The Predators scored a goal so sneaky even they didn't realize it

Doug Mendoza
June 7, 2017

After a relatively tight first period-with Nashville scoring first, upheld by replay review, and Sidney Crosby answering with Pittsburgh's only goal of the night to tie things up nearly scarcely a minute later-things burst open in the second.

With his country star wife Carrie Underwood among the throng of celebrities taking in Game 4 in the Music City, Fisher and the Predators improved their postseason record at Bridgestone Arena to 9-1 with a resounding 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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.

They're rookies, yes. But through four games they have held the key to the entire thing. It had everything to do with a remarkable performance by the 34-year-old goaltender. The Preds are now two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.

His best may have been his stop on Chris Kunitz's breakaway at 3:29 of the second.

Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh's leading postseason goal scorer with 13, had three shots on Rinne. That's not his job.

Crosby was asked about it on Sunday and said Subban made it up, referencing the two players' past confrontations.

A catfish tossed onto the ice during Game 1 last week also caused a delay and Laviolette is concerned the antics will lead to a delay-of-game penalty. "There's no doubt that we believe they will continue that". Pittsburgh has just one power-play goal and was 0 of 3 with the man advantage in Game 4, and Malkin said he has not had room to work.

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Pittsburgh has survived anyway thanks in part to a resilience that has been their hallmark under Sullivan.

Arvidsson had 31 regular-season goals but had been mired in a deep slump before he finally broke out for an important insurance goal before the second period ended.

Game 5 will be played Thursday at Pittsburgh, where the defending champion Penguins won the first two games. This was the Rinne we had seen for most of the playoffs, the one who entered the final with a sparkling.941 save percentage and was the reason why Nashville had swept the Blackhawks and rolled past the Blues and Ducks.

Something the Penguins did more than anybody during the regular season when it led the National Hockey League in scoring.

The Penguins challenged that it was goalie interference and were unsuccessful. Nashville's depth players and middle-of-the-road players have badly outplayed its counterparts with the Penguins. The Predators weren't shaken then, much like the Penguins aren't shaken now.

Apparently, the fans didn't get the message from coach Peter Laviolette. "But we really liked the way we played in Game 1". "I thought tonight of all nights, we generated the most chances of the highest quality". "Could have had results in both those games". "Let's win these two at home and the rest will take care of itself", he proclaims. We've shown that's how we are going to score goals - getting pucks and people there.

They also might get center Nick Bonino back. SlapShot Radio is the longest running hockey show in the mid-south and Pete Weber and I bring you the best in hockey talk all playoffs long.

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