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Stanley Cup Final

Pekka Rinne starting for Predators in Game 3 in Cup Final

Will play against Penguins after losing first two games of series

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne will start Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

With the Predators trailing the best-of-7 series 2-0, coach Peter Laviolette did not discuss his starting goaltender or anything else about his Game 3 lineup. But Rinne took the net for warmups.

Rinne, who was pulled in the third period of a 4-1, Game 2 loss Wednesday, did not speak to reporters following the morning skate.

Without confirming Rinne would play, Laviolette expressed confidence in the 34-year-old after he gave up eight goals on 36 shots in losing the first two games in the Final.

"He's been the backbone of our team for three years, longer than that," Laviolette said. "I've been here for three years, so that's all I can really speak to. Whenever there's any adversity, Pekka has always faced it. [He] had a terrific regular season. [He] got us to this point through the regular season, comes into the playoffs, has had a terrific run. There's a lot of confidence, not only with our team, but also with Pekka."

The Predators made two changes on their forward lines, inserting PA Parenteau and Harry Zolnierczyk. Cody McLeod and Vernon Fiddler are scratched.

Zolnierczyk, 29, has two points (one goal, one assist) in eight games this postseason. He last played in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks on May 16.

Parenteau, 34, has no points in three games this postseason. He last played in Game 4 against the Ducks on May 18.

"I'm really excited," Parenteau said. "I only played one game in the Anaheim series, so I've been patient, trying to stay in shape. It's a chance to get in [Saturday] and help the team."

Parenteau said he doesn't believe the Predators have to change much to turn the series around but said they can't afford any letdowns. Nashville gave up three goals in 4:11 late in the first period of a 5-3 loss in Game 1. Game 2 was tied 1-1 before the Penguins scored three times in the opening 3:28 of the third period.

"We've got to keep playing our game," Parenteau said. "We can't get away from what's gotten us here, and hopefully I can bring a little offense [Saturday] and help the team generate a little more."

Left wing Colin Wilson is out for third game with an unspecified injury. He skated with the Predators on Saturday morning for the first time since practice last Sunday in Pittsburgh and hopes to return at some point in the Final.

"It felt good to be back skating with the team and making progress here," Wilson said. "It's exciting. I want to get back in and help the team."

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