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Predators Ride Fan Support to Tie Series 2-2

Veteran News
Veteran News
June 6, 2017
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The Nashville Predators evened the Stanley Cup Final series last night with a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Nashville. Led by Pekka Rinne’s 23 saves, the Predators outmaneuvered the Pens in a physical tilt that saw 60 hits.After riding the fan excitement to a 5-1 win in Game 3, the Nashville Predators looked to open game 4 physically at home to keep the fans loud and the Penguins on their heels. When James Neal began the prodding of Jake Guentzel before the opening faceoff, the thorn in the Predators side and NHL playoff goal leader didn’t back down and set the tone for the first period. Guentzel, who gives up three inches and 41lbs to Neal, kept his nose to the grindstone and helped the Penguins get into the offensive zone early. The Penguins outhit the Preds 13-11 in the first period. The Predators opened the scoring 14:54 into the first period on a second chance shot by Calle Jarnkrok. After using their coach’s challenge unsuccessfully on Jarnkrok’s goal, the Penguins answered just 1:06 later to tie the game on a breakaway by Sidney Crosby. Getting the Predators fans back into the game early in the second period was a combination of Rinne stopping Kunitz on a breakaway from Guentzel that led to a unique goal. 3:45 into the second, Murray appeared to make a save and play continued down the ice. After play continued the horn signaled to stop play. The situation room in Toronto signed for the stoppage and an official review of Frederick Gaudreau’s shot. After a very brief review, it was determined that the puck did cross the line and the Predators led 2-1 early in the second. Gaudreau’s goal is his third of the Stanley Cup Finals, and also the third of his NHL career. It should be noted that Gaudreau currently does not have a permanent stall in the locker room, but rather has a cabinet with rollers in the middle of the locker room. He played only nine games in the regular season at the NHL level.The Pens mounted multiple scoring chances but after multiple 10-bell saves by Rinne, James Neal’s tough board play got the puck to Mike Fisher who fell to the ice as he sprung Viktor Arvidsson behind the Penguins defense to put the Predators up 3-1 with just under 7 minutes to go in the second. Riding the momentum through the end of the period, the Predators ended the period with multiple scoring chances in the final seconds. With two huge saves by Penguins goalie Matt Murray near the midpoint of the third period, the Pens looked to ride the momentum shift, but failed to convert including a shot off the post by Brian Dumoulin with 5:55 to go in the game. The Predators sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 3:23 to play to go up 4-1 and will force at least a game 6 and turn this best of 7 series into a best of three. The series returns to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday.

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