The son of Minnesota Gophers assistant coach Mike Guentzel and a former stick boy during his dad’s first stint with the team, Jake scored the decisive goal in the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Guentzel beat Nashville Predators goalie and Conn Smythe frontrunner Pekka Rinne high short side to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 win.
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Byron Buxton (↑ UP)
The speedy Twins outfielder bounced back after leaving Monday’s game with a finger injury, collecting two hits and pushing his batting average to .199 on the season. That may not sound like cause for celebration, but Buxton has upped his average by .050 over the last month, and is hitting .250 in May after hitting just .147 in April.
USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
Hector Santiago (↓ DOWN)
Santiago was called upon to pitch the 15th inning of the Minnesota Twins’ series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays after Paul Molitor exhausted his bullpen in the preceding 14 innings. It did not go well. Santiago allowed a pair of home runs on consecutive pitches, as the Twins fell 8-6.
USA TODAY SportsJesse Johnson
Tommy Armstrong (↑ UP)
After setting records at Nebraska as a quarterback and being cut from rookie minicamp as a running back, Armstrong has finally cracked the Minnesota Vikings’ roster as a safety. Armstrong signed with the Vikings on Tuesday, and could find a home on a defense that lacks depth at the position behind starters Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo.
Scott Stevens (↓ DOWN)
Bruce Boudreau’s brain trust is losing its chief defensive mind. Stevens announced his departure Tuesday, a year after joining the Minnesota Wild alongside Boudreau and fellow assistant coach John Anderson. A Hall of Fame defenseman and three-time Stanley Cup champion, Stevens helped mold the Wild’s young defensive corps into one of the league’s best. He presided over the league’s No. 8 ranked defense last season, a group that allowed just 2.51 goals per game.
Christian Ramirez (↑ UP)
After surrendering costly own-goals in back-to-back games, Ramirez is back to scoring on the correct net. Ramirez scored Minnesota United’s only goal in a 1-0 win over Orlando City, beating goalkeeper Joe Bendik on a nifty flick from Loons midfielder Johan Venegas, before working his way around an Orlando defender for the goal. With three scores in his last four games, Ramirez is once again tied for third in the league with eight goals.