Pittsburgh holds off Predators in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Latest on Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (all times local):

11 p.m.

Jake Guentzel broke a 37-minute shot drought to score the winning goal in the final minutes as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

The Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary and then Nick Bonino, when the puck went in off Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm. 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.

Nashville got goals from Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau as it dominated Pittsburgh in the second period and most of the third. A waved-off goal by P.K. Subban in the first period on a coach’s challenge loomed large when Guentzel beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in the third on the Penguins’ ninth shot.

Bonino sealed it with an empty-netter.

Pittsburgh had the fewest shots by a winning team in a Cup Final game with 12.

___

10:52 p.m.

Finally, a shot from the Penguins.

Jake Guentzel broke a shot drought of 37:09 to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead on the Predators with 3:17 left in the third period of an unusual Stanley Cup Final opener.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period, But the Penguins were then outscored by Nashville 3-0 since their last shot, with 17 seconds remaining in the first.

___

10:45 p.m.

Tie game in Pittsburgh.

The Predators have come all the way back from a three-goal deficit to tie the Penguins at 3-3 in the third period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Rookie Frederick Gaudreau scored 13:29 into the third, just after a Pittsburgh power play expired. The Predators have outshot the Penguins 14-0 since falling behind 3-0 with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.

It was Gaudreau’s first career playoff goal.

___

10:40 p.m.

Nashville has scored and it is now 3-2 Pittsburgh late in the third period of the Stanley Cup Final opener.

Colton Sissons has scored on a deflection on the power play. He redirected Roman Josi’s shot past Matt Murray 10:06 into the third period.

The Penguins have not had a shot on Pekke Rinne since scoring their third goal with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.

___

10:30 p.m.

It’s been all Predators since the first intermission of Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final.

Pittsburgh had no shots in the second period – the first such period by any team in a Stanley Cup Final game since the NHL began tracking shots on goal in 1958. The Predators put up nine shots and scored once to cut their deficit to 3-1.

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

___

9:43 p.m.

Ryan Ellis made the Penguins pay for Ian Cole’s roughing penalty by scoring a power-play goal 8:21 into the second period that cut the Predators’ deficit to 3-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Ellis took a shot from the left circle that went in as Viktor Arvidsson set a jumping screen in front of Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray. The goal is the defenseman’s fifth of the playoffs.

Maybe it was the catfish: It took about 23 minutes into Game 1 for the first catfish to be thrown onto the ice. And this was in Pittsburgh.

Taking a page from the Detroit Red Wings’ time-honored octopi-throwing tradition, Predators fans have made it a tradition to throw catfish on the ice in Nashville.

___

9:09 p.m.

It’s 3-0 Pittsburgh after the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Nashville.

Pittsburgh scored three goals on five shots against Pekke Rinne to take the lead into the first intermission.

Evgeni Malkin has made it 1-0 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal 15:32 into the first period. Conor Sheary scored 65 seconds later. He was wide open at the side of the net thanks to a pass from Chris Kunitz.

The third goal came when Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm deflected the puck into his own net. The goal with 16.1 seconds remaining in the opening period was credited to Nick Bonino after he put the puck off Rinne and it went in off Ekholm’s knee.

It is the first time Nashville has trailed by three or more goals in the playoffs. The Predators had what would have been the game’s first goal wiped out by a coach’s challenge.

___

8:55 p.m.

Evgeni Malkin has made it 1-0 Pittsburgh with a 5-on-3 power-play goal against Nashville in Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final.

Nashville’s Calle Jarnkrok took an interference penalty and James Neal a cross-checking penalty on the same play to give Pittsburgh the advantage. Malkin scored 15:32 into the first period.

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

It’s Malkin’s eighth goal of the playoffs.

___

8:45 p.m.

Mike Sullivan’s coach’s challenge has wiped out what looked like the first goal of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators’ P.K. Subban scored at 7:13 of the first period, but linesman Brian Murphy reviewed the play and agreed with the Penguins coach that Filip Forsberg was in the offensive zone before the puck crossed the blue line.

