What a classic! The Pittsburgh Penguins take Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final with a 5-3 win against the Nashville Predators on Monday at PPG Paints Arena.
This game had a bit of everything. The Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a six-minute outburst at the end of the first. Nashville overcame a disallowed goal and then held Pittsburgh without a shot for 37 minutes as they battled back.
Jake Guentzel scored the go-ahead goal on their first shot since the first period with 3:17 left and Nick Bonino added an empty-netter.
Game 2 is here Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Bonino pads lead with empty-netter
Pittsburgh finally got a shot on goal and it was a dagger.
Jake Guentzel had Pittsburgh's first shot in 37 minutes and snapped a high wrister past Pekka Rinne to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead with 3:17 remaining.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Guentzel snipes late go-ahead goal
It stopped the bleeding for the Penguins, who had surrendered a three-goal lead.
It is the first goal for Guentzel in nine games. It is 10th goal of the postseason.
Nick Bonino scored an empty-net goal with 1:02 left to give Pittsburgh a 5-3 lead. That's five goals on 10 shots.
Buckle up! We have a game now.
Nashville received a power-play goal by center Colton Sissons at 10:06 to make it 3-2. Then tied it at 13:29 on a goal by Frederick Gaudreau after Nashville killed a delay of game penalty. Mike Fisher picked up his second assist of the game on the Gaudreau's goal.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Gaudreau nets Watson's nice feed
Sissons has four goals in his past two games. This one came when a shot by Roman Josi banked off his knee and past Matt Murray. It was Nashville's fourth shot of the period and third during a power play created when Evgeni Malkin was called for a slash on P.K. Subban in the neutral zone.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Sissons redirects Josi's shot for PPG
Pittsburgh doesn't have a shot in the period and has not tested Pekka Rinne since the goal by Nick Bonino with 16.1 seconds remaining in first period.
We're under way in the third period and the numbers other than the score line - 3-1 for Pittsburgh - are grim for the Penguins.
They have eight shots, all in the first period, and 17 shot attempts for the game. Six of the 18 skaters have shots with Conor Sheary and Sidney Crosby with two each.
According to NBC, it is the first time the Penguins have been held without a shot on goal in a period during the postseason in its history.
It is the first time in Stanley Cup Final history that an opponent has been held without a shot on goal since the NHL started tracking the stat in the 1957-58 season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Yet, despite all that, the Predators have not generated enough with their 20 shots, managing a power-play goal by Ryan Ellis.
It's still a game here as the Predators dominated the second period, outshooting the Penguins, 9-0 and outscoring them 1-0.
With 20 minutes remaining, Pittsburgh leads 3-1, but there is little doubt that they are hanging on at this point.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan juggled his lines throughout the second half of the second period, but could not find the chemistry he wanted.
It will certainly be an interesting third period. Stay tuned.
Nashville is on the board, trailing 3-1 midway through the second period.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis has the goal, on the power play. Ellis, from the top of the circle, ripped a slap shot through a screen by forward Viktor Arvidsson and past goalie Matt Murray at 8:21.
Mike Fisher earned the secondary assist on the goal, his first point of the playoffs.
Pittsburgh has struggled for offense, it has no shots on goal this period.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Ellis pots PPG on scorching one-timer
We're back for the second period and the Pittsburgh fans are enjoying the Penguins' 3-0 lead.
But all is not lost for the Predators. Nashville was controlling the game up until the offside challenge took away a goal by P.K. Subban.
Pittsburgh had two shots until Malkin scored at 15:32. Nashville out-shot the Penguins 9-7. They won 11 of the 20 faceoffs.
If they can put together a similar start to the second period, that is the road to follow in trying to mount a comeback.
What a momentum swing!
The Penguins, after having a Nashville goal negated for offsides after a video review, score two quick goals, and one at the end of the period, to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Pittsburgh took the lead on a 5-on-3 goal at 15:35 by Evgeni Malkin, who leads the playoffs with 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists).
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Malkin nets PPG on blistering slapper
With Calle Jarnkrok (interference) and James Neal (cross-checking) in the box for infractions on the same play, Pittsburgh had a two-man advantage for a full two minutes.
Late in the power play, Malkin blasted a heavy slapper off the bottom of the glove of Pekka Rinne and the puck trickled into the net.
Sixty-five seconds later, forward Conor Sheary scored his first of the postseason, taking a Chris Kunitz pass and slapping it into the open half of the net created by the quick pass. Sidney Crosby had the secondary assist on the play.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Sheary finishes Kunitz's feed
The third goal was an own goal when a shot from Nick Bonino was saved by Rinne, but the rebound bounced off of defenseman Mattias Ekholm and into the net with 16.1 seconds left.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Bonino banks goal in off defender
A fast start for the Nashville Predators in the first period of their first Stanley Cup Final game.
The Predators have shown little nervousness so far.
They thought they had scored the game-opening goal at 7:13, but it was negated by a successful coach's challenge for offsides. Filip Forsberg's trail foot was off the ice as he received a pass inside the blue line.
Video: Situation Room: Subban's goal overturned after review
That negated a slap shot from P.K. Subban through traffic the eluded the blocker of goalie Matt Murray.
Forward Craig Smith, out since May 7, had the first quality chance of the game, pouncing on a neutral zone turnover and getting a semi-breakaway. Second-line forward Viktor Arvidsson already has three attempts.
After eight minutes of play, Nashville has a 4-2 lead in shots on goal. Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby registered the first shot for his team at 4:12 of the period.
And, we're off.
A wild pregame celebration here. Celebrities from both sides in attendance.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger served as the honorary towel-waver before the game, revving the crowd to a fever pitch. On the other side, country music star Carrie Underwood, the wife of captain Mike Fisher, cheered on the Predators from a suite.
Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Jimerson, Roethlisberger open SCF
Faceoff nears now.
Pittsburgh's lineup for Game 1 is final. Forward Patric Hornqvist will play after missing six games. Forward Jake Guentzel remains in the lineup, but forward Carl Hagelin, who was battling an injury throughout the Eastern Conference Final, is a bit of a surprise scratch.
For Nashville, center Mike Fisher, the captain and the only Nashville player to have experience in the Stanley Cup Final, returns to the lineup after a two-game absence.
We'll be back shortly after the opening faceoff with another update. Enjoy the festivities and what should be an unforgettable rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Jeff Jimerson to get things started.
Faceoff for Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena is less than an hour away.
The arena is starting to fill up, but the scene outside the is bedlam. Fans started arriving to stake places for the outdoor watch party during the morning skates for each team. When the last of the NHL.com contingent departed the arena after the skates at around 1:30 p.m., there were already 50 or so fans camped out. These fans have not grown tired of hockey late in the spring.
Warmups have started and the Nashville Predators will be without left wing Colin Wilson, who was ruled out through an undisclosed injury just before game time.
The Penguins have 22 players on the ice for warmups. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel and forward Carl Hagelin, expected to be scratches, are taking part in the warm ups.
We'll be back again before puck drop with the official rosters. Stay tuned all night for all the news and notes throughout the game.