goal bails out Penguins after they squander a three-goal lead in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Nashville, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Bombulie writes that Guentzel and Conor Sheary snapped long goal droughts.

Malkin PP goal G1 SC final

Evgeni Malkin’s power-play goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was his first of the playoffs

My column is on how Evgeni Malkin’s power-play goal that started the scoring proved more momentous than first imagined in the Game 1 victory over the Predators.

Penguins video coach eyes a key challenge again in Game 1 victory over Predators, writes Bill West.

Predators lament outcome of first period after Game 1 loss to Penguins, writes Chris Adamski.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman questions timing of Penguins GM Jim Rutherford’s comments about Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, writes Adamski.

Colton Sissions scores G1 SC final

Nashville’s Colton Sissions registered seven shots and scored on a redirect in Game 1

PLUS/MINUS (+/-): West breaks down Game 1 of the Penguins-Predators Cup Final.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Ben and Antonio

Antonio Brown on Ben Roethlisberger: ‘He’s my guy. I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else. Thinking of him leaving is kind of discouraging’

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown keeps grinding, happy to have Ben Roethlisberger back, writes Joe Rutter.

ON THE DIAMOND

The Pirates beat the Diamondbacks on Andrew McCutchen’s ninth-inning walk-off homer … but lose Gregory Polanco and Chris Stewart to injuries, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Biertempfel has the scouting report for Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks.

FAREWELL, MR. DEFORD

Scenes and Stories from Stanley Cup media day; Mets beat Bucs, take series

Sidney Crosby SC Final

PK Subban SC Final

Predators winger Harry Zolnierczyk: ‘I would say there’s more media attention when P.K.’s out. I think people are very quick to notice when he’s out somewhere. Maybe Sid does a better job of dodging the public cameras and things like that’

The stars of the Stanley Cup Final — the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Predators’ P.K. Subban show different faces, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Crosby won’t use Cup titles to compare his legacy with Mario Lemieux’s, writes Bill West.

Phil Kessel SC Final

P.K. Subban on Phil Kessel winning the Stanley Cup: ‘I was really, really happy for him to see him do it. He deserved it last year for sure’

Friends Phil Kessel and PK Subban are on ultimate collision course as Penguins meet Predators, writes Bombulie.

Patric Hornqvist SC Final

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Patric Hornqvist: ‘I’ve never met a player like him. He never has a bad day. We could lose 10 in a row, and he’d be in the locker room as if we’d won 10 in a row. He keeps things going in there. He’s given us everything we thought.’

My column centers on the 2014 draft-day trade between the Penguins and Predators, who swapped James Neal for Patric Hornqvist, a deal that was a win-win for the Pens.

James Neal offered his own account of the trade and Nashville’s Cup run to Rob Rossi at Upgruv, who also produced this media day video.

With Hornqvist a game-time decision, Jake Guentzel is a possible scratch, writes Bill West.

Mike Sullivan SC Final

Peter Laviolette SC Final

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on similarities between Mike Sullivan and Peter Laviolette: ‘They’re passionate coaches, great motivators. Play an up-tempo game, a lot of things. The way Peter had his team play is what I saw in what Sully does’

The Penguins’ Mike Sullivan and Predators’ Peter Laviolette share more than Stanley Cup titles, writes Bombulie.

carrie underwood

Predators captain Mike Fisher wins best celebrity spouse, as wife Carrie Underwood sang national anthem before playoff opener

Bombulie analyzes the top performers for the Penguins-Predators Stanley Cup Final.

Malkin wonders what son will think of his NHL career, writes Bill West.

Bombulie asks, Will dream with Penguins continue for 40-year-old Matt Cullen?

The Penguins’ Trevor Daley savors a drama-free return to the Stanley Cup Final, writes West.

ON THE DIAMOND

Tyler Glasnow v Mets

Tyler Glasnow showed great control until the fourth and fifth innings, when he allowed five runs

The Mets got to Tyler Glasnow in the middle innings, defeat Pirates to take series, writes Chris Adamski.

In the Pirates notebook, Jameson Taillon was sharp in his first rehab start, writes Adamski.

Penguins ready for Predators, Cup Final; Jaso’s hits stun Mets

Kunitz and Crosby celebrate G7 GW

Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby played for the Penguins when they reached successive Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and ’09

My column centers on why the Penguins try to avoid talking about winning the Stanley Cup back-to-back and how they are poised for a repeat championship.

