Predators top Penguins to tie Stanley Cup Final

It's been an unreal playoffs for Gaudreau, who has three goals in the Stanley Cup Final, but doesn't have an actual stall in the Predators locker room just yet.

Thoughts and observations from the Pens' 4-1 loss versus the Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The defending champion Penguins will host Game 5 on Thursday night, hoping home ice is an advantage after being outscored 9-2 in losing the two games in Nashville after averaging 4.5 goals in winning the first two.

A close-range shot from Craig Smith couldn't get past Penguins goalie Matt Murray, but Jarnkrok was nearby to corral the rebound and cash in with 5:09 left.

But before the cheers had died down, the Penguins tied it. Crosby, sprung on a breakaway on a pass from Brian Dumoulin, faked a shot but held onto the puck and lifted a backhander past Rinne at 15:57. The second goal, he almost made a sprawling save, and at first the referee thought he did. It wasn't called a goal originally, but officials blew the horn to stop play and review the shot from Frederick Gaudreau shortly after the play. The puck just crossed the goal line under Murray's outstretched stick before he shoved it out of the net.

Rinne denied chance after chance after Crosby's goal, many of them saves that the 6-foot-5 Finn struggled to make in Games 1 and 2 in Pittsburgh. With 3:23 left, Nashville sealed the victory with Filip Forsberg's empty-net goal.

The defensemen have helped Nashville outshoot Pittsburgh in each of the first three games.

Crosby had another breakaway midway through the second, and Rinne stopped him not once but twice. They are made of humans, and despite the fact that they're athletically superior and have bank accounts beyond our imaginations, they're as flawed (or worse) than the rest of us.

It also was Crosby's first goal since the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, which the Penguins won in seven games over the Detroit Red Wings.

Penguins star Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the series after not getting a shot on goal in Game 3.

"He's been unbelievable for us, " Penguins captain Mike Fisher said.

"It's hard to win when you score one goal", Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. After the anthem, two catfish and one stuffed penguin hit the ice despite Nashville coach Peter Laviolette's video plea earlier Monday asking fans not to throw anything. They said it was a bad idea to give a franchise to Nashville.

Prior to Game 4, the Predators were trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins two games to one.

Charles Barkley has taken advantage of a day off in the NBA Finals and accepted NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to come watch the Stanley Cup Final in person.

"You always have ups and downs, and you try to stay even-keeled", Rinne said.

The former National Basketball Association star and now TV analyst says he had nothing to do and is really looking forward to the game.

  • Larry Hoffman