Things can change in a hurry in the postseason and a series that started poorly for the Nashville Predators could suddenly look very good with a victory Wednesday night in Dallas.
With a win, the Preds would take a 3-1 series lead and at the very worst have two opportunities to close it out at Bridgestone Arena.
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne had 40 saves, stealing game two and did not hide from the importance of this one.
“It’s a huge game for both teams, either 3-1 or 2-2. there’s a huge gap between those numbers. And so, it’s a huge game for both teams.”
The Predators won Game 3 despite being outshot 43-23 and forward Austin Watson says that cannot happen again.
“It is a good opportunity for us to come in here and play a better game obviously. We got the win last game but didn’t play all that well.”
The Stars tilted the ice in Game 3 and spent most of the 2nd and 3rd periods in the Predators zone.
“We just need to play North more” Watson added, “We defended too much last game. We count on being able to play well defensively and big saves from our goaltender, but you don’t want to spend that much time in our zone.”
Nashville did not have an answer for the Stars first line of Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, and Jamie Benn. They dominated play and the Predators say they would like to see them play more defense tonight.
So, what do the Predators do to ignite the offense? Head coach Peter Laviolette says they will not “reinvent the wheel”. Forward Rocco Grimaldi leads the Preds with two goals in the series and says the Preds have to control the puck better.
“I feel like in the neutral zone we either turned it over or when we tried to do the right thing and put it behind them it didn’t go all the way down and their D are obviously so good that they just grabbed it and threw it back up to their offense and they’re back in our zone again, so I think puck decisions and puck management is going to be huge and critical tonight.”
The Predators and Stars play Game 4 at 7 p.m. Wednesday night in Dallas. The NHL announced Saturday’s game at Bridgestone Arena will be at 2 p.m.