Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Matt Murray: Pens' G Matt Murray loses; Cup Final tied 2-2

With seconds to go in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and the Pittsburgh Penguins down 4-1 to the Nashville Predators, NBC's Mike Emrick imparted a nugget of clichéd wisdom.

It snapped a 12-game goal-less stretch for Crosby in the Stanley Cup Final - since Game 4 against the Red Wings in 2009 - and it was Crosby's first-ever goal in a Stanley Cup final road contest.

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He is a huge part of hockey's unusual historical symmetry: The Oilers had Gretzky and now have McDavid, and the Penguins had Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr and now have Crosby and Malkin.

It's a best-of-three series now and there should be no questioning the guy in goal - unless of course you want to look at Murray, who has allowed eight goals on 58 shots (.862 save percentage) in the two games in Nashville, while the guy who guided the Penguins past the teams with the league's fourth-best and best records in the first two rounds, Marc-Andre Fleury, sits on the bench. Prior to Monday, Murray was 7-0 in playoff starts following a loss.

"It's simple. We've got to go home and win a game", Crosby said. "It's a great feeling". There were a lot of things from a process standpoint that we really liked.

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I think we can get better though. "The team has worked hard from the first minute...we have done a marvellous double". When Juventus enjoyed spells of pressure in the first half, they largely held firm.

With the series tied at two, the Penguins are going to need great goaltending that can steal a game.

Matt Murray had never lost back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that changed on Monday.

Nashville tapped country singer Dierks Bentley as the latest star to sing the national anthem, while Jason Aldean waved the towel to rev up the crowd.

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.

"That's all I wanted for my birthday - best gift I could get today for sure", Fisher said.

But Murray did feel he was interfered with on the first goal, even though the coach's challenge was overruled. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby scored on a breakaway about a minute later. It was one of four shots on goal for Crosby in the game.

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For Rinne's best act yet, he stopped a flurry of three shots in a span of three seconds midway through the second period to preserve what was at the time a 2-1 Predators lead. The NHL stopped play shortly thereafter, awarding Gaudreau the score after a review clearly showed the puck crossed the line. "And I thought our guys were sharp from start to finish".

On a breakaway, Crosby deked Rinne on the forehand and tucked a lovely backhander inside the far post as the Preds goalie was slow to get over in time. Then the goalie slid to his right stopping Guentzel with an assist from Nashville defenseman Roman Josi.

Malkin finished with two shots as the Penguins ended up being outscored 9-2 in Nashville. Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby converted on a breakaway before the frame was out to even the score, but in the second stanza, Nashville's netminder took over. "He was unbelievable again today and when they had their chances, when our system broke down, Peks was there for us".

That goal, which came 3:45 into the second period, stood as the game victor, Gaudreau's second in three days.

Arvidsson gave the Predators some breathing room with seven minutes left in the period when he streaked in on a breakaway and beat Murray on his glove side with a laser-like wrist shot.

I say that every single time.

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Filip Forsberg's empty-net goal at 16:37 of the third period completed the scoring. Nashville's four centers - Frederick Gaudreau, Calle Jarnkrok, Mike Fisher and Colton Sissons - have 13 points in the four Final games. After the anthem, two catfish and one stuffed penguin hit the ice despite Nashville coach Peter Laviolette's video plea earlier Monday asking fans not to throw anything.

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