At 16:43 of the third period, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel scored the game-winning goal to his team the win.The Penguins also added an empty net goal to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in the Stanley Cup Final Game 1.
Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cup Final Game 1, Despite blowing 3-0 lead
Penguins shooting Struggles
The Penguins got out to an early 3-0 lead. The three penguins goals came late into the first period. Evgeni Malkin officially opened the scoring during a two-man advantage, after James Neal and Calle Jarnkrok were called for infractions on the same play. Conor Sheary got his first goal of these playoffs to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. Nick Bonino gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead just with 17 seconds left in the first period. It was a flukey goal as a rebound deflected off Mattias Ekholm‘s leg and into the net.
The Predators managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game up. This included two goals on the power-play from Ryan Ellis and Colton Sissons. Frederick Gaudreau tied the game 13:28 into the third period with his NHL playoff goal.
Guentzel’s goal also broke a 37-minute shot-less drought for the Penguins which dated back to end of the first period. After scoring three goals on eight shots during the first period, the Penguins were unable to register a shot until very late in the third. The Penguins managed a 5-3 win, with only 12 shots on goal. Overall, the Predators out-shot the Penguins 26-12 in the game.
Early in the first period, the Predators P.K. Subban appeared to open the scoring in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan decided to challenge the goal for an offside on the play. While, the call was close, the NHL video review centre decided that Filip Forsberg was in fact offside when carrying the puck over the blue line. This caused a lot of controversy as the play could have gone either way.
The call on the play seemed to be the boost that lead to the three goals by the Penguins. After the goal was disallowed, the Penguins gained a boost and dominated much of the first period.
The Goaltending Battle
Despite, getting banged up mid-way through the first period, Matt Murray highly outplayed his counterpart Pekka Rinne. While Murray’s stats weren’t incredible, having stopped 23 of 26 shots, he did enough to keep his team in the game. The Penguins survived even while they were unable to get a shot off. As for Rinne, he disappointed his teammates having only stopped seven of the 11 shots he faced. Goaltending played a big role in determining the winner of Game 1.
Expect Game 2 to be a bounce back for Rinne.