Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
The 2017 Stanley Cup Final is in full swing. The Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins are locked in a battle for NHL bragging rights and the greatest prize in hockey.
The defending champion Penguins hold a 2-0 lead in the series and have outscored the Predators 9-4 through two games. However, the series has shifted to Nashville, where the Predators will try to protect their home ice.
Can Nashville make a contested series out of this? Will the Penguins edge closer to their second consecutive title and fifth Stanley Cup? The action picks back up on Saturday with Game 3, and we’re here will everything you need to know, including scheduling, live-stream information and the latest odds, according to OddsShark.
2017 Stanley Cup Final Game 3
What: Pittsburgh at Nashville
When: Saturday, June 3
Time: 8 p.m. ET
National TV: NBCSN, CBC
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Odds: Nashville 5-7, Pittsburgh 6-5
Remaining TV Schedule
Game 4: Pittsburgh at Nashville, Monday, June 5 @ 8 p.m. ET
Game 5*: Nashville at Pittsburgh, Thursday, June 8 @ 8 p.m. ET
Game 6*: Pittsburgh at Nashville, Sunday, June 11 @ 8 p.m. ET
Game 7*: Nashville at Pittsburgh, Wednesday, June 14 @ 8 p.m. ET
*Games 5-7 if necessary. All Games televised on NBC, CBC
Preds Must Bank on Home Stand
The Predators find themselves in a 0-2 hole heading into Game 3. If they’re going to turn the series around, they’re going to have to make a home stand. Fortunately, home is a place where the Predators can thrive.
Nashville has become one heck of a hockey town, and the fans at Bridgestone Arena provide a unique and effective environment for the Predators.
“They have been awesome,” Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm said in early May, per Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com. “They never disappoint. They give us energy. They really are the seventh man out there.”
Will that energy and that seventh-man presence be enough to net the Preds a win in Game 3? If so, it would be far from an unprecedented occurrence. Of the past nine teams to fall behind 0-2 on the road in the Stanley Cup Final, eight have come home to win Game 3.
For their part, the Predators seem confident that returning to Music City will make all the difference.
“There’s no question,” Nashville’s P.K. Subban said, per Teresa M. Walker of the Denver Post. “We’re going to win the next game, and then we’ll move forward.”
Predators fans would love nothing more than to see their team win Saturday and tie the series at home in Game 4.
Penguins Looking to Avoid Road Loss
Obviously, the Penguins want to go up 3-0 in the series on Saturday. They’ll be looking to draw on last year’s experience to do so. In the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, Pittsburgh took a 2-0 series lead into San Jose before losing to the Sharks in Game 3.
The Penguins went on to triumph in six games, but that Game 3 win gave the Sharks life, and a victory on Saturday would do the same for the Predators.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said the following of the situation, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“We know we have a big challenge ahead of us in Game 3. It’s an exciting place to play. I think we have to embrace the energy that’s going to be in the city and the building. We have to focus on the things that we can control. That’s going to be our competitive level, our attitude, our execution.
“I think the experience that these guys have gone through they can certainly draw on as far as understanding the emotional ups and downs throughout the course of a series.“
Pittsburgh has reason to be concerned about the upcoming road trip—and not just because of last year’s final. Four of the team’s seven postseason losses have come on the road, and the Penguins have lost at least one road game in each series.
Can the Predators Contain Guentzel?
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
Part of the reason why the Penguins hold a 2-0 series lead—and a big part of the reason they made it to the Stanley Cup Final—has been the emergence of rookie forward Jake Guentzel.
Guentzel has scored 12 goals and five game-winners this postseason for the Penguins. His five winning goals are a rookie record, and he is two goals short of the single-postseason rookie goal-scoring record.
“It’s crazy,” Guentzel said, per Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post. “You can’t even put into words what it feels like.”
The 22-year-old might be a rookie, but he certainly isn’t playing like it.
“He’s probably one of the smartest hockey players I’ve ever played with,” Penguins forward Josh Archibald said, per Alex Prewitt of SI.com. “He’s got eyes in the back of his head.”
It’s no secret that a goal for teams facing the Penguins is to slow captain Sidney Crosby. However, in Guentzel, the Predators have another force to worry about.