Guentzel's late goal gives Penguins Game 1 over Predators

Doug Mendoza
May 31, 2017

Jake Guentzel scored the game-winning goal with just over 3 minutes to play in the third period on Pittsburgh's first shot in 37 minutes and nine seconds.

Pittsburgh got an even bigger break with 16.1 seconds left in the first when Rinne stopped a shot by Bonino, only to have the rebound hit Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm's leg and bounce into the net to make it 3-0.

It's the first time in Penguins' playoff history that they failed to register a shot in a period.

But despite all of Waddell's efforts - and those of the Nashville players - the Predators lost to the Penguins, 5-3, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Nashville dominated the period with shift after shift buzzing in the Penguins zone and hammering their weakened defence - which is without top defender Kris Letang.

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. Just a minute later Conor Sheary scored a goal that was set up by a handsome pass from Sidney Crosby, who sent the puck out from behind the net to Chris Kunitz who fed it cross-ice to Sheary.

The Penguins are 11-2 in the playoffs when scoring first.

The Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department and CDE Lightband will stream the game to a huge screen on the First Street side of City Hall.

Just how Penguins coach Mike Sullivan drew it up. Matt Murray made 23 saves. "So far we have 12, we need four more against Nashville to get the Stanley cup", said Andrew Schaffer of Monroeville. Conor Sheary scored 65 seconds later.

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"Throwing dead cat fish is a Nashville tradition that's loosely based off the Red Wings" iconic octopus throw. The loss is Nashville's first in a Game 1 this postseason. The Penguins had played almost two periods in a defensive shell that Predators goalie Pekka Rinne could have been reading a book or watching TV back in the dressing room.

From there, the Predators were rolling, with all the momentum from their three-goal comeback. The Nashville Predators have never been in the finals before.

The second period started how the first ended - with the Predators actually shooting on their own goalie - but the Preds looked to have more energy than the Penguins after the first intermission.

Pittsburgh downplayed the notion it was worn out, figuring adrenaline and a shot at making history would make up for any lack of jump while playing their 108th game in the last calendar year.

Crosby had two assists, Nick Bonino scored a pair and Evgeni Malkin found the back of the net as the Pens grabbed a 1-0 series lead. When the play is allowed to go on and on to the point where both teams touch the puck and the offside is ancient history, challenging the play seems contrary to the spirit of the rule.

Game 2 is back here on Wednesday, and here's a stat to remember: Whichever team wins Game 1 in the Stanley Cup final marches to victory 78 percent of the time. "When you have a guy that you can look up to, I was confident to say that in front of a lot of people. So next game will be important for us".

The 36-year-old, who went to the Cup final with Ottawa in 2007, missed the last two games of the Western Conference final with an undisclosed injury. Hornqvist, who will be a game-time decision for Game 1 while recovering from upper-body injury, gives the Penguins a almost intractable net-front presence.

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