Nashville helps Preds' celebrate history with 1st Cup Final

Monday, 05 Jun, 2017

If anyone needed to guarantee a better effort, it was the goalie who some questioned whether he should start but who also had the ability to dramatically change the tone of the series. I think it gives them confidence. "He's been excellent. His game tonight was rock solid".

Rinne did just that, stopping 27 of 28 shots in the 5-1 win for the Predators. A party inside and outside the arena featured an anthem by Martina McBride, several catfish tossed onto the ice and a raucous standing-room only crowd that saw the Predators improve to 8-1 at home in the playoffs. Neither player generated a shot on goal on the power play - or at any other time in the game either. As Subban said, the team that makes more mistakes is nearly always the one that finds itself on the losing end of the game. "Hopefully we're a little hungrier (in Game Four on Monday)".

Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby and Malkin simply command a lot of attention, and he doesn't want to interfere with their instincts on when to pass or shoot.

"Those are important guys for us", Sullivan said. They can draw on their experience.

"We have certainly got to figure that out as a group". And sitting here playing a violin; I think it's part of the playoffs, the injuries and the war that you have to go through for two months in order to get to the end. The All-Star defenseman only knows he apparently needs to work on his breath on the ice and loves the challenge of helping shut down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

"We've got to find a way to raise that level of desperation and be better all over the ice, so hopefully a game like this is something that's a hard lesson".

Rowney got a piece of Josi's Game 3 power-play goal, and the deflection caught goalie Matt Murray by surprise.

Jake Guentzel scored his 13th goal this postseason and fourth of this series for Pittsburgh and now is one off Dino Ciccarelli's rookie record of 14 in 1981 for Minnesota.

The Predators have outshot the Penguins in each game so far with Pittsburgh taking a 2-0 series lead with quick scoring bursts.

Early on, Matt Murray extended his scoreless streak to 72:54 with the Pittsburgh goalie looking ready to notch his 21st playoff win.

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Meanwhile, Rinne's only blemish after a shaky first two outings was Guentzel's goal in the opening minutes. The Predators scored on two of their three power play opportunities.

Josi scored his sixth goal off a slap shot at 5:51, tying it at 1-1 and finally giving nervous fans something to enjoy. His biggest save came in the second period, with the Predators nursing a 2-1 lead, when he stopped a Phil Kessel wrist shot on a two-on-one and then followed it up by sliding across the crease and robbing Chris Kunitz on the rebound.

Just after that go-ahead goal, the Penguins had a rush on Rinne, and the three-time Vezina Trophy finalist made back-to-back big saves.

Frederick Gaudreau put Nashville in front, 2-1, at 6:33, when he beat Murray high glove side with a wrister from the right slot.

James Neal has given Nashville a 3-1 lead over Pittsburgh after two periods of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The first Stanley Cup Final not only in the franchise's history, but also the first major league championship game ever played in Tennessee with Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. "For us, it's just about just five men up the ice and five men back, doing our jobs and limiting them the best we can".

As for Rinne, Neal added: "We felt we left him out to dry a few times in the last game. There's no doubt that we believe they will continue that".

Notes: Smith is the 18th different Nashville player to score a goal this postseason, and Ekholm became the 19th. No. 1 on the list of things that did stink for the Penguins on Saturday included the power play. With an assist, Crosby now has 160 career playoff points (56 goals, 104 assists) and tied Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe, Bobby Smith and Al MacInnis for 20th all-time.

Based on the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena, P-A Parenteau and Harry Zolnierczyk looked to be replacing Cody McLeod and Vern Fiddler.