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Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final nearly perfect for Predators and NHL

Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final nearly perfect for Predators and NHL
Published On: Sun, Jun 04
Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Logan Stanley is greeted by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after being selected as the number eighteen overall draft pick by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches will tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect team performance.

But the Nashville Predators 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final may have come close to being a perfect win in terms of what it meant for the team, Nashville fans, goalie Pekka Rinne and the NHL.

It was electric here, Predators forward Craig Smith said.

This was the first Stanley Cup Final game ever played in Nashville, and even during warm-ups the lower bowl was packed with fans, all standing, all cheering and chanting with as much energy as you will ever witness at a sporting event.

Rinne said when players came into the dressing room after warm-ups they were all telling each other that they had never seen anything like that.

And we were all aware how crazy it was outside, Predators forward James Neal said.

NHL officials have to be pleased with the outcome simply because it is very clear now that this could be a highly entertaining series featuring two energized fan bases.

In Pittsburgh, Penguins shirts and signs are everywhere. In Nashville, the buzz about the Predators flows up Broadway. Talk of the Predators fills the honky-tonks.

This is giving our fans a chance to be recognized, Rinne said. They are on the big stage now. This is a good showcase for the City of Nashville."

On the ice, the Predators played their most consistent, and best game of the series. Defenseman Mattas Ekholm said recently that when the Predators are playing smart and sharply they can beat anybody.

Read the complete news article here...

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