After the Penguins won the first two games at home, the Stanley Cup Final shifted to Nashville, and boy were they ready. The scene in the Music City was something out of a movie. 20,000 fans piled into Bridgestone Arena, with thousands more lining Broadway just outside. Never before have I seen a city come out to support their team like this.
As for the actual game, Pittsburgh scored less than three minutes into the game, adding to the narrative that Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne is not playing well enough to carry his team. The score remained 1-0 Penguins until about five minutes into the second period, that’s when the floodgates opened up for Nashville. The Predators scored three in the second, and two more in the third. This included an unassisted tally from former Badger Craig Smith.
With each goal came a blaring horn, followed by Tim McGraw’s “I like it, I love it” blasting through the speakers. Not to mention the crowd, which reporters are saying is the loudest they’ve ever heard, adding their own choreographed “it’s all your fault” chant towards the Penguin net minder.
As for game 4, the Predators will need Pekka Rinne to step up again and their strong defensive core to keep pestering the Penguins stars. On the other side of the ice, Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray let up four goals on his glove-hand side. Expect Nashville to target his glove again as Murray will need to step it up. More importantly than Murray, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, arguably two of the top five players in the world, failed to record a single shot between the two of them. Simply put, Crosby and Malkin need to play better or else they will be heading home with the series tied.
Game 4: Monday, June 5th. 7 PM CST on NBC