With all of Nashville behind them, the Predators dominated Game 3 to win their first ever Stanley Cup Final game.

NASHVILLE — Inspired by a loud, boisterous, festive crowd, the Nashville Predators slammed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 to cut the Penguins’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators are now 8-1 at home in this postseason.

Defenseman Roman Josi had a goal and two assists to lead the Predators, who were playing the first ever Stanley Cup Final game in Nashville.

Here’s what matters from Game 3:

Rinne is back: After 48 hours of fan and media debate about whether Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne would be replaced, Rinne responded with a strong performance.

He made 27 saves, including 13 in the second period when the Predators scored three goals.

The scoring: After the Penguins took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Jake Guentzel’s NHL-leading 13th playoff goal, Josi, Frederick Gaudreau and James Neal scored in the second period to give Nashville a 3-1 lead. Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm scored their first goals of this postseason for the Predators in the third period.

Festive atmosphere: It was a madhouse inside and outside Bridgestone Arena. Fans filled the arena and streets around the arena.

The NHL and NBC may have been the biggest winner in Game 3 because the series has the potential to be entertaining on and off the ice.

Power outage: The Penguins went 0-for-3 on the power play and are now 1-for-13 in the series.

Reality check: This was the most goals the Penguins have given up in a game since goalie Matt Murray came back in the lineup as a starter.


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