Photo courtesy of predators.nhl.com
The Nashville Predators returned to Music City this weekend to host their first ever Stanley Cup Final game. They had more success than they could have asked for, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 5-1 to cut the series deficit to 2-1.
The scoring started early in the first period, but not for Nashville. Penguins’ rookie Jake Guentzel finished a shot from Ian Cole for a goal through the legs of Pekka Rinne. Cole and Sidney Crosby were credited with assists on the score.
The second period was the Predators’ time to shine. After a Pittsburgh penalty gave the Preds a power play opportunity, Roman Josi took advantage of it to net the first goal of the game for Nashville. He was assisted on the play by Calle Jarnkrok and Mattias Ekholm.
Just 42 seconds later, Frederick Gaudreau scored the go-ahead goal on a slick wrist-shot to give the Preds a 2-1 lead.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 4, 2017
The second period was seemingly wrapped up, but Nashville’s James Neal had other plans for the scoreboard. After the puck was wrapped around the net, Neal only needed to tap it in off of Matt Murray’s blocker to put the Preds up 3-1 heading to the final period.
Though the Predators were the only team to score in the third period, both teams had a lot to say from their respective penalty boxes. 15 total penalties were between both teams, with calls such as roughing, cross-checking, holding, unsportsmanlike conduct and misconduct all being called.
Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm added two more goals for the Preds amidst all of the penalties, leading to the final score of 5-1 in favor of the Predators, narrowing the Pittsburgh lead to 2-1 in the series.
3 Stars of the game
3) Roman Josi – one goal, two assists
2) Pekka Rinne – 27 saves
1) Frederick Gaudreau – game-winning goal
The Predators and Penguins will return to the ice on Monday at 7 p.m. for a pivotal Game 4. A Predators victory will tie the series at two wins apiece, while a win for the Penguins puts them just one victory away from their second consecutive Stanley Cup title.
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