Preds encouraged despite Game 1 loss in Stanley Cup Final

Preds encouraged despite Game 1 loss in Stanley Cup Final

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne allowed four goals on 11 shots.

Guentzel then scored to bring PPG Paints Arena back to life and Bonino put away his second of the night into an empty net for the night's final score.

The Penguins could not muster one shot after Nick Bonino scored to make 3-0 1:02 before the first intermission.

In the aftermath of the Penguins' 5-3 victory over the Predators in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, much of the focus has been on the Penguins' inability to get pucks on net. Matt Murray finished with 23 saves for the Penguins, who used the first coach's challenge in Finals history to wipe out an early Nashville goal and held on despite going an astonishing 37:09 at one point without a shot.

So we will hear it over the next day-and-a-half or so, we will hear all about it - we'll hear how the Penguins "stole" Game 1 or how Nashville deserved better or something along those lines. The defending champs were acutely aware that they weren't at their best and they'd seen the Predators roar back and tie things up with third-period goals from Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau.

"I thought we outplayed them, I really did", Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said. "We got the ultimate result, which is a win, and that's what's important this time of year". The Penguins aren't going to shoot 41.6 percent, as they did in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, because hockey teams don't just shoot 41.6 percent.

Predators fans have been chucking catfish onto the playing surface since 2003 - a tradition similar to the Detroit Red Wings' famous octopus toss. For five-sixths of this game, Nashville didn't just dominate the Penguins; They demolished them. "At the end of the game, I'm disappointed that I couldn't help my team".

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - The first period of their first Stanley Cup Final game was a rough one for the Nashville Predators. That 10-minute stretch, though, was good enough to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period. The Predators have hardly played like one while beating Chicago in a lopsided four-game sweep then outrunning St. Louis and outlasting Anaheim to reach the Cup final for the first time. Under strict interpretation of offside, it was the correct call, but that will not stop the debate over the coach's challenge to spill out on the NHL's biggest stage.

After the game, head coach Mike Sullivan was livid with his team's run-and-gun twelve shot mentality. It stood as the game victor as Bonino added another to give the Penguins a 5-3 win of the most improbable variety.

Not everything, though. Pittsburgh's second goal came after Nashville's Calle Jarnkrok laid his stick on Patric Hornqvist's skate in front of the net, and Hornqvist went down - it was either a very artful trip or a phantom call, but as it happened Nashville's James Neal was cross-checking Trevor Daley at about the same time.

It temporarily deflated Nashville, giving the Penguins the wiggle room they needed to take charge. Since the first period the shot attempts were 27-12 for Nashville, and 14-0 on the shot clock.

No team had ever gone shot-less in one period of a Stanley Cup final game since the National Hockey League began tracking shots on goal in 1957. They can win with both firepower and precision. Pittsburgh did eventually rally to win the game 5-3.

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

Rookie forward Jake Guentzel has found many advantages and only one disadvantage to occupying the locker beside Sidney Crosby's at the Pittsburgh Penguins' suburban practice rink.

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