Stanley Cup Final: Predators even series with 4-1 Game 4 victory

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07 June, 2017

He became the first defenseman with three points in a period in a Stanley Cup Final game since Larry Murphy had three assists for Pittsburgh on May 23, 1991, against Minnesota.

Penguins' coach Mike Sullivan juggled his lines freely as the game progressed to try to spark his team's offence, but to no avail. The Predators have more speed at the back end than Pittsburgh does, which is like saying that Nashville has more country music playing in bars than Pittsburgh does.

"The NHL is 100 years old".

Where do you want to start? Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby scored on a breakaway about a minute later.

Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh's leading postseason goal scorer with 13, had three shots on Rinne. That's not his job. Mattias Ekholm had a goal and an assist Saturday night for 10 points, making Nashville the third team in National Hockey League history with four defensemen to reach double-digits in the same postseason, along with the 1984 Edmonton Oilers and 1993 Los Angeles Kings. Through four games, the Predators are getting about 56 per cent of the available shot attempts at 5-on-5. "It's a tough building, and they're a good team, but I like our chances".

Only one Predators player has scored multiple goals in the Final, and that's Gaudreau, who's earned the not-quite-original nickname "Freddy Hockey".

Pittsburgh has survived anyway thanks in part to a resilience that has been their hallmark under Sullivan.

Nine goals for, four goals against: two wins.

The defensemen have helped Nashville outshoot Pittsburgh in each of the first three games. These two games really showed everyone how good the Predators can be and that they're for real. Pittsburgh is averaging 3.0 goals per game in the playoffs, the same as the Predators. They've been outplayed for large stretches, but they've found ways to win.

The tone of the series suggests the Predators have the Penguins on the ropes, or at least backed a little into a corner.

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After the game with the Penguins highly frustrated in their game play, Crosby crossed paths with Subban and told him that his breath stinks.

There is only so much the Penguins can do to mask their obvious disadvantage on defense.

Said Gaudreau after the morning skate on Monday: "I could be sitting on the floor and I would take it anytime". Here's five things we learned. "Having said that, I thought of all of the games we played, we generated the most chances and the highest quality and it didn't go in the net for us. Could have had results in both those games". "I just hadn't been able to put the puck in the net".

This one took a little bit to get off the ground.

We expected a response from the Predators on home ice. That's now how they got to the cusp off back-to-back titles. Just stay inside with a cool compress on your forehead, and have some hot fried chicken and lemonade.

Well, everything except the panic button.

Matt Murray remained lackluster compared to Rinne in Music City.

Both Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held without a shot in Game 3 - the first time that's happened to the duo in the same playoff game and for just just the fifth time in Crosby's postseason career.

"Somehow he managed to keep it out", said Guentzel, who scored four goals in the series' first three games.


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