The Stanley Cup Finals were full of intriguing matchups going into Game 1 on Monday night in Pittsburgh.
It was fitting then that a coach's challenge led to the reversal of the series' first goal early in Game 1, scored by one the NHL's biggest stars. Nashville won the battle of possession, the shots on goal, all the fancy stuff: They lost the game, 5-3.
It's the type of nitpicking that has been under scrutiny since the National Hockey League rolled out its new coach's challenge policy in The Penguins rode the momentum of the reversal to score three goals in the final 4:28 of the first period for a 3-0 lead.
Pittsburgh dispatched the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Monday night despite being held without a shot on goal for almost two full periods.
Craig Smith - Was back in the Predators lineup for the first time in more than three weeks and didn't generate a shot attempt in 11:21 of ice time; turns out that it's tough to come back to Stanley Cup Final speed after missing some time.
Bonino contributed his second goal of the game, an empty-netter, at 18:58 of the third, to let the Penguins breathe easier, a narrow escape somehow executed. First, allowing the bench to challenge offsides that aren't called after the fact is theoretically in the interest of getting the call right, but the linesman was right there and there wasn't a definitive enough look at that play to warrant taking a goal off the board in the Stanley Cup Final. It was the third goal by the Penguins in seven shots on Rinne, who began the Cup Final with a sparkling.941 save percentage, and it should have inspired them.
So while the PPG Paints Arena crowd was quieted by the goal, there was a sudden announcement of an offside challenge.
Another injury has befallen the Nashville Predators, who won't have forward Colin Wilson available for Game 1. From there, we played solid. "They're a very opportunistic team, a high-skilled team, and we have to limit our mistakes". The Penguins are extremely fortunate to be heading into Wednesday's Game 2 with a series lead.
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"They got the win tonight, that just cuts down our opportunities to win four games".
"He hadn't faced a shot in a while, so you're just trying to get a shot on net", Guentzel told reporters of the Predators goalie.
Nashville continued to control play in the third period, and midway through the third period, they pulled closer with a Roman Josi goal from the right circle on a power play.
"I'm disappointed I didn't help my team", Rinne said. "We just have to stay positive".
"I thought we outplayed them, I really did", Nashville's P.K. Subban said. Connor Sheary rifled the puck past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne from near the side of the net 65 seconds later.
Just about everything that could go wrong did for Nashville in the opening period of a game that started so promisingly well. "We were just kind of throwing pucks at the net there", he said. The Penguins' top three centers had three goals and two assists.
"None of us in our dressing room is fooled by the score tonight", Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says on its website that Woods was booked into a county jail around 7 a.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017. We'll be better next game, that's for sure.
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.