Preds even Stanley Cup Final at 2-2, beat Penguins 4-1

Penguins head home upbeat despite 0-fer in Nashville

Penguins head home upbeat despite 0-fer in Nashville

After allowing eight goals on 36 shots in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh, Rinne has allowed just two goals on 52 shots in the last two games in Nashville.

Nashville Predators right wing Craig Smith, center, celebrates a goal by teammate Calle Jarnkrok, not shown, as Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray, bottom, falls on the ice during the first period in Game 4 of the National Hockey League hock.

In the first period, the teams at intervals of a minute exchanged productive attacks - Calle Jarnkrok brought Nashville forward, but 66 seconds later, Sidney Crosby is easily sold out one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

The second chants for the team's most unlikely hero, Frederick Gaudreau, who scored the game-winner for the second consecutive game in a 4-1 Predators' win that evens this best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series at two games a piece.

Viktor Arvidsson's goal on an odd-man rush with 6:25 remaining in the second period gave Nashville a 3-1 edge.

And then came Gaudreau's goal, which was confirmed only after the horn sounded and officials reviewed the play. He beat Matt Murray to the post, expertly rolling his wrists to get the puck to the goal line.

With time ticking down in the third period, Forsberg then applied the coup de grace, steering the puck into an empty net from long range to make it 4-1.

Crosby's goal, on a first-period breakaway, was the 161st playoff point of his career, moving him into 20th place on the all-time list, past such luminaries as Gordie Howe, Mike Bossy, Al MacInnis and Bobby Smith. Gaudreau is the third undrafted rookie since 1979 to score at least three goals in the Finals.

As NBC broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick said to end Game 4, Rinne came to Nashville as a question mark and left it as an exclamation point.

Now, the competitor in me thought, hey, this is the Stanley Cup final, enough of the hijinks already.

"We almost decided on Section 331, but went with 303 because we could get a better site line on the team benches", Swartz says on the website. The 34-year-old stopped 50-of-52 shots in Nashville's two wins, including breakaway stops of Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

A second catfish also hit the ice before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Predators.

By comparison, the first four games in Pittsburgh's six-game series victory over the San Jose Sharks a year ago averaged a 4.8 local rating.

The Penguins head back to Pittsburgh having been outscored 9-2 in Nashville.

After only making 26 of 34 saves in the games in Pittsburgh, Rinne stopped all but two at Bridgestone Arena, including acrobatic saves like the sequence above, and everything about his play seems calmer and more confident once back in more comfortable surroundings. That changed in Game 4, when Arvidsson snapped a 15-game goalless drought in a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Obviously the first two games, we did a lot of good things.

Crosby has yet to score a goal in this series, and both he and Evgeni Malkin were held without a shot Saturday night in the same game for the first time in their star-studded careers.

"I mean, people are fired up", Harris said while gesturing to the couple.

Of greater importance to the zanies who pack this barn is the fact there will be one more hockey game in Smashville this season.

The throng stretched three blocks and watched the game on with three giant TV screens.

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