Cam Tucker

Video: Jake Guentzel inches closer to playoff history with opening goal in Game 3

Jake Guentzel has done it again.

The 22-year-old forward opened the scoring at the 2:46 mark of the first period in Game 3, beating Pekka Rinne through the legs after finding a loose puck in front of the Nashville net to conclude a great shift in the offensive zone for the Penguins.

That’s Guentzel’s 13th goal in his 22nd game in these playoffs. Quite a showing this postseason for the former third-round pick, after he had 16 goals in 40 regular season games.

He continues to inch closer to playoff history for an NHL rookie.

He is now one goal shy of tying Dino Ciccarelli’s record for goals scored by a rookie in a single postseason. He’s also two points shy of breaking Ciccarelli’s record for most points (21) in a playoff.

Video: Jeremy Roenick dives into Nashville’s fishy hockey tradition

This year’s Stanley Cup Final comes with a whopper of a fish tale.

While the Penguins lead the series 2-0, the hockey world has gained even greater exposure to the tradition in Nashville of a catfish being thrown on the ice of Bridgestone Arena when a Predators fan, Jacob Waddell, chucked a fish on the ice in Pittsburgh in Game 1 of this series.

Talk about catch and release. Waddell was charged. The mayors of both cities got involved. PETA did, too. A day later, those charges were dropped.

His 15 minutes of fame aren’t over yet, however. Waddell was reportedly signing autographs in Nashville on Saturday.

The tradition has consumed members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The latest is NBC Sports hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick, who got his feet wet trying to catch the perfect fish before learning the art of concealing what is a rather conspicuous creature against his body.

Related:

WATCH LIVE: Penguins vs. Predators — Game 3

Predators looking forward to their unique home-ice advantage in Game 3

 

WATCH LIVE: Stanley Cup Final – Penguins vs. Predators – Game 3

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P.K. Subban has already delivered the prediction of a Nashville victory in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Now, it’s up to the Predators to deliver on the ice in Smashville against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In what has been a strange series at times, especially in Game 1, the Penguins have taken a 2-0 lead, as they look to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

You can check out tonight’s game on NBC, or watch online, with puck drop beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Video: Jeremy Roenick goes in search of the biggest catfish

Predators looking forward to their unique home ice advantage in Game 3

Bonino officially a game-time decision, but Hagelin seems likely to play

Parenteau, Zolnierczyk expected to make Cup Final debuts for Preds

PGA Tour golfer Brandt Snedeker: Nashville Predators superfan

 

Golden Knights GM willing to take on big contracts ‘for the right price’

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A hectic offseason in the NHL may get a jump-start at the beginning of next week.

The expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights is approaching on June 21, but the organization’s general manager George McPhee appears open for business well before that critical date.

On Saturday, he suggested that trades with other clubs could soon be made official, as Vegas continues to build its roster for next season and beyond.

“We’re far enough along with a few teams that my plan is to sit on the phone all day Monday, Tuesday to see what we can accomplish,” McPhee said, per the Associated Press. “We’ve had some real good discussions and I expect some things will start happening next week.”

The addition of another team in the league may also provide other clubs with an opportunity to shed some salary against the cap. McPhee certainly seems open to the idea of acquiring some bigger contracts. But in doing so, he would also demand willing teams add in a draft pick to the deal, as well.

“We are willing to take on a couple of contracts that people would like to move,” he said, per the Boston Globe.

“We have a lot of teams that are offering us big contracts. And I know what it’s like to be on the other side and be tight on the cap. It’s hard to move contracts. So they are looking at us as an opportunity to move a contract. We’ll take a few of those — for the right price.”

There have already been rumblings that Vegas and Chicago could work out a deal, with a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli indicating the Blackhawks could allow the Golden Knights to take Trevor van Riemsdyk in the expansion draft on the “consideration” they also take Marcus Kruger in a trade. Kruger enters the second year of a three-year, $9.25 million contract, with a modified no-trade clause that kicks in for next season, per CapFriendly.

“Well, I don’t think there is anything that’s not on the table when it comes to a situation like this,” said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to TSN.

Related: Key dated for Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft

Weight has an urgent message for Islanders: put Tavares in ‘position to win right now’

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The John Tavares contract situation will be one to watch this summer, as he enters the final year of his current deal.

Selected first overall in 2009, Tavares is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, so in that light, Islanders coach Doug Weight has expressed an urgency for the organization to get back to winning. Right away.

The Islanders missed the playoffs this past season by a single point. Along the way, their coach, Jack Capuano, was fired and Weight eventually named as his replacement.

Gone is the interim tag from Weight’s title. In an interview with TSN 1050 radio, he outlined in substantial detail his desire to have Tavares remain with the Islanders beyond next season.

“John is huge for us, he’s a wonderful leader and captain,” Weight told TSN 1050 radio. “He is generational. He’s that good and we’re going make him better and work with him. I want him here. Our organization wants him to be here and our owners want him to be here, and John knows we want him here. John’s a genius, but a simple genius. He wants to win, and that’s it. He wants to be a Hall of Fame player and he wants to win. And those are two great things.

“He’s been here seven, eight years and we need to put him in a position to win right now.”

The Islanders have been to the playoffs three times since the now 26-year-old Tavares joined the organization, but have never made it beyond the second round.

Tavares, whose NHL salary for next season is $6 million, per CapFriendly, is eligible to sign a new deal with the Islanders on July 1.

He has previously reiterated that he wants a contract extension with the Islanders.

Related: Report: Tavares underwent hand surgery after regular season