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.
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.
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.
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.