The sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena was in full throat last night at Game 3 of the 1st round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs from a raucous reception for National Anthem singer Carrie Underwood until Predators forward Kevin Fiala was named as the games’ first star after his game-winning goal in overtime lifted Nashville to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Predators have taken a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 series lead. 182 NHL playoff series have started with one team taking a 3-0 lead. But four teams have overcome those odds. So don’t give the Predators the 1st round yet.
The Blackhawks and Predators skated to a scoreless tie after the first period despite Nashville outshooting Chicago 18-9.
Chicago finally got a shot past Predators netminder Pekka Rinne 1:05 into the 2nd frame with a goal by Marcus Kruger for a 1-0 lead. It was the first goal of the playoffs allowed by Rinne after stopping 67 in a row in 7 scoreless periods. The Blackhawks added another goal in the 2nd via a power-play goal by Blackhawks star Patrick Kane for a 2-0 Chicago lead with 9:45 left in the 2nd frame.
The Predators tied things up in the 3rd period with two goals by Swedish sensation Filip Forsberg at 4:24 and 14:08. These were Forsberg’s first goals of the playoffs. Ring remained strong for the Predators, turning back all ten of the Blackhawks 3rd period shots to send the game to overtime.
The Predators controlled the extra frame the majority of the time, but they couldn’t get anything past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford until the beautiful move and goal by the Predators Kevin Fiala 16:44 into the period sent the crowd into a delirium.