The Latest: Predators beat Penguins 5-1, trail Cup Final 2-1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Latest on Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final (all times local):
Pekka Rinne bounced back with 27 saves and the offense came alive as the Nashville Predators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night to cut their series deficit to 2-1.
Roman Josi, Frederick Gaudreau, James Neal, Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm scored for the Predators, who won the first home Cup Final game in franchise history. 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. Defenseman P.K. Subban had guaranteed a win and the Predators delivered.
The Predators rebounded from two losses in Pittsburgh and ended a 72:54 drought against Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, scoring five goals on 33 shots, including two on the power play. Jake Guentzel scored his playoff-leading 13th goal as he nears the NHL rookie record, but the Penguins went 0 for 3 on the power play.
Game 4 is Monday night in Nashville.
The rout is on in Nashville as Mattias Ekholm has given the Predators a 5-1 lead on the Penguins late in the third period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Ekholm scored on a laser with 6:50 remaining, the Predators' second power-play goal of the night and fourth of the series.
Nashville is 4 of 9 on the power play, while Pittsburgh is 0 for 13.
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.
Smith scored on a breakaway 4:54 into the third, wristing one glove side on Matt Murray to break the game open. The goal is Smith's first of the playoffs after he missed time with injury.
Frederick Gaudreau had a breakaway of his own moments earlier but his backhand attempt on Murray went wide.
The game was delayed briefly after a Predators fan celebrated the goal by throwing a catfish onto one of the blue lines.
Pittsburgh leads the series 2-0.
James Neal has given Nashville a 3-1 lead over Pittsburgh after two periods of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Neal beat Matt Murray at the side of the net with 22.6 seconds remaining in the period, banking the puck off the Pittsburgh goaltender's left arm. Murray robbed Neal on a 3-on-1 rush early in the period.
Roman Josi and Frederick Gaudreau also scored in a 42-second span of the second period for Nashville, which has gotten 18 saves from Pekka Rinne. Jake Guentzel has the lone tally for the Penguins, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.
Two goals in 42 second have given the Predators a 2-1 lead on Pittsburgh in the second period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
After Roman Josi scored a power-play goal 5:51 into the second, rookie Frederick Gaudreau beat Matt Murray clean to give Nashville the lead. The capacity crowd erupted in cheers, including country star Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman slapping high fives.
The goal ended a 72:54 drought for Nashville, which had outshot the Penguins 18-9 in the first Final game ever played in Nashville.
The Penguins lead the series 2-0.
The Penguins lead the Predators 1-0 after the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Goaltender Matt Murray has 12 saves and has not allowed a goal in more than 67 minutes of game time in the series. Pittsburgh has just six shots to Nashville's 12, but rookie Jake Guentzel scored on a rebound 2:46 into the game - the first Cup Final game ever played in Nashville, Tennessee.
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has now allowed nine goals on 42 shots through two-plus games against the Penguins.
The Penguins are now 0 for 12 on the power play in the Stanley Cup Final after penalties to P.K. Subban and the Predators for too many men on the ice.
Pittsburgh went 0 for 7 on the power play in Game 2 and still took a 2-0 series lead. The Penguins are up 1-0 on Nashville in Game 3 on Jake Guentzel's playoff-best 13th goal, which came on a rebound off the pads of goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Rinne allowed his ninth goal of the Final on the 38th shot he saw.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby now has 160 playoff points, which ties him with Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe, Bobby Smith and Al MacInnis for 20th all-time.
It only took 2:46 for Pittsburgh to take a 1-0 lead in Nashville to open Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Jake Guentzel scored his 13th goal of the playoffs on a rebound of Ian Cole's shot, putting the puck past Pekka Rinne to temporarily silence the Bridgestone Arena crowd watching the first Cup Final game ever played in Nashville.
Guentzel scored on Pittsburgh's second shot of the game. He is now just one goal back of Dino Ciccarelli for the most by a rookie in a single postseason. Pittsburgh leads the series 2-0.
Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final is underway.
Country music star Martina McBride got the honors to sing the national anthem before the first Stanley Cup Final game ever played in Nashville.
After a thunderous ovation for Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, McBride wore Rinne's No. 35 jersey as she came to the microphone on the ice before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The anthem singer had been a well-kept secret all playoffs as the Predators have brought in some of the biggest names in country music to sing.
After much speculation that Predators fans would swamp the ice with catfish, there were a total of three. One was thrown during warmups and two after the anthem. Along with one stuffed penguin.
We have catfish on the ice in Nashville.
An eager Predators fan couldn't wait for the national anthem, instead chucking the first catfish onto the ice on the end of the ice where the Penguins were warming up. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury used his stick to sweep the fish toward the bench where someone scooped it up.
Meanwhile, Carl Hagelin is back in the Penguins' lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Hagelin replaces injured center Nick Bonino, who took a puck off his left foot or ankle in Game 2 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. He was called a game-time decision, but not practicing Friday and getting around on crutches in a walking boot made it clear Bonino was a long shot at best.
Hagelin, who missed more than a month with a lower-body injury before making his playoff debut in the second round, had been a healthy scratch. He's expected to start on the fourth line.
''He's got tons of speed,'' Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. ''He's a real good penalty killer. I think he forces turnovers all over the ice because of his speed and his puck pursuit game. Haggy is a good player. He's been a big part of this team all year. He's helped us win a lot of games.''
Pekka Rinne has led the Predators onto the ice at Bridgestone Arena for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Nashville, making him the starter.
Rinne's status was a question mark after the veteran goaltender allowed eight goals to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Games 1 and 2. He became just the fourth goalie in NHL history to do that.
Predators coach Peter Laviolette was noncommittal about his goalie choice as he typically is with lineup decisions. But Rinne was first off the ice after the team's morning skate Saturday as Juuse Saros stayed on for extra work.
Fans chanted ''Pek-ka! Pek-ka!'' in support of Rinne.
Rinne came into the Cup Final as a favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Injured Penguins center Nick Bonino was not on the ice for warmups, and he'll miss Game 3 after taking a puck off the left foot or ankle on Wednesday.
Penguins center Nick Bonino looks to be out of the mix for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Predators.
Bonino was in a suit and, using crutches and in a walking boot about an hour before the start of pregame warmups. He took a shot from P.K. Subban off the left foot or ankle in Game 2 Wednesday.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan called Bonino a game-time decision, but based on practice lines Friday, Carter Rowney will slide to center and Carl Hagelin will rejoin the lineup with Bonino out.
Peter Laviolette won't talk about his lineup but is expected to make some changes with his Nashville Predators down 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins going into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Based on the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena, P-A Parenteau and Harry Zolnierczyk looked to be replacing Cody McLeod and Vern Fiddler. Colin Wilson, who missed the first two games of the series with an unspecified lower-body injury, skated but could be more likely to return for Game 4 Monday.
Laviolette defended McLeod on Friday but also didn't play him in a similar speed series, in the first round against Chicago.
''Decisions go into every game,'' Laviolette said. ''We have to look at every series, then we have to look at every game as a single entity to make sure we're putting the right pieces on the ice to try and be successful. There's always adjustments, always moves.''
The Nashville Predators and their fans finally have the game they've been waiting so very long to host.
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.
Nashville shut down a chunk of Broadway where the honky tonks and bars line the street for a free concert by country superstar Alan Jackson. Fans packed shoulder to shoulder nearly an hour before Jackson's concert with the street then being used for an outdoor viewing party.
Predators forward Harry Zolnierczyk says the atmosphere was crazy through the first three rounds of the playoffs and now sees Nashville revamping everything downtown. He says the Predators are excited for Game 3.
The defending champion Penguins lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.
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