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Stanley Cup Final Buzz: Nick Bonino of Penguins uncertain for Game 3

Pittsburgh center game-time decision vs. Predators because of lower-body injury; Carl Hagelin could enter lineup

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Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators. Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final is Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). NHL.com writers in Pittsburgh and Nashville will be checking in throughout the day.

 

3:11 p.m.
Bonino injury could alter Penguins lineup

Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino was the only player missing from practice Friday. He is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

Bonino is a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). Correspondent Wes Crosby the details on when Bonino sustained the injury and what this means for the Penguins lineup.

We could see the return of left wing Carl Hagelin if Bonino can't play in Game 3. Hagelin, who leads all NHL players in playoff games played since 2012 (108), has been a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. Hagelin is not happy about it, but he's not going to let it impact his team. Senior writer Dan Rosen spoke to Hagelin about what it's been like to watch from the sidelines.

In other news, Penguins forward Chris Kunitz is on a hot streak with seven points during a three-game point scoring streak entering Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. There are a lot of reasons Kunitz, 37, is generating more offense for the Penguins. One of them might have to do with a very important piece of equipment, Rosen reports.

 

10:30 a.m.
Here is the Stanley Cup Final news for Friday:

The Nashville Predators lost the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final on the road, but they're returning home and defenseman P.K. Subban is confident that things will be different in Game 3 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Subban didn't do the full Mark Messier guarantee that the Predators would win Game 3, but columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika writes that Subban continues to express confidence that Nashville will win, and that he's not alone. "We're going to win the next game, and then we'll move forward," Subban said. Predators coach Peter Laviolette agreed, saying that returning to Bridgestone Arena for the first Cup Final home game in Nashville history "is going to be a tremendous lift."

Former NHL assistant Doug Lidster, a two-time Stanley Cup winner as a player who's analyzing the series for NHL.com, tells staff writer Amalie Benjamin that the Penguins can't sit back after winning the first two games at home.

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Lidster said the Penguins have to continue to pressure Nashville's defense, something they did well in Game 2. By pressuring the Predators' top-four defensemen, who see most of the ice time, Pittsburgh will tire them out and cut down on what they can generate offensively.

Video: Preds' game plan after two bad starts from Rinne

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette pulled goaltender Pekka Rinne after Pittsburgh scored three goals in the first 3:28 of the third period in Game 2 and hasn't announced whether Rinne or rookie Juuse Saros will start Game 3.

Former NHL assistant Perry Pearn told staff writer Tim Campbell that he found little to fault in Rinne's Game 2 performance, and that the Predators should remain confident in him despite the fact that he's allowed eight goals in the first two games of the Final.

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