Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Changed Everything
It was a pivotal game.
A win by the San Jose Sharks would tie the Stanley Cup Final up at two games apiece, while a victory from the Pittsburgh Penguins would send the series back to Pittsburgh with a chance for the Pens to clinch it.
Per our numbers, a win by the Sharks last night would have given them a 45.13% chance to lift the Stanley Cup this year. They would've been right in it, making it a three-game series.
But that win didn't happen, and now they're staring at an uphill battle.
The Penguins' victory in San Jose raised their odds of winning the Stanley Cup Final from 70.92% to 89.96%, making them huge favorites. And history certainly is on the Penguins' side.
Teams that take a 3-1 lead in #StanleyCup Final hold an all-time series record of 31-1 since it became a best-of-seven in 1939. @EliasSports
â€” NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 7, 2016
Game 4 was anything but a lock for the Penguins, even with a two-goal lead after two periods. The Sharks scored before the 10-minute mark hit in the third period, making it 2-1 and raising the team's in-game win probability from 5.54% to 17.02%, per RinkStats.com. That hope faded, though, when Eric Fehr snapped a wrister past goaltender Martin Jones with two minutes remaining.
The Pens will take their 3-1 series lead back to Consol Energy Center on Thursday, where they could become the first Pittsburgh sports team to win a championship at home since Bill Mazeroski's famous walk-off home run during the 1960 World Series.
It won't be easy, though -- no team won more road games this year in the regular season than the Sharks.
Game 5 could end everything, but it could also make things very, very interesting.