Game Four was arguably the most important game of this series. Pittsburgh led 2-1 heading into the contest and Nashville simply couldn’t afford to fall 3-1 in the series on home ice facing a Game Five in Pittsburgh. The Predators knew what they had to do, and that was win, and that’s exactly what they did on Monday night.
Pekka Rinne had a monstrous night in net stopping 23 of 24 shots for Nashville as the Preds had four different goal scorers in their 4-1 victory.
Game Four started a lot like Game Three did, style-wise, with Nashville jumping out of the gates with as much speed as possible that was, for the most part, matched by Pittsburgh.
The final period featured that same fast-paced game that was seen in the opening two periods, but the only goal scored turned out to be an empty netter for Nashville.
With 3:23 left in regulation, just seconds after the Penguins pulled Murray, Filip Forsberg flipped a shot down the ice and into the empty cage giving Nashville the 4-1 lead.
After the empty netter, tempers flared just a bit and Mattias Ekholm was whistled for a double minor giving the Penguins a late 4-on-3 power play chance, but the Predators penalty kill came up big yet again. With 24 seconds left in regulation, Pittsburgh moved to the 5-on-3 advantage after Ellis was called for a cross-check but the Preds stood strong.
Nashville ended up outshooting Pittsburgh 26-24 on the night with a total of 12 different Preds picking up points which has been what the Preds have been about all postseason long; spreading the scoring with the next man stepping up mentality. With the win and the series sitting at 2-2, both teams have a chance to take a real strangle hold on the series in Game Five.
Game Five is set for 7:00 p.m. CST on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.