Guentzel's late goal lifts Penguins over Predators in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

Tuesday May 30th, 2017

After giving up a three-goal advantage Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins held on to beat the visiting Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

P.K. Subban got the Predators out to an early lead less than eight minutes into the game-at least, that was the original call on the ice. The Penguins challenged the goal, alleging that Nashville's Filip Forsberg was offside. After further review, Pittsburgh was right.

Recap | Box score | Highlights

The opening stanza remained deadlocked at 0-0 until the final 4:28 in the period. That's when Pittsburgh opened the floodgates. A slap shot from Evgeni Malkin on the power play gave the Penguins a 1-0 edge. Connor Sheary rifled the puck past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne from near the side of the net 65 seconds later. Nick Bonino made it 3-0 with 17 seconds left in the first frame after the puck bounced off Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm and into the net.

Nashville cut its deficit to two 8:21 into the second period. With the Predators on the power play, Ryan Ellis and Subban played a little pitch-and-catch before Ellis blasted a shot from behind the left face-off circle past goalie Matt Murray to make the score 3-1.

Goals from Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau tied the game at 3-3 in the third period.

NHL
Stanley Cup Final: Analytics say Penguins vs. Predators outcome is a coin-flip

But Pittsburgh wasn't done. Jake Guentzel broke the tie with 3:17 left in regulation. His goal snapped a 37:09 stretch of ice time Monday in which the Penguins didn't record a shot on goal. Bonino tallied an empty-netter to make it 5-3 with 62 seconds remaining.

Pittsburgh leads the Stanley Cup Final, 1-0. The loss is Nashville's first in a Game 1 this postseason. Game 2 is set for Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Highlight of the Night

Nashville's Gaudreau streaked down the slot, collected Austin Watson's pass and buried the shot to tie the game, 3-3, at 13:29 in the third period.

Stat of the Night

Nashville made NHL history in Game 1: The Predators held the Penguins without a shot on goal in the second period, becoming the first team in Stanley Cup Final history to keep an opponent from recording a shot on goal in a Cup Final period since shots on goal became a stat in 1957-58.

What's more, Pittsburgh became the fourth team since 1990 to win a playoff game with 12 shots or fewer.

NHL
Illustrated Review: Predators’ defense has tall task in containing Penguins’ Crosby, Malkin

Three Stars

3. Frederick Gaudreau (NSH) Gaudreau's first goal of the 2017 playoffs tied Monday's game at 3-3.

2. Nick Bonino (PIT) Bonino scored twice in Game 1, doubling his goal total during this year's playoffs to four.

1. Jake Guentzel (PIT) Guentzel's game-winner was his 10th goal this postseason, putting him atop the NHL's leaderboard for the postseason.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.