The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight as the Nashville Predators look for their first Cup Final victory when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two from PPG Paints Arena.
Nashville staged a three-goal comeback in Game One when they tied the score at 3-3 in the third period. But moments after James Neal hit the crossbar, Jake Guentzel scored the game-winner for Pittsburgh to help them to a 5-3 win and a 1-0 series lead.
The Predators now turn their attention to building off of what they say was a solid effort in Game One, holding Pittsburgh to just 12 shots on goal - including zero in the second period - as they try to reverse their fortunes tonight.
"For the most part, we did a lot of good things," Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis said of Game One. "If we play that way every night, we'll hopefully like the result at the end. Each game we need to keep getting better and better."
Filip Forsberg saw his seven-game point streak come to an end in Game One of the Final, but continues to lead the club in scoring with eight goals and 15 points in the postseason. He's followed by Ellis with 12 points, and then Roman Josi, P.K. Subban and Colton Sissons who have recorded 11 points apiece. Sissons scored his sixth goal of the playoffs in Game One, while Ellis, who also tallied in Game One, and Neal have five goals each. Captain Mike Fisher recorded his first two points of the postseason with a pair of assists in Game One. Goaltender Pekka Rinne suffered his fifth loss of the playoffs and owns a .934 save percentage through 17 games.
Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal in Game One and leads the Pens with 25 points. Sidney Crosby follows with 22 points and Phil Kessel has 19. Guentzel scored his 10th goal of the playoffs in Game One; Malkin has eight goals, while Crosby and Kessel have seven each. Goaltender Matt Murray earned his fourth win in five starts and has a .936 save percentage.
Video: Preds want to rebound from a loss with another win
As the Predators look to even the Stanley Cup Final before heading back to Nashville, here are three things to watch for:
The Predators only allowed 12 shots on goal in Game One, including zero for Pittsburgh in the second period. In fact, Nashville became the first team to hold an opponent to zero shots on goal in one period of a Stanley Cup Final game since the NHL began tracking that statistic in 1957-58.
Ending up on the losing side of Game One, with numbers like that, was not what the Preds had in mind, but holding Pittsburgh's stars to limited chances will likely prove to be beneficial in games to come.
Video: Watson on the merits of Nashville as a city
Good, But Not Good Enough:
There was plenty to like about Nashville's effort in Game One - two power-play goals, limited chances for the opposition and the resiliency to come back from a three-goal deficit. But as Captain Mike Fisher said after Game One, if the effort was good enough, the Preds would've come out on the winning side.
"Right now, we are 100 percent in a result-orientated business," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "I would rather be in their shoes. I would rather have that Game One win because you need four out of seven. Now it's down to six to try to grab the four.
"They have one from last night. We have to fight back tomorrow and get one and get out of here."
Video: Laviolette expects both teams to be better in Game 2
Monday's contest resulted in Nashville trailing in a series for the first time in these playoffs, arguably the largest dose of adversity they've faced over the last six weeks. But the Predators also haven't lost back-to-back games in these playoffs, a streak they plan on retaining tonight.
"Whether you win or lose, you have to prepare for Game Two," Preds d-man P.K. Subban said. "At the end of the day, there were a lot of positives for us to take out of [Game One]… We did a lot of good things, but we have to do great things to win our next one."
Take It In:
Game Two from Pittsburgh comes with a 7 p.m. CT start time, with coverage on NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada; plus, Fox Sports Tennessee is providing pre- and postgame coverage on the Preds. Fans can also listen to Game Two on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network.
For all the details on the Stanley Cup Final, visit the Predators Playoff Hub.