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Stanley Cup Final Buzz: Nashville ready for big night

Predators host Penguins in Game 3, hope for lift from home fans @NHLdotcom

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 in Nashville (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). writers in Nashville will be checking in throughout the day. 

Here is the Stanley Cup Final news for Saturday: 


2:45 p.m.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne expected to start for Predators

The Nashville Predators held an optional morning skate in preparation for 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). Though coach Peter Laviolette would not discuss his lineup, but all indications are that goaltender Pekka Rinne will start after being pulled in the third period of a 4-1 loss in Game 2 on Wednesday.

The Predators will make two changes, inserting forwards PA Parenteau and Harry Zolnierczyk. Staff Writer Tom Gulitti has the details on Rinne and the Predators' lineup moves.

With the Penguins leading 2-0 in the best-of-7 series, Correspondent Robby Stanley looks at the 5 Keys for Game 3, including Rinne's ability to bounce back after struggling in the first two games of the Final, the health of Penguins forward Nick Bonino and how the expected electric atmosphere in Bridgestone Arena might affect the game.

Bonino was seen using crutches and wearing a walking boot when the Penguins arrived in Nashville on Friday. He sat out the morning skate, but Senior Writer Dan Rosen reports that coach Mike Sullivan left the door open with regard to dressing Bonino for Game 3, saying that the third-line center will be a game-time decision. Speedy forward Carl Hagelin appears to be the most likely replacement if Bonino can't go.

Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel is inching closer to tying and, potentially, breaking Hall of Famer Dino Ciccarelli's Stanley Cup Playoff record for the most goals scored by a rookie in a single postseason. Guentzel is up to 12 goals; Ciccarelli had 14 in 1981 with the Minnesota North Stars.'s Lisa Dillman caught up with Ciccarelli to ask him about what Guentzel is doing now.


9:29 a.m.
Nashville is ready for its close-up

For the first time in their 19-year history, the Nashville Predators will host a Stanley Cup Final game -- and this city is ready. 

Recently inducted Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson will play a pregame concert in the middle of Broadway, Nashville's honky-tonk-lined street that's just a few feet from Bridgestone Arena. 

A raucous crowd will fill the arena, and after another country music heavy hitter sings the national anthem, the game will begin. Columnist Nick Cotsonika has the details on the big night in Nashville.
If you listen to Predators defenseman P.K Subban, Nashville will win Game 3. Senior Managing Editor Arpon Basu has the story on Subban, who Friday reiterated his guarantee of a Predators win.

But what do the Penguins think of Subban's guarantee? Staff Writer Tim Campbell talked to Sidney Crosby about it

There is some lineup mystery heading into Game 3, as Staff Writer Tom Gulitti reports, though it appears Pekka Rinne will be the starting goalie for Nashville, he wasn't saying on Friday.

The Penguins may be without center Nick Bonino, who is a game-time decision. As Correspondent Wes Crosby reports, Bonino didn't practice Friday -- and when the Penguins arrived in Nashville on Friday, he was on crutches wearing a walking boot. 

If Bonino can't play, Carl Hagelin, who has been a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Final, is ready to go, writes Senior Writer Dan Rosen.

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