Brian Dumoulin v Ottawa

Brian Dumoulin has become the Penguins’ de facto No. 1 defenseman since Kris Letang’s season-ending surgery

In Kris Letang’s absence, Brian Dumoulin’s stature has increased among Penguins’ defensemen, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Cole defends Clark MacArthur

Western Conference scout: Surprised Sully pulled Fleury, impressed by Cole’s play on defense

Bombulie breaks down the Stanley Cup Final in a Q&A with a Western Conference scout.

In the Penguins notebook, Bill West writes that the team is welcoming a change of pace with the Predators.

ON THE DIAMOND

Jaso mobbed after GW hit v Mets

John Jaso was mobbed by his Pirates teammates after his game-winning hit to beat the Mets

Two key hits from John Jaso lead the Pirates to a 10th-inning win over the Mets, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Jameson Taillon v Mets

Jameson Taillon (right) will pitch Sunday at Erie, 19 days after surgery for testicular cancer

In the Pirates notebook, Jameson Taillon will pitch for Altoona in a rehab assignment, writes Biertempfel.

Walker’s HRs beat Bucs; Top 20 dramatic goals; Pens ready for Predators

Neil Walker Mets

Neil Walker hit two home runs and had an RBI single in the Mets’ 8-1 win over the Pirates

https://twitter.com/Mets/status/868294492696260610

Neil Walker sinks the Pirates with two home runs, writes Chris Adamski.

Andrew McCutchen smiles

No player in MLB with as many plate appearances this season has a lower batting average than Andrew McCutchen (.203)

In the Pirates notebook, Andrew McCutchen dropped to No. 6 in the lineup, writes Adamski.

The scouting report for Saturday’s game against the Mets.

ON THE ICE

Max Talbot scores G7 GW v Red Wings

Max Talbot scored two goals in the 2-1 victory over Detroit in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final

Jonathan Bombulie ranks the 20 most dramatic goals in Penguins history.

Ron Hainsey checks Mark Borowiecki

Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey hits Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki in Game 7

The Penguins defensemen shouldered a heavy load in Game 7 victory, writes Bill West.

Chipped Ice A.M. edition: Matt Murray wins goalie battle, sends Penguins to Cup Final, writes Bombulie.

https://twitter.com/penguins/status/868112732964442112

Peter Laviolette

Predators coach Peter Laviolette is the fourth coach in NHL history to lead three teams to the Cup Final

Bombulie and West break down the Penguins-Predators Stanley Cup Final matchup.

Kunitz the hero for Pens in 2OT victory to advance to Stanley Cup Final

Pens celebrate G7 win v Sens

The Penguins celebrate their 3-2 double-overtime Game 7 victory over the Ottawa Senators

Chris Kunitz’s goal in the second overtime sends the Penguins back to the Stanley Cup Final, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Chris Kunitz celebrates G7 GW goal

Chris Kunitz celebrates his game-winning goal in Game 7

My column focuses on Chris Kunitz playing the hero for the Penguins.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby provides intangibles that help lead the Penguins back to Cup Final, writes Chris Adamski.

PLUS-MINUS (+/-): Breaking down Game 7 of the Pens-Sens Eastern Conference Final, by Bill West.

In the Penguins notebook, Patric Hornqvist again was scratched at the last minute, writes West.

Check out the Trib’s photo gallery from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

It’s Game 7 for Pens-Sens; Bucs rally to win in 10th; Williams ready to start

Mike Sullivan 3

My column centers on the message Mike Sullivan is making his mantra if the Penguins want to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

Murray makes save on Zack Smith G6

Penguins goalie Matt Murray stops Zack Smith’s shot in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final

In the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, the Game 7 spotlight is on goalies Craig Anderson and Matt Murray, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Game 7 scenarios are nothing new for the Penguins, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Penguins after losing G7 to NYR 2014

The Penguins are 3-7 on home ice in Game 7s, including a 2014 loss to the New York Rangers

Looking back: History is not on the Penguins’ side in Game 7, writes Bombulie.

THREE PERIODS: A look at Game 7 of Penguins-Senators series, by Bill West.

Crosby gets eye gouged by Methot

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby gets an eye gouge from the Senators’ Marc Methot

Sullivan: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby handled Game 6 abuse well, writes Bombulie.

Matt Cullen among the Penguins veterans focused on the Stanley Cup, not upcoming contract talks, writes West.

