The Penguins host the Nashville Predators to kick off the Stanley Cup Final.
MATCH: Penguins vs. Predators
SERIES: Stanley Cup Final, 0-0
TIME: 8 p.m. EST
PLACE: PPG Paints Arena
RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
The Pens quest to become the first NHL team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings begins tonight … The Final matchup features the NHL postseason's best offense in Pittsburgh (3.05 goal per game) against the best defense in Nashville (1.81 goals against per game) … Both head coaches (Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh; Peter Laviolette, Nashville) are American-born. Whichever wins will win his second Stanley Cup and will become the first American-born coach to win two titles … The first trade by Pens GM Jim Rutherford with Pittsburgh was acquiring Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling from Nashville in exchange for James Neal. The deal has helped both teams … Hornqvist will return to the lineup after missing the past 6 games for Pittsburgh an upper-body injury … Predators captain Mike Fisher is expected to return to the lineup after missing the past 2 games … The biggest matchup will be Pittsburgh's top-2 centers of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin against Nashville's defensive corps of P.K. Subban and Roman Josi … Pittsburgh injuries: Hornqvist (upper-body), Tom Kuhnhackl (lower-body), Kris Letang (herniated disc), Chad Ruhwedel (concussion) … Nashville injuries: Kevin Fiala (broken femur), Fisher (head), Ryan Johansen (acute compartment syndrome).
MORNING SKATE REPORT:
*Hornqvist will play in tonight's Game 1. The player to be scratched will be a game-time decision.
*The Pens held an optional morning skate. Those that did not skate were Justin Schultz, Brian Dumoulin, Ron Hainsey, Evgeni Malkin, Hornqvist, Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby.