The first-ever Western Conference Final game at Bridgestone Arena was a smashing success, and tonight, the Nashville Predators have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Anaheim Ducks.
A comeback win in Game Three gave the Predators their 10th consecutive postseason victory at home, a feat not seen in decades (more on that below). Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi tallied in the third period after the Preds trailed 1-0, giving them their fourth come-from-behind win of the postseason. Pekka Rinne earned his 10th win of the playoffs, giving up just a single goal or fewer for the seventh time in the current postseason.
Now the attention turns to Game Four, another opportunity for the Predators to go further than they ever have before.
"Our mindset the whole playoffs is to take it one game at a time, and we knew coming back in our building that we played a lot of good hockey in our building - this whole playoffs and this season," defenseman P.K. Subban said. "And we wanted to make sure that out of the two games, we got the first one. We did that. And now we're looking forward to the intensity ramping up for the second game at home."
Ryan Johansen continues to lead the Predators in points with 13 in these playoffs, followed by Filip Forsberg with 11, and then defensemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi, who have 10 points apiece. Forsberg leads the team with six goals, while Josi and James Neal have each tallied on five occasions. Forsberg now has goals in three-straight games and defenseman Mattias Ekholm has recorded five assists in his last four games. Rinne continues to lead the League with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.
Stats remain largely unchanged for the Ducks from Game Three, with Ryan Getzlaf still leading the club in scoring with 18 points. He's followed by Jakob Silfverberg with 13, Rickard Rakell with 12 and Corey Perry, who has 10 points. John Gibson carries eight wins to go along with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.
Video: Preds seek 11th consecutive home playoff win
As the Predators look for their 11th straight playoff victory in Smashville, here are three things to watch for:
Home is Where the Wins Are:
The Predators have joined some elite company when it comes to collecting postseason victories in their own building. Nashville has rattled off 10 consecutive wins in the playoffs at Bridgestone Arena, a number that hasn't been seen in two decades.
The current streak marks the 15th instance in NHL history of a team winning at least 10 consecutive home playoff games, with Nashville being the 10th team to accomplish the feat since the 1967-68 expansion era.
The last team that rattled off 10-straight at home in the postseason was the Detroit Red Wings when did it from 1997-98. Before that, the Colorado Avalanche went 11-0 from 1996-97. Along with the Wings and Avs, the Preds are one of three clubs to do it in the last 28 years.
Video: Ekholm, Arvidsson and Rinne preview Game 4
Nashville's blue line continues to post numbers not seen by any other club in these playoffs. With two more assists and the game-winning goal coming from members of the Predators defense corps in Game Three, the Preds lead the League with 36 points from defensemen in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. An NHL-high 36.7 percent of their points have come from the blue line, and Ryan Ellis has 10 of those, setting a franchise record for most points from a defenseman in a single postseason run.
Video: Laviolette talks defensemen and Preds' home crowd
No Southern Hospitality:
After allowing seven goals in their first two games of the series against Anaheim, Nashville returned home in Game Three to keep up their solid streak of defending their ice. Head Coach Peter Laviolette wanted his team to tighten up when it came to the defensive side of the game, and they did just that, allowing only one goal in each of their last five home games. The Preds have only given up seven goals in their six home playoff games this season.
When You Go:
Game Four is presented by Bridgestone and is set for a 7 p.m. CT start tonight at Bridgestone Arena, with festivities kicking off with a Plaza Party presented by Lee Company at 4 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. for Game Four and all fans will receive a rally towel and t-shirt. Plus, if you were here for Game Three, bring back your light-up bracelet for another light show tonight.
For further details on the game and the Predators playoff run, vist the Playoff Hub.
Take It In:
Tonight's game can be seen on NBCSN across the country or CBC in Canada. Game Four can be heard on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network.