Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators Game 3 Preview
Where: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
When: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
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Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (+1.5)
It was pretty clear that the Penguins were outplayed for much of the first two games at home. And yet, the defending Stanley Cup champs still have a commanding 2-0 series lead heading to Nashville for Game 3.
The Pens were once again comfortably outshot, 38-27, in Game 2, but it really didn’t matter as they pounced on the Preds with another clinical offensive flurry. After scoring three goals in the last five minutes of the first period in Game 1, they hit Nashville with three in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the third period to put Game 2 to bed.
Jake Guentzel has rediscovered his scoring touch at the right time as he’s scored three goals in the first two games, pushing his playoff-leading tally to 12 goals. Chris Kunitz was also terrific and as he put up his third multi-point game in a row.
It’s scary to think how good this Pens team is offensively that they can still win comfortably despite Sidney Crosby being a relative non-factor and despite going 0-of-7 on the power play.
Speaking of good, Matt Murray is once again delivering between the sticks on the big stage. The young goalie had a dominant performance, stopping 37 of 38 shots in Game 2. He now has a .943 save percentage in seven games since taking over from Marc-Andre Fleury.
Betting on the Nashville Predators (-1.5)
Just like in Game 1, the Predators started out the more aggressive of the two teams in Game 2. And this time, they actually went ahead care of a Pontus Aberg goal. But they weren’t able to hold onto that lead for very long, and they weren’t able to withstand another lightning-quick Pens barrage in the third period.
It’s got to be a very deflating feeling for the Preds, who have played fairly well over the first two games in Pittsburgh, only to come away empty-handed. Despite all of their dominance, they simply haven’t been as opportunistic in front of goal as the Pens have been.
Meanwhile, goalie Pekka Rinne has picked the wrong time to go on a slump. After giving up four goals in just 11 shots in Game 1, Rinne had another awful performance in Game 2. He was completely overwhelmed by the Pens in that third-period outburst, and was eventually pulled for backup Juuse Saros.
Rinne was one of the big positives the Preds had going for them into the series, and if he isn’t going to be at his best, they are going to have a lot of trouble turning things around.
However, a return home could be just what Rinne and the Preds need to get back in the series. Nashville is an impressive 7-1 at the Bridgestone Arena during the playoffs, with Rinne putting up a 1.6 GAA in those eight home games.
The Pens (+110) continue to make the most of their opportunities on goal as they take one more step toward the Cup with a Game 3 win.
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