Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators Game 4
Date and Time: Monday, June 5, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
NHL Playoff Odds: Predators -150, O/U 5
Penguins vs. Predators Game 4 TV Coverage: NBC
"Smashville" was brilliant on Saturday night. The crowd at Bridgestone Arena was out of this world in the city's first ever Stanley Cup Finals game, and the 17,283 in attendance played a huge role in Nashville's 5-1 win on Saturday night. Even though Pittsburgh struck first early on in the game, the Predators had a 12-6 shot advantage in that first period, and it felt like it was just a matter of time until the floodgates opened.
After largely outplaying Pittsburgh for seven straight periods and having just four total goals to show for it, the Predators finally came through in a 30-minute span in Game 3, scoring five times in succession without response. There were five different goal scorers on the night, starting with Roman Josi and ending with Mattias Ekholm.
Though the Penguins played their best game of this series for our money, they were never really in a position to get the job done. They gave up far too many odd man rushes over the course of the game. It was the one conceded to Craig Smith five minutes into the third period that probably put things away once and for all, as that stretched the lead out to 4-1.
But the hero on this night was Pekka Rinne. Rinne had a terrible first two games of his first ever Stanley Cup Finals, but finally, he outdueled Matt Murray by stopping 27-of-28 shots. If Rinne is playing with this much confidence in Game 4, it'll be a game that Nashville would expect to ultimately win.
3 – The number of shots on goal the Penguins have had on their last 12 power plays in the playoffs.
Needless to say, Pittsburgh is 0-for-12 on said power plays. For a team that is able to throw names like Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Guentzel out on the power play, perhaps at the same time, it's amazing that the Penguins can't even get a shot on target. They did have one shot on three power plays in Game 3, but there wasn't a single moment in those six minutes on the man advantage that it felt like the Pens were going to light the lamp. It's a strange development for sure, but it's definitely going to be a factor in the rest of this series if Mike Sullivan can't figure out how to turn things around.
Penguins vs. Predators Game 4 Free Picks
The Penguins might feel like they're down and out at this point, but they still have a 2-1 series lead, and they've generally responded well to losses over the course of this postseason. This is an opportunity to get back on the horse in a hurry, and we think they're going to take it. It's still a dire situation for the Preds; lose this game, and they'll be facing elimination in Pittsburgh in just a few short days.
Even though Rinne was big in Game 3, we just aren't confident enough in him that he can finish the job in Game 4 and level this series. It'll be the power play that ultimately gets the job done for Pittsburgh. There's only so many times you can take dumb penalties and give the Penguins a huge edge before you pay for it, and that'll be what happens in Game 4 to push Lord Stanley's Cup to the brink of staying in Pittsburgh for a second straight season.
Penguins vs. Predators Game 4 Pick: Penguins +130 at BookMaker.eu
Penguins vs. Predators Game 4 Score Prediction: Penguins 5,Predators 2