Crosby scores, Malkin shoots yet Penguins lose 4-1 to Preds

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Gaudreau, who was called up from the minor leagues on April 29, scored the go-ahead goal three minutes and 45 seconds into the second period to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, evening the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

The Penguins' penalty kill had yielded four goals in this series, but they locked things down against the Predators in Game 4.

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, right, talks with center Sidney Crosby, left, during the third period against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Monday, June 5, 2017, in Nashvi.

He should like their chances the way the team is playing, and that would be very bad for the Penguins, because the Predators are 9-1 in 10 games at home in the playoffs this season. In those games, they've outscored their guests 34-15.

Only Laviolette's volatile history of goaltending decisions and the gravity of a 2-0 Stanley Cup Final deficit (dug largely by Rinne) gave this conjecture any breath, but Rinne is revered in Nashville.

Gaudreau played just nine regular-season games this year and didn't score a goal. Game 5 is scheduled for Pittsburgh on Thursday, with Game 6, if necessary, set for Nashville on Sunday.

"It's simple. We've got to go home and win a game", Crosby said. "It's a great feeling".

That proved to be a critical momentum swing, given that Pittsburgh had been carrying the play but couldn't break through against Rinne, who was excellent again after two so-so outings to open the series. Rinne was almost flawless, however, allowing only Sidney Crosby's breakaway goal off the post late in the first period of a 23-save performance. His consecutive sub-.900 save percentage performances marked a first for his career, but Murray dismissed the idea of falling into a funk. Dierks Bentley became the latest in a long line of star musicians to sing the national anthem at a Predators home playoff game.

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. Carrie Underwood admitted during the first intermission that she didn't get Fisher, her husband, a birthday present on Monday - holding out hope that a Stanley Cup championship celebration would do the trick in coming days.

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Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh's leading postseason goal scorer with 13, had three shots on Rinne.

Just 66 seconds later, Crosby tied it up for Pittsburgh on a dazzling breakaway.

Crosby, who scored Pittsburgh's only goal, finished the game with four shots.

Frederick Gaudrea was awarded a goal early in the second period after play was stopped for a video review. "But I've got to do a better job finding the back of the net". "Honestly, I thought for the most part I played pretty well tonight".

Crosby somehow caught Nashville's defence napping and slipped unnoticed behind Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi, taking a breakaway pass from Dumoulin and beating Rinne on a backhand deke. After being held without a shot in Game 3, Crosby registered 4 on Monday.

"I don't want to look back now, because we have more games to play, but it's a roller coaster", Rinne said of the final.

Except Pittsburgh wasn't getting smashed: they allowed good chances, but spent far more time somewhere other than their own zone. Filip Forsberg got one via the empty net. With his goal, Crosby now has 161 career playoff points and moved past Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe, Al MacInnis and Bobby Smith for 20th all-time by himself. Prior to Monday, Murray was 7-0 in playoff starts following a loss.

A fan in Nashville added some flair to the tradition of throwing catfish on the ice, sending one over the glass with a bedazzled top hat and a toy penguin in its mouth Monday night.

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