Nashville leaning heavily on defense corps against Penguins

Hazel Gray
June 6, 2017

He became the first defenseman with three points in a period in a Stanley Cup Final game since Larry Murphy had three assists for Pittsburgh on May 23, 1991, against Minnesota.

Continuing to rely on a wide cast of players, rookie Frederick Gaudreau scored his second goal of the Stanley Cup Finals to put the Predators up 2-1 partway through the second period on Saturday night.

- Don't forget to bring back your bracelet from game three for the pregame festivities. "If we don't play good defense, we won't be successful", he told reporters on Sunday. Pittsburgh has just one power-play goal and was 0 of 3 with the man advantage in Game 4, and Malkin said he has not had room to work. That gives you an indication the trouble Sullivan is having with what should be his strongest line. We know they can play against anybody. Game 4 will be held at Bridgestone Arena and starts at 8:00 p.m. ET. Calle Jarnkrok and Sidney Crosby then made two very pretty things happen.

Malkin was at a loss afterward to explain the sudden power outage, given the Penguins boast the top four scorers in the playoffs.

"I have puck like one second, they jump to me", Malkin said. "It's like first time in my career we can't score like that".

"As for Rinne, Neal added: "We felt we left him out to dry a few times in the last game". I think we all try our best.

Through three games in this best-of-seven series the star studded Predators defense has kept the Penguins stars in check. "I didn't say that", Crosby said Sunday. "When one of their guys goes, all of them follow and they make sure they take away options in a hurry". "We've got capable people". If we do, there's open ice somewhere. That award goes to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "There's no doubt that we believe they will continue that".

The Penguins are converting on 21.7 percent (15 of 69) of power plays this postseason after ranking third in the National Hockey League at 23.1 percent in the regular season.

The biggest change could simply be getting more pucks on goal. Trailing their opponents 2-1, the Predators will look to carry over their momentum from Game 3's blowout win to tie the series.

"Their numbers speak for themselves", Sullivan said. "We've got to execute".

The other place Bonino is important for the team is on the penalty kill. The Predators scored on two of their three power play opportunities. "It gives them confidence". They feel the puck and we haven't had the success that we would like here in this early part of the series.

This is their second scoreless stretch of the playoffs. Pittsburgh hopes to get back on the right track Monday in Game 4 in front of that loud Nashville crowd again.

Game 4 is Monday back at Bridgestone Arena.

"I just think he has the ability to move by adversities", Sullivan said of Murray. Maybe he's hamming it up for the cameras and microphones, as he's known for injecting some spice into postgame interview sessions that typically are pretty tiresome.

Other reports by VgToday

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