It was the fifth successful coach’s challenge in the playoffs to overturn a ruling made on the ice, out of 20 attempts.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said prior to Game 1 that the NHL’s video review system on offside and goaltender interference opportunities was working as intended.

___

8:15 p.m.

Game 1 is in Pittsburgh, but that isn’t stopping Predators fans from lining up to watch the Stanley Cup Final in Nashville.

The team opened Bridgestone Arena for fans , with the line wrapping around the building . It’s also hosting two watch parties outside the rink, with demand high for the franchise’s first final game.

As of Monday night, the cheapest ticket available on StubHub for Game 3 or 4 in Nashville was $1,000.

Pittsburgh beat the San Jose Sharks in six games last year. The Penguins have Cup-winning goalie Matt Murray back in form from the injury that knocked him out of the first two rounds.

___

8 p.m.

Carl Hagelin is out of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup, but Jake Guentzel is in. Guentzel took line rushes on the fourth line with Matt Cullen and Patric Hornqvist, who’s back after missing six games with an undisclosed injury.

Pittsburgh has Sidney Crosby centering Game 7 overtime hero Chris Kunitz and Conor Sheary, Evgeni Malkin centering Scott Wilson and Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino between Bryan Rust and Carter Rowney with the usual blue line of Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley, Ron Hainsey with Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz with Ian Cole.

With Colin Wilson out and Mike Fisher and Craig Smith back, Nashville has some new-look lines: Colton Sissions centering Filip Forsberg and Pontus Aberg, Fisher between Victor Arvidsson and James Neal, Calle Jarnkrok between Frederick Gaudreau and Smith and Vern Fiddler between Cody McLeod and Auston Watson. Peter Laviolette is sticking with Mattias Ekholm with P.K. Subban, Roman Josi with Ryan Ellis and Matt Irwin with Yannick Weber on defense.

___

7:45 p.m.

Another injury has befallen the Nashville Predators, who won’t have forward Colin Wilson available for Game 1. The team announced Wilson was out just prior to the start of warmups.

Nashville was expected to get captain Mike Fisher and Craig Smith back, but add Wilson to Ryan Johansen (compartment syndrome in left thigh) and Kevin Fiala (broken leg) in the walking wounded department.

As warmups began at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Carl Hagelin was on the ice but as one of 13 forwards. Coach Mike Sullivan called Hagelin a game-time decision.

One no-doubter for each side is the starting goaltenders. Veteran Pekka Rinne is making his first start in the Cup Final for Nashville, while Matt Murray is back after winning the title last year.

___

6:15 p.m.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star weekend, the surest sign yet that the NHL will actually bypass the Olympics.

The Lightning had been rumored to host the event, which will take place Jan. 27-28 at Amalie Arena, but the Olympics remained the elephant in the room. The league has said since early April that it won’t be sending players to Pyeongchang and would be making its 2017-18 schedule as normal, but some held out hope.

The previous time the NHL held an All-Star weekend and sent players to the Olympics was 1998, the first of five trips to the Games.

Bettman also announced that the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs’ previously reported outdoor game at the Naval Academy will be the start of a series of outdoor games at U.S. service academies.

___

6 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators are set to each get an important player back for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says winger Patric Hornqvist will be back after missing the past six games with an undisclosed injury. Predators captain Mike Fisher says he’s “ready to rock” after missing two games with his own undisclosed injury.

Hornqvist hadn’t played since May 13, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final against the Ottawa Senators. Sullivan called wingers Carl Hagelin and Jake Guentzel game-time decisions.

In addition to Fisher, Nashville could get forward Craig Smith back after the forward missed 12 of the past 13 games with an undisclosed injury. Fisher and Smith took part in the team’s morning skate Monday at PPG Paints Arena.

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s