Pittsburgh will host Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday evening, looking to pull ahead in a series now tied at two games apiece.
The Penguins, looking to repeat as Cup champion, and the Predators, in the Cup Final for the first time, are tied at two games apiece with the home team winning each time.
"It just comes down to burying your chances", said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who picked up his first goal of the series in Game 4. "He definitely belongs, and he's been a huge part of our success". As a result, that's an indication of why he's as good a passer as he is, because he sees the opportunities and he's able to execute on them. Tops on that list are the 1982-83 New York Islanders, who won the Stanley Cup final in a sweep despite being outshot by an average of 6.3 shots per game.
"I thought I was OK in Game 3, obviously not great, but I thought I was pretty good in Game 4", Murray said after practice on Wednesday. Goalie Pekka Rinne has raised his level of play while being supported by a defense with a top four of Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and P.K. Subban, who help Nashville control possession and set the pace. He and the Predators improved to 9-1 at home in the postseason. After the third goal went by him to end the period, his night was over after allowing three goals on nine shots.
Senators: Center Derick Brassard underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder. It's an emotional ride.
First-period barrage: The Penguins jumped on the Predators from the start with forecheck pressure and two quick goals (Justin Schultz and Bryan Rust). Speedy, skilled defensemen. P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm are among the best defensemen in the National Hockey League and are far more skilled than their Pittsburgh counterparts. The puck barely snuck inside the goal line, bouncing off a lunging Matt Murray's blocker pad and back out in a split second.He told me my breath smelled, but I don't know, I used Listerine before the game so I don't know what he's talking about.
That marks a dramatic turnaround from Rinne's shaky start to this series, when the Finnish star posted a pair of losses in Pittsburgh, allowing eight total goals on 36 shots to remain winless in five career appearances at PPG Paints Arena. "So usually our challenge with Phil and Geno all the time is just the subtleties and the details of the play away from the puck or without the puck that gives them the ability to get it back when they don't have it".
Pekka Rinne was bad through the first two games and was certainly a big reason that Pittsburgh took an early series lead. I am not exhausted myself. I am glad the power play was a little bit better.
Just 66 seconds later, Crosby tied the score on a breakaway. Two nights earlier, he and Evgeni Malkin had failed to get a shot on net and the way that Crosby responded in Game 4 made it seem as though he took the outlier of a stat personally. Last game, we had lot of goals come close, but not in. Viktor Arvidsson, who popped a career-best 31 goals in the regular season, scored only third goal of the playoffs Monday to snap a 15-game drought.
Minutes later, just as the Nashville crowd was getting revved up - giving the team its first standing ovation of the contest - the Penguins struck back.
The Penguins promptly won the first two games of the Cup Final, and it looked like they were well on their way to lifting the Cup again.
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