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Penguins top Predators in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Finals

A disastrous first period doomed the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final despite shutting the Pittsburgh Penguins down for most of the second and third periods

The Pens rode an early lead after an overturned goal to a 5-3 win, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Goaltender Matt Murray earned the win in goal with 22 saves. It was the first time the Predators lost Game 1 of any series this playoffs, and the first Stanley Cup Final game in Nashville history.

Pittsburgh went almost two whole periods without a shot on net before Jake Guentzel scored the game-winning goal late in the third period.

The Penguins won with four goals on nine shots and were out shot, 25-11, by the end of the game.

Nashville dug themselves a massive hole in the first period.

Minutes into the first, the Predators defenseman P.K. Subban opened the scoring with a wrist shot that beat Murray. But goal was waved off after a controversial offsides challenge review.

Nashville barely had time to digest the call before the entire game got away from them.

The first period went from good to bad to awful, as a few penalties and missed calls and odd mistakes led to a 3-0 Penguins lead after one period.

Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary, and Nick Bonino all scored in that frame.

Nashville was utterly dominant in the second period, holding the Penguins without a shot on net over 20 minutes. It was the first time in franchise history that Pittsburgh hadn’t registered a shot on goal during a playoffs period.

And yet, the Predators had nothing but one goal from Ryan Ellis to show for it that period. The Penguins, outshot by 20-8 through two, were hanging on by Murray’s thread.

All of that hard work paid off with some luck of their own when Roman Josi’s third period shot ricocheted off of his teammate and past Murray to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 3-2. Shortly thereafter, Frederick Gaudreau tied the game with his first goal of the playoffs.

Yeah. Guentzel broke in and ripped one past Rinne for the go-ahead score with three minutes left in the third, and Bonino sunk the empty-net dagger for a stunning Game 1 win.

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