All it can take is one game to turn the dynamics of a series. The Nashville Predators are hoping that everything changed after they punished the Penguins in Game 3. The crowd was electric, Pekka Rinne looked like himself, and the catfish were flying. P.K. Subban guaranteed a Predators’ win, and they came through on that promise. The Penguins got the 1st goal, seemingly the air came out of the building but not for long. Nashville made no mistakes after though, as they scored 5 straight goals to win in a big way, 5-1. It’s a new series, and the Predators have new life.
The crowd came to party at Bridgestone Arena, as they propelled the Predators to a win in Game 3. They hope for the same tonight, with another must-win situation staring them in the face. Three straight wins should prove to be too much of a task for the Preds. However, victory tonight would knot things up at 2, and we’ll have a brand new series going back to Pittsburgh.
Predator fans blew the roof off the place, and it should be a similar atmosphere tonight at Bridgestone Arena. The Penguins probably expected some excitement in the air, but it had to catch them off guard. As much as Nashville doesn’t scream hockey city, they have a good following in Music City.
Rinne got one of the loudest welcomes, as the Nashville faithful let him know that he is still being supported despite the horrendous outings in Game 1 and 2. Rinne showed up and steered his team to a win in Game 3 at home. It’s an equally important game tonight for the Predators. Let’s get straight to the pick for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators Game 4 Pick
If Rinne played like he did in Game 3 in Pittsburgh, the Predators could possibly have a 3-0 lead right now. Realistically, let’s say 2-1, because the offence did not find any kind of success in Game 2. The Predators won on the scoreboard in Game 3, and delivered in the shot department, again. This is the third straight games that the Predators have outshot the Penguins. It was closer this time, with the Preds hitting the net 33 times for 5 goals past Matt Murray. Conversely, the Penguins had 28 shots.
Overall, on the series, the Predators have an average of 32.3 shots per game. Whereas the Penguins have 22.3 shots per game in the Stanley Cup Final. As I stated, the difference here has been Rinne playing so inept in Game 1 and 2. If he catches fire, though, look out the Predators are going to be in business. I don’t suspect a blowout like we saw in Game 3. I think this game plays tight. The team coming out on top should be the Predators. Lost in this series has been how poorly the Penguins’ defence are playing. They escaped unscathed in Pittsburgh, but it’s not going to work if Rinne finds a stride. It’s a different story in Nashville, including Game 4 tonight.
PICK: PREDATORS (-150)