As the Stanley Cup Final moved to Nashville for Game 3 Saturday night, the Predators knew they had to put forth a strong effort to get back in the series. As they have done throughout the playoffs, their back end stepped up once again. Led by Roman Josi and their exceptional group of defencemen, along with strong goaltending from Pekka Rinne, the Predators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 to earn the franchise’s first ever win in the Stanley Cup Final.
With three points in Game 3, Josi now has 14 points in the 2017 playoffs, which places him second among all NHL defencemen, trailing only Erik Karlsson (16 points). He also sits second in points on the Predators, one point back of teammate Filip Forsberg.
Showing their impressive consistency, the Predators' defencemen have now scored 50 points so far on their playoff run.
The second period proved to be the difference-maker for the Preds Saturday. At 5:51 of the frame, Josi scored Nashville’s first goal to tie the score at one, and he later assisted on the other two goals in the period including Frederick Gaudreau’s goal 42 seconds after his own, which held up as the game-winner. Josi also played 23:36 in the victory and registered six shots on goal.
Head coach Peter Laviolette summed up the way many feel about Josi’s steady play, "He's as consistent a player as there is."
The Predators look to even the Stanley Cup Final series Monday night in Game 4 at Bridgestone Arena.
A complete listing of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff Performer of the Night here.