Let’s not beat around the bush: the Nashville Predators have to win 4 out of the next 5 games against a team that is only a year removed from their last Stanley Cup. Going into their home arena where they have a 7-1 record in the Stanley Cup Final, however, makes that task a bit less mountainous. Win two at home and they’re back in Pittsburgh with a tied series. Make it loud Preds fans!
The Pittsburgh Penguins (BOOOOO)
Despite being outshot by the Preds and having a very unsuccessful powerplay, the Pittsburgh Penguins are finding ways to win because are capitalizing when they get the big opportunities. The Penguins have only controlled 37% of the shot attempts this series and THEY ARE STILL WINNING.
The Penguins have depth and it is showing. Crosby, Kessel, Guentzel, Bonino, Cullen, and Kunitz all have at least 2 points in this playoffs. A slew of other players have at least one point in the playoffs. No one Predator player is going to be able to stop the onslaught. It is going to take a team effort. Go get it boys!
The Nashville Predators
Pittsburgh has been rather opportunistic in this series against a mediocre Pekka Rinne. The key to stopping the Penguins will be limiting those opportunities and having Pekka turn his play around. Despite the Preds playing the Penguins rather well in terms of possession, they are having too many breakdowns and lapses in coverage. It’s time for them to tighten up their play.
Once that is done, the Preds are going to need some help from their offense. Forsberg, Arvidsson, and Neal need to play out of their minds and lead an offense that is heavily struggling with key cogs such as Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala out of the forward lineup. That trio has been held to one measly assist (by Arvidsson) in their two games against Pittsburgh. If Nashville wants to have a fighting chance against Pittsburgh that has to change.
Reasons to Watch
- The glory. The NHL playoffs are 99% nerves and 1% glory for fans and yet the 1% glory is so great that it keeps you coming back for more.
- Catfish. How many catfish will be thrown on the ice tonight after the famed Catfish Guy caused so much uproar for the city of Pittsburgh? We’ll set the line at 6. Any takers?
- PK Subban and Filip Forsberg. These two guys seem to thrive the spotlight and big game scenarios. Well boys, it’s a must win game 3 in the Stanley Cup—there’s your spotlight.
Ways to Watch:
The Nashville Predators will be hosting viewing parties across Nashville and along the river walk. It’s sure to be a blast. You can also catch the game on NBCSN or 102.5 The Game.