Penguins take Game 1 of Stanley Cup Finals

Ross Houston
May 31, 2017

They find a way. Their total was bumped to eight after the horn sounded, but it was actually a shot on goal that was added dating back to the first period.

In fact, going back to the 2011 Stanley Cup final, playing the Under following an Over has produced a flawless 7-0 streak. It's their ability to survive when they don't.

The team that won Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final has gone on to win the series 78 percent of the time.

"We didn't do a great job of (shooting), but we made them count", Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.

All of Middle Tennessee is rooting on the red-hot Predators, who already have made history on two fronts. And yet it didn't matter. "Not a dominant performance, of course, by any means, but we got it done".

Another multiple-player effort led to the Penguins' second goal. Pittsburgh had a 3-0 first-period lead completely unravel and failed to generate a single shot for about 37 minutes, including zero in the second period. Pittsburgh was still without a shot from the first period when Sissons pulled Nashville to within one with the Preds second power-play goal of the night. "We've got to work harder, compete a little harder, but we got some timely goals".

"I expect him to bounce back", Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis said.

Pekka Rinne was shaky in yielding four goals on only 11 shots for the Predators.

Rinne said he couldn't remember "facing a night like that before".

FYI, the catfish toss has become a tradition at Predators home doing it on the road is really like a slap in the face to the opposing team.

Maybe, but the Penguins looked a step behind at the outset.

The Penguins are bidding to be the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998, while the Predators, who joined the National Hockey League in 1998, are in the Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. Someone threw a dead catfish onto the ice early in the second period. I'm disappointed I couldn't help my team ... "None of us in our dressing room are fooled by the score tonight", Sullivan said.

It was maybe the most weird game ever played in the Stanley Cup Final, one that left you sitting there thinking: "What the heck did we just watch?" That 10-minute stretch, though, was good enough to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period.

On top of that, the Preds also had a goal from P.K. Subban overturned in the first period due to an offside.

Turned out that Filip Forsberg was indeed offside, his right skate picking up before he received the puck, and the goal was taken off the board.

"We hate the result", Predators head coach Peter Laviolette said.

The Penguins could smell blood and they took full advantage.

It looked like a repeat of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, when the Penguins poured in four goals in the first period of a 7-0 rout.

Nashville, unlike the Senators, didn't bail. They scored three goals in the opening frame, one each from Evgeni Malkin, Sheary and Nick Bonino, respectively.

The Pens rarely came close in those 20 minutes to even landing a shot at Rinne and Nashville eventually marched all the way back with two power-play goals and a third game-tying marker from undrafted centre Frederick Gaudreau.

That's a general description of the Penguins through Sullivan's eyes.

Guentzel broke a 3-3 tie with just over three minutes left in regulation as the Penguins hung on to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Monday night. Laviolette said there would be no question how Rinne would respond "as the backbone of this team".

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