“17,113 probably dreamed of something that would be like this, but perhaps not anything that would be this decisive.” – Mike “Doc” Emrick on Nashville’s fans
“They deserved to win, as they may have deserved to win a game or two before this.” – Mike Milbury on the Predators
“Unofficially, five catfish were thrown on the ice. Officially, five goals were scored by the Preds.” – Liam McHugh
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 3, 2017 – NBC Sports Group continued its coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final tonight on NBCSN, with the Nashville Predators hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won Game 3 by a score of 5-1, as defenseman Roman Josi recorded a goal and two assists to propel Nashville to victory in its first-ever Stanley Cup Final home game.
Pittsburgh now leads the Stanley Cup Final 2-1. Game 4 is Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC in Nashville, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire called Game 3 tonight from Nashville. This marks the 11th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.
Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with NHL Live. Kathryn Tappen and Paul Burmeister anchored pre-game coverage alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick, Anson Carter and Brian Boucher on-site outside of Bridgestone Arena. Boucher spoke with Penguins D Brian Dumoulin, while Burmeister interviewed Predators RW James Neal, and Tappen and Roenick interviewed Penguins D Kris Letang, who has missed the entire postseason due to injury.
Tonight’s pre-game coverage featured segments on Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Predators head coach Peter Laviolette, and the “Smashville” phenomenon that has taken over Nashville and makes it so difficult for opposing teams to play in Bridgestone Arena.
NHL Live also included a feature with Roenick searching the city of Nashville for the biggest catfish. Roenick was joined in the piece by Tennessee Titans OL Taylor Lewan, who has embraced the Predators’ tradition of throwing catfish on the ice this postseason. Click here to watch the piece. Lewan joined Roenick live following the segment to provide his expertise and help sneak the catfish inside the arena.
Pre-game coverage was also highlighted by a live performance from country music star Alan Jackson.
Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
Milbury on the Predators: “Once they got past the jitters, once they got into a rhythm…the rest of the game belonged to them. They deserved to win, as they may have deserved to win a game or two before this.”
Jones on P.K. Subban: “You have to give Subban credit for not trying to be the show. He made the prediction, guaranteed the win, but he didn’t go out there and try to do too much. He allowed his teammates to do their job, including his partner Mattias Ekholm…again, he was the best player on the ice.”
Milbury on the Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin penalties towards end of third period: “These guys take a lot of punishment. Sometimes they’re going to snap.”
McHugh: “Unofficially, five catfish were thrown on the ice. Officially, five goals were scored by the Preds.”
Emrick on the Predators crowd following Mattias Ekholm’s power play goal, 5-1 Predators: “17,113, or at least a decisive majority of them…probably dreamed of something that would be like this, but perhaps not anything that would be this decisive.”
McGuire on Craig Smith’s breakaway goal, 4-1 Predators: “This roof is about to pop off. Once he got the puck, it was electrifying in here, and got even louder after he snapped it off the twine.”
Jones on the Predators’ second period: “The crowd was into it. The team was into it. The Predators did all of the little things properly…good, clean, disciplined hits.”
Jones on Pittsburgh: “It’s been the Penguins’ best game of the series, and they’re down 3-1.”
McGuire on Neal goal, 3-1 Predators: “Bodies all around the front of the net, Mike Fisher attacking with tempo and precision…James Neal finally gets a nice break.”
McGuire: “There is a sense of urgency from the Nashville Predators, and you can feel it here at ice level. Physical play, defense jumping in, getting pucks on goal, and as Peter Laviolette told us, getting bodies to the front of the net.”
Emrick: “A raucous period here in Nashville.”
Emrick following the Gaudreau goal: “It is bedlam here.”
Olczyk on Fredrick Gaudreau go-ahead goal, 2-1 Predators: “Right on the glove side. (Murray) doesn’t track it. More times than not, when you see a player cut to the middle of the ice on his forehand, he shoots back the other way. This time, Gaudreau stays on that side.”
Olczyk on Josi power-play goal, 1-1: “Terrific puck movement by the Predators…Carter Rowney overplays it a little bit, and this puck changes direction right in front of Matt Murray…off of the left hand of Carter Rowney.”
Milbury on the Predators’ start to Game 3: “As so often happens when you have a team coming back to an atmosphere like this, they get a little bit nervous, and I thought that was very evident from the beginning, especially Pekka Rinne. He was trying to find his game…but I thought he rebounded quickly.”
Jones: “The Pittsburgh Penguins played a perfect road first period.”
Emrick on Guentzel’s goal, 1-0 Penguins: “You want to take a guess? It’s Jake Guentzel again!”
McGuire on the noise level in Bridgestone Arena: “This is the only building that I’ve heard that even comes close to comparing to the old Chicago Stadium.”
Pre-Game on NBC (8 p.m. ET)
Olczyk: “Pekka Rinne needs to step to the forefront. To me, he’s on a very short leash…and I think Peter Laviolette would make the change.”
Jones on the energy in Nashville: “The Penguins’ message is, ‘Quiet this crowd – if you can.’ I don’t think they’re going to be able to.”
NHL Live on NBCSN (6-8 p.m. ET)
Tappen on the scene outside Bridgestone Arena: “This is unbelievable. It’s a sea of yellow.”
Roenick: “I’ve never seen anything like this at any sporting event.”
Carter: “This is definitely next-level. My family drove down from Atlanta. I’m working, I’m not schmoozing, I’m not here as a fan, and they can’t even get tickets to the game.”
Carter on Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban’s Game 3 guarantee: “I like it. I don’t have a problem with it. If there’s a guy in that Nashville locker room that doesn’t think they’re going to win tonight, they shouldn’t be playing.”
Carter on the Predators channeling the energy in Bridgestone Arena: “It’s loud outside, but inside, it’s going to be crazy. It’s easy to ride that wave of emotions and the atmosphere inside, and step outside of your comfort zone and take dumb penalties. The Predators have to make sure they play within themselves and don’t cross the line.”
Milbury on the energy during pre-game warmups inside the arena: “Now we’re starting to get a little touch of what everybody has been talking about. We can hardly hear each other, and the building isn’t even filled yet.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–