Shot-shy Penguins survive rally to claim Stanley Cup opener

  • Shot-shy Penguins survive rally to claim Stanley Cup opener

Shot-shy Penguins survive rally to claim Stanley Cup opener

For almost two entire periods of game time, the Nashville Predators had Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final on lockdown, holding the Pittsburgh Penguins without a shot on goal. There have been several Game 7s for Pittsburgh in the interim on both sides of the ledger, though the Penguins are 2-0 in Game 7s under Sullivan."This one would have a lot of Sid's fingerprints, of him willing his team to a Stanley Cup and winning again - if he did do it", Bylsma said. "I think it's awesome, but I get cool points from my daughter and my wife more for the Carrie Underwood than I do for me", Waddell said.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - This is what the Pittsburgh Penguins do.

Still, they controlled the puck for long stretches after Pittsburgh exploded for three quick goals. The Nebraska native has learned to time his arrival until the herd thins, but the wait is a small price to pay for the benefits of getting a close-up look at Crosby's professionalism.

And then things settled down. And to put the Pens' weird win into perspective, Pittsburgh's 12 total shots on goal were the fewest for a winning team in Stanley Cup Final history. 8, Pittsburgh, Bonino 4 (Kunitz), 18:58. I think that's an important takeaway. Having had to undergo shock therapy for every missed opportunity, they've learned their lesson to only shoot when they know they'll score. Led by criminally underrated defenseman Roman Josi, the Predators limited the high-octane Penguins to just 12 total shots on goal in Game 1.

At that point, Pittsburgh had no shots since the first period, and that continued through a Penguins power play.

That was it for shots on Rinne though until Guentzel's go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner.

Waddell was carrying out a tradition among Nashville fans, who regularly throw catfish on to the rink during their team's home games.

"We got a favorable result (Monday) night, but we know that we need to be much better in order to continue to get to where we want to go", Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "Or maybe the guy up there [the official scorer] can give us at least one", Crosby said, smiling. After taking a 3-0 lead in the first period, the Penguins went 36 minutes and 43 seconds without a shot on net.

Saves: N (Rinne) 7; P (Murray) 23.

Throughout the playoffs, the 16th-seeded Nashville Predators have gained admirers due to their next-man-up mentality and suffocating brand of defense. Pittsburgh has the top three scorers in the playoffs entering the Finals with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel leading the National Hockey League.

But Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan had faith in the rookie winger. The Predators controlled the pace and the puck, just not the scoreboard. The defending Cup champions then didn't have a shot for exactly 37 minutes as the Predators roared back to tie the score at 3. One empty-net goal. One wrister by Guentzel that Rinne couldn't handle. And with just 16.1 seconds left in the first, Rinne poked Bonino's centering pass and the deflected puck bounced off Mattias Ekholm and into the goal. "We didn't do that [Monday] night", Daley said.

Malkin called playing the Predators "the hardest challenge of my life".

Nothing in the entire second period.

Moments later, a Ryan Ellis power-play blast made it a 3-1 game.

Frederick Gaudreau - the Predators' own rookie hero - netted his first-career National Hockey League goal with 6:31 to play in regulation to erase a three-goal deficit.

From there, the Predators were rolling, with all the momentum from their three-goal comeback.

"It just wasn't our night", Fisher said.