Predators win again at home, take Game 4 to even Stanley Cup Final with Penguins

NASHVILLE —  The Nashville Predators put on another impressive defensive show to turn the Stanley Cup Final into a best-of-three series.

The Predators, 9-1 at home during the playoffs, benefited from a stingy goaltending effort by Pekka Rinne to down the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 and tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2. The Predators have outscored Pittsburgh 9-2 in the last two games.

The home team has now won all four games. Game 5 will be in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Here is what mattered in Game 4:

Rinne back in the groove: After looking mediocre in the first two games of the series, Rinne has raised his game to where it was at in the first three rounds.

Included in his eight second-period stops were a doorstep save against Jake Guentzel and a breakaway stop against Chris Kunitz. He made 23 saves in total.

Crosby steps up: After being held without a shot in Game 3, Sidney Crosby had a goal on four shots in Game 4.

Replay matters: Referees could not tell tell whether Frederick Gaudreau’s wrap-around shot crossed the goal line at 3:45 of the second period, but replays showed the puck clearly crossed the goal line to break a 1-1 tie.

That goal came shortly after the Rinne stops on Guentzel and Kunitz. Gaudreau has scored three times in the Cup Final -- his first three goals of his career.

Predators goal scorers: Calle Jarnkrok scored at 14:51 of the first period on a rebound to give Nashville a 1-0 and Crosby scored on a breakaway 1:06 later to tie.

Gaudreau and Viktor Arvidsson scored for Nashville in the second period. Arvidsson scored on a breakaway after Fisher poked the puck ahead to him while he was falling to the ice. Filip Forsberg got one via the empty net.

Streak stopped: Before Monday, Matt Murray was 9-0 all-time when he started a playoff game after a Pittsburgh loss.

Murray has given up eight goals in the past two games. He has finished with save percentages below .900 in three of the four games in this series.

Center still out: Nick Bonino skated for a short time in warmups, but couldn’t go because of his injured foot.

Power outage: The Penguins were 0-for-1 on the power play, making them 1-for-14 in the series.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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