After two rough starts in net on the road in Pittsburgh which led to doubts about who would be in the net for the Predators upon the series shifting to Nashville, Pekka Rinne was back on his good side on Monday. Country star Keith Urban and wife, actress Nicole Kidman, were high-fiving inside the arena and they had plenty of company.
"This coaching staff has never been one to take our team out of the flow to try to chase matchups", Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said.
"They got some momentum when they got that power-play goal", Crosby said.
Crosby and Malkin have a shot apiece, and Crosby tied it up at 1-1 with his first goal this series at 15:57.
"And our forwards (are) doing a great job getting pucks to us, and yeah, tipping pucks, getting screens from that, and our job is just to get the puck through".
"We've been outplayed in stretches, you know", he said. "We've certainly got to figure this out as a group and I believe we will", Sullivan added.
Those are important guys for us.
"Hopefully a game like this is something that's a hard lesson", Crosby said. He has 13 goals in the playoffs, one off the all-time National Hockey League rookie record set by Minnesota's Dino Ciccarelli in 1981.
"A bad bounce early and we went down one-nothing but like our team has done the whole playoffs, we showed really good composure today and we're going to take that into the next game". Murray will no doubt be better in Game 4 - he's never given up more than two goals in a game following a playoff loss. He skated in on Rinne, holding the puck, faking a slap shot and then slipping one past the goalie for his eighth goal and 24th point of the playoffs.
Josi scored his sixth goal off a slap shot at 5:51, tying it at 1-1 and finally giving nervous fans something to enjoy.
Right wing Patric Hornqvist particularly lamented a power play that was frittered away late in the second period, before Nashville scored to take a 3-1 lead.
Just after that go-ahead goal, the Penguins had a rush on Rinne, and the three-time Vezina Trophy finalist made back-to-back big saves.
Neal made it 3-1 with 22.6 seconds left in the second, banking the puck off Murray's left arm for his first goal in the series and sixth of the playoffs.
One of Nashville's goal scorers on Saturday, Freddy Gaudreau, echoed similar sentiments.
"I thought the first part of the game, we did everything we wanted to do", coach Mike Sullivan said. "It was a good job of limiting that tonight". Sidney Crosby, forever calm, had some worry in his voice.
Calle Jarnkrok scored with 5:09 left in the first period, putting the Nashville Predators ahead 1-0 against Pittsburgh.
The Penguins have been particularly poor on power plays, going 0-for-3 in Nashville on Saturday (NZT Sunday) and only 1-for-13 overall in the series. Laviolette sat veterans Cody McLeod and Vern Fiddler to get more speed with Harry Zolnierczyk and P.A. Parenteau.