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Stanley Cup Final

Mike Fisher of Predators gets birthday wish in Game 4 win vs. Penguins

Center turns 37, helps Nashville even Stanley Cup Final

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher waited through one long day and three periods of hockey to get his birthday wish on Monday.

A win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The newly minted 37-year-old didn't require anything else.

"That's all I wanted for my birthday," Fisher said.

 

[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Penguins series coverage | Pekka Rinne of Predators looks superhuman in Game 4 win against Penguins

 

The Predators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2; Game 5 is at Pittsburgh on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Here is a telling statistic: Fisher went 14 games without a point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but has four points in four Cup Final games, including a prototypical Fisher assist on Viktor Arvidsson's goal at 13:08 of the second period to make it 3-1.

The goal was something of a dagger, via Fisher's diving one-handed pass from the neutral zone to Arvidsson, who managed to get in behind the Penguins defense.

Predators coach Peter Laviolette said Fisher was the "heartbeat of our team."

"I've taken on questions about Mike," Laviolette said. "People will say it's time to produce. He's been unbelievable. He's an unbelievable captain. He's been great in the locker room. He lives his life and lives his hockey life every day in a manner that you would want to follow.

"Most of it is led with heart and will. I think that that poke to move the puck forward is just typical of him."

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm4: Laviolette and players talk Game 4 win

Fisher was the one member of the Predators with previous experience in the Stanley Cup Final, having played in five games for the Ottawa Senators in the 2007 Final against the champion Anaheim Ducks.

The higher the stakes, the better Fisher has been.

"I don't think it's fair to judge a player based on the points all the time," Predators forward Harry Zolnierczyk said. "The type of player he is, the type of player we know him as. He does a lot more than just [put] points up for us.

"Sure he wasn't producing, point-wise, for us in the first three rounds. … He drives this ship in the right direction every night. It was only a matter of time before he started getting rewarded."

Fisher missed the final two games of the Western Conference Final against the Ducks, and the Predators have been without their No. 1 center, Ryan Johansen, since Game 4 of the conference final.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm4: Carrie Underwood joins the broadcast

Fisher returned and had two assists in Game 1 of the Cup Final. He has points in three of the four games.

"We've got to continue to get better in the series because we know it's not getting any easier," Fisher said. "As a center group, be even better because we know what we're facing."

In other words, the birthday celebration will be a one-night thing.

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