NHL: "Nashville" closed the gap in the Stanley Cup finals

Before Saturday night, things were not going so well for the Nashville Predators and their fans in the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins take the ice before Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

The Penguins have been particularly poor on power plays, going 0-for-3 on Saturday in Nashville and only 1-for-13 overall in the series.

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

"They got some momentum when they got that power-play goal", Crosby said. With the Penguins looking to put a stranglehold on the series, they got off to a quick start.

"Amazing, unbelievable job", Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne said. The Penguins could most certainly use Bonino going into Game 4 against a team determined to tie the series up. "He plays in a lot of key situations for us", said coach Mike Sullivan. "There's always stuff we need to clear up and do better, but there's always good stuff, and that's what we need to focus on". That award goes to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "I haven't seen P.K. much", said Crosby, who has seen Josi and Ryan Ellis as much as Subban and Mattias Ekholm.

The fear of many of those same purists - and anyone else associated with the game - is that the series will end in an embarrassing manner, which seems entirely possible due to the league's offside video review rules, which have polarized the hockey community. Boninos absence was noticed as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin failed to get a shot on net and the Penguins received nothing from its third line.

After missing Game 3 with a foot injury from a blocked shot in Game 2, center Nick Bonino shedded his walking boot and crutches and returned to practice on Sunday afternoon in preparation for Game 4. "We believe in the group we have".

The Penguins had a power play after taking a 1-0 lead and another extra man advantage before Nashville would eventually score - but at 1-0 they had a great opportunity.

While the majority of hockey fans in Nashville supported the hometown Predators in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, some Penguins fans made their way into the crowds that gathered to watch the game.

Just 42 seconds later, with Bridgestone Arena still buzzing, Frederick Gaudreau cut through the neutral zone and fired a high shot from the slot to beat Murray again and give Nashville the lead. Game 4 will most likely see new power play combinations for the Penguins, but while these are being tested out, the penalty kill desperately needs to improve.

"Those are important guys for us", Sullivan said.

"I have puck like one second, they jump to me", Malkin said.

The former National Basketball Association star and now TV analyst says he had nothing to do and is really looking forward to the game. The Game Ops Gang will be there to put on the whole show for you, lights, video, announcements... we can cheer so loud that the boys will be able to hear us in PA. "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". He stopped 27 shots, including a save on Kessel only seconds after the Predators made it 2-1.

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