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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins fans gather outside to watch Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

Hundreds watch win against Predators on big screen near PPG Paints Arena

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- You would think Courtney Wharton, who hails from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, but has lived in Nashville for the past three years, might be torn about who to root for in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Not a chance.

Wharton was among hundreds of Pittsburgh Penguins fans watching Game 1 against the Nashville Predators on the big screen outside PPG Paints Arena on Monday.

 

[RELATED: Complete Predators vs. Penguins series coverage]

 

Wharton was rooting for the Penguins long before she moved to Nashville.

"I've been a Penguins fan since I was 12," Wharton said. "A lot of the guys on the NHL team now, I watched them (in the American Hockey League) when I was back in high school in Wilkes-Barre."

Wharton, 30, and her dog, Wrigley, couldn't resist the party outside the arena.

"I just got a new job in Pennsylvania and I'm in the middle of moving back (from Nashville), so I decided to stop here [Sunday] night as my pit stop," Wharton said. "So I decided to come down here to watch the game with my dog."

Also among the faithful outside the arena were 18-year-olds Emily Dambrosia, and her boyfriend, Brandon Colaianni.

"I love the Penguins," Dambrosia said. "I'm a die-hard Pens fan, have been for a long time. I really wanted to see (goalie Marc-Andre) Fleury go in, he's my man, but they're doing good in goal with (Matt) Murray. I hope he brings us the Cup."

Dambrosia and Colaianni set up their lawn chairs on the grounds of PPG Paints Arena at 4:15 p.m. ET on Monday, more than four hours before puck drop. But they were not among the earliest arrivals.

"There were a lot of people here when we got here," Dambrosia said. "I've come to a lot of games inside, but we decided today to come down here for outside. This is a lot of fun sitting around talking to people, and [it's] nice meeting new people.

"And every game I've been with Brandon, we've won."

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