By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Despite going nearly 40 minutes without a shot on goal, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins won 5-3 against the Predators, who were making their first-ever Stanley Cup appearance.
With 3:17 left in the third period, Jake Guentzel scored the game-winning goal. It was on the team’s first shot on goal in the third period, which was his 10th goal of the postseason.
Predators center Frédérick Gaudreau tied the game at 3-3 with a goal at 13:29 in the third period.
Nick Bonino added a late goal for the Penguins with the empty net goal at 1:02 left in the contest.
“No,” Bonino said without officially a shot on goal but two goals. “I’ll take it, though. It’s been longer than it was for Jake.
“It’s funny, you try to get the perfect shot off a lot. Then, you just throw it at the net with one hand and it goes in. Sometimes, you need those to get out of a little bit of a slump. We’ll take ’em how we can get ’em, for sure.”
The Penguins scored three goals on their first eight shots. Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary and Bonino scored in a span of four minutes.
When the Predators were down 3-0, the Predators got on the board when Ryan Ellis scored at 8:21 in the second period. The Penguins did not register a single shot on goal in the period.
“We weren’t very good,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said of the nearly 40 minutes without a shot on goal. “You know, we weren’t very good. So when you’re playing a team, like Nashville, that has a balanced attack, you’ve got to have some push-back. I don’t think in the second period, we had any push-back.
“It seemed like, we had a discussion in between periods about staying on our toes, playing the game the right way, making sure that we don’t try to sit on the lead or defend the lead, that we try to go our and get the next goal. This team usually, for the most part, is pretty good at making sure that we’re continuing to play the game the right way. [Monday night] wasn’t the case. We just weren’t very good.”
Colton Sissons cut the Penguins lead to 3-2 when he scored at 10:06 in the third period. Then, Gaudreau scored to tie the game.
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