Last year Jake Guentzel led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in playoff scoring.
This year he’s rewriting the National Hockey League’s record books.
The rookie phenom tallied two times on Wednesday night, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final. The defending champions lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0, with the series switching to Tennessee for Game Three on Saturday night.
Guentzel now has 12 goals in 21 games so far in his first foray into the NHL postseason, putting him just two goals shy of the league mark for goals by a rookie in the playoffs. That record of 14 was set by the Dino Ciccarelli, who appeared in 19 games with the Minnesota North Stars during that team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1981.
The Pittsburgh forward also sits just two points shy of Ciccarelli’s mark of 21 points by a first-year player.
But while Guentzel is still chasing down Ciccarelli’s records, he’s already set a few others this spring.
Guentzel’s second tally in Game Two was his fifth game-winning goal of the playoffs, setting a new record for most GWGs by a rookie in NHL history. That decisive score also moved him past Jeremy Roenick for most goals by an American-born rookie in the playoffs, and his 19 points set a new standard for American-born rookies as well, surpassing both Roenick and Joey Mullen.
On the team side, Guentzel’s point total is, by far, the most by a Pittsburgh rookie in the postseason, surpassing the previous mark of 13 set by Jaromir Jagr in 1991. He also established a new record for fastest goal from the start of a period, when he tallied 10 seconds into the third frame on Wednesday to give the Penguins their first lead of the night.
|DATE||ROAD TEAM||HOME TEAM||TIME/RESULT|
|Monday, May 29||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins||5-3 Win|
|Wednesday, May 31||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins||4-1 Win|
|Saturday, June 3||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||8:00pm|
|Monday, June 5||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||8:00pm|
|*Thursday, June 8||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins||8:00pm|
|*Sunday, June 11||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||8:00pm|
|*Wednesday, June 14||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins||8:00pm|
* = if necessary