The Nashville Predators took a 2-1 series lead last night, thanks to an outstanding effort in net from Pekka Rinne.
The Nashville Predators picked up a huge win last night, beating the Dallas Stars, 3-2, in Game 3 of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After losing the first game of the series in Bridgestone Arena, the Predators have reeled in two straight wins in the series. Neither of those games has come easy though.
The Predators evened the series on Saturday night after Craig Smith put one past Ben Bishop of the Stars early on in the OT period.
The Nashville Predators had a tall task on Monday night, looking to get a win in a tough environment. It was the first playoff game in American Airlines Center since 2016, so the building was electric all night long.
Neither team was able to break through in the first 20 minutes of the game, but both teams were able to get solid chances.
Things got interesting in the second period, as three goals were scored between the two teams.
Rocco Grimaldi got his second goal of the series, sneaking the puck past Bishop at an awkward angle to give the Predators the lead early in the second period.
Filip Forsberg gave the Predators a 2-0 lead late in the second period, as Nick Bonino dished out a beautiful pass down the ice to a streaking Forsberg.
It was a much-needed goal from the Predators first line, as they had been held scoreless for the first two games of the series.
The Stars cut the lead in half just a few minutes later when Mats Zuccarello snuck past the Predators defense and put one past Pekka Rinne.
The game was back and forth early on in the third period as the Stars tried to knot things up. They did just that, tying things up just over eight minutes into the third period.
P.K. Subban took himself out of the play, diving on top of Alexander Radulov, leaving a wide-open pass from Jamie Benn to Tyler Seguin, who was in front of the net, putting another one past Rinne.
The Predators got another greasy goal just three minutes after the Stars tied things up. The Predators won a much-needed faceoff in the offensive zone after the Stars iced the puck.
Mikael Granlund wristed a shot past Bishop after Kyle Turris won the faceoff and dished it off to Dante Fabbro.
Rinne was outstanding to close the game off, making numerous clutch saves down the stretch.
Thoughts on the game
Rinne was the X-factor in this game for the Nashville Predators. He showed up in the times that the Predators needed him the most. Yes, he allowed two straight goals, as the Stars tied things up midway through the third period, but the defense left him out to dry. Zuccarello was able to slide behind the Predators defense and cut Nashville’s lead in half. The Predators defense was lackadaisical when the Stars tied things up in the third, as both Subban and Turris were stuck behind the net, as Benn slid a beautiful pass in front of the net to Seguin to tie things up at 2-2.
Rinne made this spectacular save just after Seguin tied things up. There is no doubt that Rinne won this game for the Predators. Not only did he make this outstanding save, but he was also able to hold the Stars off the scoreboard during their insane push late in the first period.
The Predators were finally able to sneak some greasy goals past Bishop. The Predators have been on the other side of greasy goals in years past, particularly in the Penguins series and the Jets series in the last two seasons. Both the goal from Grimaldi and Granlund were just shots thrown at the net that was tipped into the net by Bishop himself.
The Predators will have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when the two teams face off on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM Central.