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Pittsburgh went 0-for-3 in Game 3 and 0-for-7 in Game 2.

Down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup finals to the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins, the Nashville Predators had their backs to the wall in game number three. This time, the Predators goaltender was ready.

Like any good fisherman, Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette doesn't want to think about the big one that got away - and he reminded the team's fans of that point. Pittsburgh has lost momentum while Nashville seems to have all of it.

And the defence held Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to without a shot for the first time in the playoffs. Sidney Crosby, forever calm, had some worry in his voice.

Crosby isn't in the mood to play if it doesn't involve his stick and a puck.

Up until Game 3 of the Conference Final, Fleury was sensational for the Penguins, shutting down the high flying Washington Capitals in the process.

The Stanley Cup Final has some bad blood brewing - or is that bad breath?

Russian Malkin scored a goal in each of the first two games but Canadian Crosby is seeking his first goal of the best-of-seven series, which Pittsburgh lead 2-1. But his performance in Game 4, when Nashville could conceivably send the series back to PPG Paints Arena with a stalemate through four matchups, figures to be the X-factor for a Pens team that's thrived when their young goalie has showcased his signature poise.

Nashville's win evens the series at two games apiece. "At those moments, you try to erase your mind and focus on the next save and remind yourself that you're in the finals and life is still pretty good". That included Chris Kunitz, Patric Hornqvist and Matt Cullen each getting a 10-minute misconduct all in the final five minutes of the loss. Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel did it in the first two games of this series and Roy Conacher did it for Boston in Games 3, 4 and 5 against Toronto in 1939. Outplayed in each of the first two games at home, the Pens were lucky Predators goalie Pekka Rinne chose the Stanley Cup to have his worst two games of the playoffs.

"We've got to find a way to raise that level of desperation and be better all over the ice, so hopefully a game like this is something that's a hard lesson". With 3:23 left, Nashville sealed the victory with Filip Forsberg's empty-net goal.

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It was not the start they wanted, however.

Josi got bailed out by Rinne here, as he let Crosby get by him.

"Collectively we came into the locker room, and we were telling each other we've never seen anything like that", Rinne said. The defense was involved, the forecheck was relentless and the chances were finding the back of the net.

Murray said he wasn't aware of that number when he was asked about it on Sunday.

The Predators continue to have the blueprint to win games, as they are getting more shots and being more physical than Pittsburgh. No. 1 on the list of things that did stink for the Penguins on Saturday included the power play.

Despite his off night, Laviolette said he didn't think twice about starting Finland's Rinne in game three.

Streak stopped: Before Monday, Matt Murray was 9-0 all-time when he started a playoff game after a Pittsburgh loss.

The Penguins' 5-on-4 play is somehow becoming more tense to watch than their 5-on-5. His injured left foot is keeping him out of a second straight game.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Roman Josi downplays the production of the Nashville Predators' defensemen as simply the product of their system. Just because they didn't register a shot on net, we shouldn't deem them ineffective in Game 3.


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