Nashville Predators 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 1: Goal Explosion Again! Cup Final Tied At 2-2

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators put together a complete performance and tie the series up at two each.

The first period started with some heavy defensive play and not a lot of shots, but the game opened up a bit after an early Preds power play went scoreless. The Penguins mounted some pressure, getting a few shots on goal, and then the Preds countered with pressure of their own. They finally broke through when Calle Jarnkrok hammered home a rebound in front of Matt Murray to make it 1-0.

Shortly after that, Sidney Crosby snuck in behind the Predators’ defense and buried a backhand by Pekka Rinne to tie it up. It wasn’t ideal. Then later, the Preds had to kill off a James Neal penalty, which carried over into the 2nd period.

The Preds killed it off and then went to work. They started pouring on the attempts in the Pittsburgh end. Things were looking swell when Frederick Gaudreau wrapped around a puck that it looked like Murray stopped. But on replay? He definitely did not. The Preds took a 2-1 lead on Freddy Hockey’s third goal of the playoffs.

Then something even more incredible happened. Pekka Rinne made an unbelievable save magic happen on ice. His quadruple save kept the score at 2-1. Then, Viktor Arvidsson capitalized on a beautiful Mike Fisher desperation pass to make it 3-1.

This place went banana nuts crazy. Go ape, indeed.

The 3rd period was an intense scene. The Preds trying to nurse a 3-1 win, the Penguins desperately trying to get back into the game. Things were going well for a little while, but then with 7:04 remaining, P.K. Subban took a puck to the back of the leg. It looked bad, he was down for a little bit and play was stopped.

No big deal, he returned a few moments later. Crisis averted. Then Filip Forsberg tallied an empty netter to seal it

Pekka Rinne finished with 23 saves and was such a huge part of this win.

The Stanley Cup will be in Nashville on Sunday.

Random Observations

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pekka Rinne: He was dynamite the whole game and even made a great effort to keep up with Crosby on his breakaway goal.
  2. Viktor Arvidsson: He never quits and finally got his reward for it after being held without a goal since the Chicago series.
  3. Freddie Gaudreau: He now has as many goals as the Chicago Blackhawks.

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