Predators beat Penguins 5-1, trail Cup Final 2-1

Craig Smith has scored to make it 4-1 Predators over the Penguins in the third period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Predators swept Chicago and ate up St. Louis and outlasted Anaheim's murderous intent, and even after losing the first two games of the Stanley Cup final, it was clear: Get a little luck and some goaltending, and the Predators were the better team.

Not long after Nashville went ahead 2-1, Rinne rewarded the faith of head coach Peter Laviolette. It's tough. You give odd-man rushes to the defending Stanley Cup champions, they're going to bury you.

The Predators' victory on Saturday night came despite an early lead by the Penguins, who scored a mere three minutes into the first period.

Pittsburgh found a way to win Game 4 of that series on the road, and they will need a much sharper effort in Nashville if they are going to do the same this year.

"There was no decision", Laviolette said of changing goalies.

They had won the possession battle and had more shots than the Penguins in both games in Pittsburgh, and the Predators were charged up to return to Smashville and show their fans how well they could play. He's been the backbone for our team.

After tonight's game, that may still be possible.

The Predators capped the biggest party in Nashville history with a victory that gave thousands of fans inside and outside of the arena reason to celebrate. The capacity crowd erupted in cheers, including country star Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman slapping high fives.

The Predators improved to 8-1 on home ice in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (with their lone loss in OT), outscoring the opposition 30-14. While they have still been outshot by Nashville in games 2 and 3, the Penguins have a remarkable record of 6-1 when being outshot by 10 or more in the 2017 playoffs.

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"We knew that he was going to put a game together", defenceman Ryan Ellis said of Rinne.

Pittsburgh went 0 for 7 on the power play in Game 2 and still took a 2-0 series lead.

Game 4 is Monday night in Nashville, with the Predators aiming for a series tie in front of a standing-room only audience. We're disappointed we didn't get the result, but we also understand that this is a series. The first power play the Pens had looked good; they held the zone and had good puck movement, despite not generating any shots. They can draw on their experience. "As players, we're really proud to be part of that, to have a chance to get our fans recognized on the big stage". "He's helped us win a lot of games". Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for no shots on goal.

He also added that the team worked harder at protecting goalie Pekka Rinne, who made 27 saves during the game. You can't afford to make the mistakes we made. After Rinne ceded Jake Guentzel's 13th goal of the postseason on the Penguins' second shot at 2:46 of the first period, he returned to All-Star mode.

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

"It's just you can feel it", said rookie Frederick Gaudreau, who scored the second goal of his National Hockey League career.

"We played some good hockey in those first two games, just a couple little breakdowns and they jumped all over us and it was in the back of the net", Neal said. "We had seven or eight minutes of really good hockey". The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 3.4 goals per game and are scoring on 23.1 percent of their power plays.

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

Hagelin replaces injured center Nick Bonino, who took a puck off his left foot or ankle in Game 2 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

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