Penguins look to get offensive in Game 3
The Ottawa Senators hope to stifle the Pittsburgh Penguins offense once again in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
The Senators have limited the Penguins to one goal in each of the past four games (3-1), including two in the regular season. It won't get any easier for the Penguins, who will be without defenseman Justin Schultz and forwards Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist for Game 3. Each has an upper-body injury, according to staff writer Tom Gulitti.
Correspondent Chris Stevenson has projected lines and much more in his 5 keys to Game 3.
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson each does not have a point through two games of the Eastern Conference Final; the best-of-7 series is tied 1-1. Crosby has not gone three games without a point all season, and Karlsson has not gone three games without a point in more than three months.
The Senators are 4-2 in six home games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were 3-0 at home in the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Rangers.
Eastern Conference Final shifts to Ottawa
The Ottawa Senators look to take advantage of home ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 after Penguins right wing Phil Kessel scored the lone goal with 6:55 remaining in the third period to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 win in Game 2 on Monday. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves for his second shutout of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was also his 10th career playoff shutout, the most in Penguins history.
Pittsburgh forwards Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust and defenseman Justin Schultz will miss Game 3 with upper-body injuries and are listed as day to day. Defensemen Trevor Daley and Mark Streit are game-time decisions.
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Former NHL assistant coach Doug Lidster has been providing analysis on the Penguins throughout the series. Staff writer Amalie Benjamin caught up with Lidster to discuss the Penguins' faceoffs prowess in Game 2. Former NHL goaltending coach Jim Corsi has provided analysis from Ottawa's point of view. He suggested to senior writer Dan Rosen that the Senators would benefit from being more aggressive against the Penguins in Game 3.
Senators forward Viktor Stalberg (undisclosed), who has missed the first two games of this series, is questionable for Game 3. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki (lower body) is doubtful.
Comebacks are common playoff theme
The Nashville Predators' 2-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday continued the trend of comeback wins during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Predators, who scored two goals in the third period to overcome a 1-0 deficit, earned their fourth comeback win this postseason, marking the 30th such victory through 73 games (41.1 percent) in this year's playoffs. The NHL record for comeback wins in a single postseason was set in 1990, when 45 of 85 games (52.9 percent) saw the winning team erase a deficit of at least one goal, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Predators find way to win at home
Maybe it's the country music stars, the barbeque or the raucous home crowd, but whatever the Nashville Predators are using for inspiration at home, it's working.
The Predators improved to 6-0 at Bridgestone Arena this postseason and won their 10th straight playoff game at home on Tuesday with a come-from-behind victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. They are the first team to win 10 straight home playoff games since the Detroit Red Wings did it in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 postseasons.
The Predators' 10-game home winning streak in home playoff began with a victory in Game 6 of the 2016 first round against Anaheim. The run marks the 15th instance in NHL history of a team winning at least 10 consecutive home playoff games; Nashville is the 10th team to accomplish the feat in the NHL's era (since 1967-68). The Predators joined the Colorado Avalanche (11-0 from 1996-97) and Red Wings (10-0 from 1997-98) as the only teams to win at least 10 consecutive home playoff games during the past 28 years.
The first conference final game played in Nashville started with Keith Urban signing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and ended with two third-period goals from the Predators, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
It was the 46th one-goal game of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and second straight, out of 73 games played. The NHL record for one-goal games in a single playoff year is 51, set in 2007 (81 games).
Game 4 is Thursday in Nashville.
Video: Josi's late PPG lifts Preds to 2-1 victory in Game 3
Here is look at what happened on Tuesday:
Nashville Predators 2, Anaheim Ducks 1
Defenseman Roman Josi scored a power-play goal with 2:43 left in regulation to lift Nashville, which has a plus-7 goal differential in the third period during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Ducks led 1-0 after two periods on a second-period goal from Corey Perry, but Filip Forsberg tied the game at 3:54 of the third period, beating goalie John Gibson, who made 38 saves.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for the win.
When teams are tied 1-1 in a best-of-7 series, the winner of Game 3 has a series record of 205-99.
NHL.com columnist Nick Cotsonika wrote about a special night in Nashville.
NHL.com correspondent Robby Stanley wrote that once again, Forsberg came up big when the Predators needed him.
For the Ducks, goalie John Gibson had an eventful night. Here is NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell's story on Gibson.
Here are some things we learned on Day 34 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Predators showed backbone again
One big reason the Predators are in the Western Conference Final and have three losses in 13 games during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs is that they are resilient and can handle adversity. In Game 2 at Anaheim, Nashville stumbled badly and failed to protect and close out two leads, losing 5-3. They fell behind in Game 3 at home but rallied with a strong third period for the win.
Power-play persistence pays
The Predators weren't without pressure and scoring chances, but they failed to capitalize on their first 11 power plays of the Western Conference Final. However, Nashville finally broke through in Game 3 at a most important time. Presented with a power play with 3:55 left in the third period, Josi put the rebound of Victor Arvidsson's shot into the net with 2:43 to go to deliver the win and end the Predators' drought with the man advantage.
Video: ANA@NSH, Gm3: Josi buries PPG for late lead
Gibson measuring up
The assessment from many before the Western Conference Final was that Ducks goalie John Gibson would have a big challenge trying to match Nashville's Pekka Rinne. Though the Ducks lost 2-1, Gibson had another strong game in Game 3, making 38 saves with possibly his most dialed-in game of this year's playoffs. He has provided the Ducks with more than enough quality goaltending to have a chance in this series.
Skating, motion tell the tale
The Ducks have a common theme in most of their victories in the postseason; that they're on their toes, not their heels. But Game 3 was mostly a "heels" night. The Ducks did not threaten much with their speed and their puck movement. Those elements have dazzled the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers and the Predators at times during the playoffs, and the Ducks will be concentrating on returning that to their effort in Game 4 on Thursday.