As the Conference Finals continue we’ll give you a recap from last night’s game and what to look for in tonight’s action.
Western Conference Final Game 3
It wasn't pretty, but the Nashville Predators stormed back in the third period to take down the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, taking a 2-1 series lead in the process.
A Corey Perry second-period goal was the lone scoring play through forty minutes, but that changed at the 3:54 mark of period three. Filip Forsberg lifted a rebound chance past John Gibson from the bottom of the left circle to tie the game at one.
Then, with 2:43 to go in the third period, Roman Josi buried a powerplay goal to give the Predators their only lead of the game. Pekka Rinne went on to shut the door on Anaheim the rest of the way and Nashville won 2-1 in a hugely important game three of the Western Conference final.
Rinne had a big bounce back game after struggling in a game two loss. He made 19 saves. John Gibson had a phenomenal outing as well, holding onto a shutout through the better part of 44 minutes, but was a victim to a pair of rebound goals in the third period. He stopped 38 of 40 Nashville shots.
The two clubs will stay in Nashville for game four of this series, which is slated for Thursday night at 8:00 EST.
- Brett Finger
Eastern Conference Final Game 3
1. It's a Trap! Much has been made about the Ottawa Senators and their "boring" neutral zone trap that gave the Rangers and Bruins fits, and has significantly slowed down the Penguins' attack. It paid off for them in game 1 as they managed to frustrate the Pens and pounce on the opportunities they were given, but their plan of attack (that is, to not attack) failed them in game 2 as they really didn't generate much towards Marc-Andre Fleury and ended up being shut out. On home ice, will the Sens continue patiently waiting for an opportunity and risk giving up the first (and only) goal again, or will they go on the offensive and try to get the first goal early on?
2. The Injury Ward The perpetually banged-up Penguins are down three more players from their regular lineup -- Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust, and Justin Schultz -- but don't expect that to bother them. They've dealt with the loss of Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary in round 2, and a guy by the name of Kris Letang for the entirety of the playoffs. Pittsburgh has a unique ability to adapt to any situation/personnel assignments and will likely have no problem with lines in game 3. Still, the Schultz injury in particular raises eyebrows about the Pens defensive depth, so keep an eye on mismatches if Pittsburgh's #4 cannot go.
3. When an Opportunity Presents Itself... Ottawa has a golden chance here. They've stolen home ice advantage from Pittsburgh by splitting at PPG Paints Arena, and two home wins in games 3 and 4 would go a long way towards building their confidence. At the very least, splitting their home games will be crucial to staying relevant in the series, but the fact that the Senators already have a win under their belt cannot be overlooked. This is the time to go for Pittsburgh's metaphorical throat and see what happens.
- Peter Dewer