Patric Hornqvist G1 v Sens

Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist has been out since Game 1 with an upper-body injury

In the Penguins notebook, Sullivan says there’s a ‘reasonable chance’ Justin Schultz and Patric Hornqvist could return for Game 7, writes Bill West and Jonathan Bombulie.

ON THE DIAMOND

Pirates hit back-to-back-to-back homers in 10th to rally for win, writes Rob Biertempfel.

In the Pirates notebook, a slumping Andrew McCutchen doesn’t start against the Braves, writes Biertempfel.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Vince Williams at OTAs

Vince Williams is ready to replace Lawrence Timmons, who started 101 consecutive games at inside linebacker

Steelers linebacker Vince Williams ‘humbled’ by the chance to replace Lawrence Timmons, writes Joe Rutter.

Now healthy, Senquez Golson hopes to make a dent in the Steelers’ crowded secondary, writes Chris Adamski.

Antonio Brown celebrates TD w Bell

Antonio Brown is pumped for new touchdown celebrations with Steelers teammates, writes Rutter.

Senators win to force Game 7; Steelers open OTAs

Kyle Turris holds down Crosby

Senators center Kyle Turris holds down Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in the second period

The Penguins failed to close out the Senators, so a Game 7 awaits, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

My column centers on how the Penguins missed on their chance to clinch.

Evgeni Malkin was upset with missed chances in the Penguins’ Game 6 loss to Ottawa, writes Bill West.

Craig Anderson G6 save

One game after being pulled in the first period, Senators goalie Craig Anderson stopped 45 shots

PLUS-MINUS (+/-): West writes that Senators goalie Craig Anderson got the better of the Penguins’ Matt Murray.

https://twitter.com/BUCNbaseball/status/866643491799093248

In the Penguins notebook, West writes that Jake Guentzel laughs about his reaction to smelling salts.

Check out the Game 6 photo gallery by the Trib’s Christopher Horner.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Martavis Bryant at OTAs

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know it’s my last chance’

Martavis Bryant rejoined the Steelers for OTAs after serving a yearlong suspension, writes Joe Rutter.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger ‘110 percent committed’ after mulling retirement in offseason, writes Chris Adamski.

In the Steelers notebook, Adamski writes that first-round pick T.J Watt worked with the first team on the first day of OTAs.

Penguins can clinch ECF; Bucs beaten by Braves; Steelers set for OTAs

Murray deflects shot vs Sens G5

Penguins goalie Matt Murray stonewalled the Senators in Game 5

Jonathan Bombulie has four rules the Penguins should follow if they want to close out the Senators in Game 6.

Malkin and Turris

My column questions whether the Senators’ talk of Penguins superiority is a setup.

Matt Murray anthem

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Bombulie writes that Murray is preventing the Senators from gaining traction.

kessel and Malkin

Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin rank among the top scorers in the Stanley Cup playoffs

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel are helping the Penguins possess the puck, writes Bill West.

THREE PERIODS: The Penguins penalty kill continues to be a killer, writes West.

Sheary hits Wideman

Conor Sheary had 23 regular-season goals but is scoreless this postseason

In the Penguins notebook, West writes that Conor Sheary is using his scratch as motivation.

MEANTIME, IN NASHVILLE…

Colton Sissons scores against Ducks

Nashville’s Coloton Sissons scores a third-period goal in the Predators’ 6-3 win over the Ducks

The Predators beat the Ducks in six games to reach their first Stanley Cup Final.

ON THE DIAMOND

Gerrit Cole reacts to loss at Atlanta

Gerrit Cole had his shortest outing of the season against Atlanta

Clint Hurdle gets tossed by umpire Phil Cuzzi

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle gets tossed by umpire Phil Cuzzi in the fourth inning

The Braves got to Gerrit Cole, and Clint Hurdle and David Freese were ejected in loss, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Sean Rodriguez

Sean Rodriguez and his family were injured in an accident two months after signing with the Braves

In the Pirates notebook, Biertempfel writes that Sean Rodriguez is ‘coming around’ after scary accident.

Biertempfel has the scouting report for Tuesday’s Pirates-Braves game.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Martavis Bryant

The return of wide receiver Martavis Bryant from a season-long suspension is a top storyline for Steelers

Joe Rutter has seven Steelers storylines as OTAs begin.

FAREWELL, OUR FRIEND

Rick Starr

Rick Starr covered the Steelers for 19 seasons, from the Chuck Noll era to Bill Cowher’s tenure

Former Valley News Dispatch sports editor Rick Starr was master storyteller, true friend, writes George Guido.