No penalty on Irwin’s hit on Cullen; shaky calls early

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The similarities were striking enough that you almost expected a Pittsburgh Penguins goal to be negated by an offside call.

In Game 1, Nashville Predators fans were grumbling after the Penguins gained a 5-on-3 advantage for a full two minutes, which opened the door for an Evgeni Malkin power-play goal.

In Game 2, Matt Irwin got away with a hit from behind on Matt Cullen, which didn’t draw a penalty call.

After that non-call, the Predators received a 5-on-3 advantage for a full two minutes (at least until Nashville was whistled for a penalty themselves).

The Penguins were able to avoid falling behind in that specific sequence, although it could have been a costly kill as Nick Bonino was shaken up by blocking a shot.

It was going to be an upswing for the Penguins – breaking the parallels – but then Pontus Aberg‘s beautiful goal gave Nashville a 1-0 lead.

Now the shoe is on the other foot; can the Penguins get it together after falling behind early and generally looking over-matched?

Update: As the period went along, it seemed like the shaky calls went both ways. Mike Milbury criticized the officiating during the first intermission.