We have a best-of-three Stanley Cup Final.
The Nashville Predators, blessed by the video review gods, used a strong second period to bury the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4, taking a 4-1 win and tying the series at 2-2.
Rookie Frederick Gaudreau had the game-winning goal in the second period thanks to a late video review, and goalie Pekke Rinne had another strong game in the Predators’ net. Sidney Crosby also scored his first goal of the series in the Penguins’ loss.
The series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday.
For once, the Penguins didn’t score the first goal of the game. Instead, Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok cashed in on a rebound by crashing the Penguins net at 14:51 of the first period, scoring his second goal of the playoffs.
The lead didn’t last long. A terrible mid-ice turnover led to a Crosby breakaway, and you already know how that story ends. Every time.
That, by the way, was the first Crosby Stanley Cup Final goal since 2009. Quite a drought!
The second period was just wild. End-to-end chances. A goal-mouth scramble and desperate dive by Predators defenseman Roman Josi that saved a goal. At one point it looked like Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray had made the save of the playoffs. Then the horn sounded mid-play, signaling it needed to be reviewed.
It was. The save was overturned, and Gaudreau was awarded his third goal of the playoffs at 3:48 of the second period.
Nashville poured on the pressure, resulting in a Viktor Arvidsson goal at 13:08 of the frame to increase the lead to 3-1.
After a mostly quiet third period, Filip Forsberg sealed the game away with an empty-net goal from about 197 feet away with two minutes remaining.