Predators shut down Nashville in their quest for the cup

Yolanda Curtis
June 6, 2017

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) is hit by Pittsburgh Penguins center Jake Guentzel (59) during the second period in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

Those fans were rewarded with a 5-1 win in Game 3, bringing them to within one game of the Penguins in the best-of-seven series, and swinging the momentum decidedly in their favor. The Penguins took the first two games at home, even squeezing out a 5-3 win in Game 1 when the Predators were the better team.

Nashville Predators fan Chas Kelly, of Nashville, Tenn., uses a sledge hammer to hit a auto painted in Pittsburgh Penguins colors before Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

What at stake for the Preds: A win tonight would even the series at 2-2 and guarantee a Game Six in the Music City on Sunday night - during a weekend when upwards of 100,000 people are expected for the annual CMAFest of the Country Music Association.

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. The Predators scored on two of their three power play opportunities.

"We've got to execute", said coach Mike Sullivan.

"We lost 5-1. All lines play bad". After a great hustle play by Viktor Arvidsson allowed Nashville to gain control in the Pittsburgh zone, Josi broke his stick on a slap shot.

Evgeni Malkin isnt coming right out and saying it, but its becoming more than obvious that he and Phil Kessel havent been on the same page in the Stanley Cup playoffs and Malkin would probably rather play with a different right winger.

After Saturday night's loss to the Preds, Malkin was openly critical of the Penguins power play and said he thought changes were necessary. The Penguins have been outshot in each game of this final series. That would be the lone goal for the Penguins on the night.

Bonino rejoined the team for its off-day session Sunday, greatly bolstering his chances of returning to the lineup for Game 4 after missing Game 3 with a left foot injury. "We want them to get pucks on the net because they obviously have the ability to score". The Penguins went 0 of 3 on the power play and now are 1 of 13 in this series.

The atmosphere in Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night was unlike anything ever seen in the Stanley Cup Final. I think it's productive for both of them to have those types of informal conversations ... But the first home Cup Final game in franchise history took everything to another level.

With a two-goal lead, Nashville could smell a win.

TSN Hockey insider Darren Dreger took some time to join The Fan Morning Show on Monday and talked about the Penguins powerplay that has gone just 1 for 14 so far this series. It was Roman Josi who scored the tying goal, picked up two assists and was a plus-2.

“If I dont think or the coaches and trainers dont think I can help the team, I wont be out there, ” said Bonino, who scored a pair of goals in Game 1.

"Their numbers speak for themselves", Sullivan said. "At those moments, you try to erase your mind and focus on the next save and remind yourself that you're in the finals and life is still pretty good".

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