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

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban left tries to skate past Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin of Sweden right during the second period in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Saturday

Just 66 seconds later, Crosby tied it up for Pittsburgh on a dazzling breakaway. It was his first goal in the Final since 2009, but it wasn't almost enough. Again, the Predators went the other way and made it 3-1 with Arvidsson beating Murray on a breakaway.

Will Pittsburgh press under the pressure of knowing that if they drop Game 5, their destiny may be determined?

He streaked in on a breakaway and beat Matt Murray on his glove side with a laser-like wrist shot.

Arvidsson had not scored a goal since an empty netter in Game 4 against Chicago that finished a sweep of the Blackhawks. NHL.com writers in Pittsburgh and Nashville will be checking in throughout the day.

The goal was Crosby's first in a Final since June 4, 2009, a span of 12 games for the Pittsburgh captain.

Gaudreau's goal didn't light the lamp right away and play resumed, but the horn sounded a little later because of video review. Pittsburgh is still not sure if Matt Murray or Marc-Andre Fleury is their go-to goalie.

Of course, based on the Nashville Predators' 4-1 win against the Penguins on Monday, there was only one goalie now worthy of the award.

Not long afterward, Crosby took the burden off Pittsburgh's overwhelmed blue line, racing across the ice (while Nashville's Ryan Ellis overpursued the puck) and driving all the way to the net, where he outdid Rinne with patience and a shot off the post that tied the game at one. "We capitalized on errors and Pek's was there for us when they had their chances", said Ellis.

Both Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held without a shot in Game 3 - the first time that's happened to the duo in the same playoff game.

The Penguins now have lost two straight for the second time this postseason.

What caused Nashville's decisive Game 4 victory? He also moved into 20th all-time in National Hockey League playoff points but the Predators clamped down after that. He has 57 goals and 104 assists, for a total of 161 points.

Frederick Gaudreau scored his third goal of the final, while Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg scored their first goal in what seemed like forever. And if Rinne can keep this up - and the Predators can continue to get depth scoring from the unlikeliest sources - the Penguins won't have a chance.

Jarnkrok's goal stood after the Penguins challenged that goaltender interference should have negated the score. It was Crosby's first goal of the series. Hearing Rocky Top as the Predators stepped on the Penguins' throats last night was just the icing on the cake. "Guys have to step up", Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters. Since the Penguins own home ice, they must defend it by winning this game.

What the Penguins are saying now sounds an bad lot like what the Predators were saying after coming up empty in Pittsburgh to start the final. He got split up from playing with Phil Kessel and managed just two shots, including a wraparound attempt that Rinne slid somehow slid across and stopped.

His absence leaves the Penguins without a veteran penalty killer. Gaudreau also scored in Game 1.

In a poll of fans, the 1984-85 Edmonton were chosen as the NHL's greatest team of all time.

Crosby said the next game is key. Guess hockey just has that impact on people.

"You've got trust what gets you here", Crosby said.

Nashville's All-Star defenseman was seen walked toward his locker room Monday with a bag that appeared to be filled with bottles of mouthwash. Pittsburgh is averaging 3.0 goals per game in the playoffs, the same as the Predators.

To say that the Stanley Cup Final has been a smashing success in Nashville would be an understatement.

Let's hope this series comes back to Nashville with a chance for the Predators to clinch the Stanley Cup. Rain kept the crowd outside from reaching the more than 50,000 who turned Saturday night for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Tennessee.

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