Thirty-seven minutes and nine seconds — that’s how long the Pittsburgh Penguins went without a shot on goal in Game 1 before Jake Guentzel broke the 3-3 tie.
It was a back-and-forth, exhilarating, seesaw game between the Penguins and Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. After the Predators’ were on the wrong end of a controversial no-goal review early in the contest, the Penguins took control of the first period, scoring an unprecedented three goals to take a commanding lead into the final 40 minutes of the contest.
However, the Predators dominated from there forward. In what has to be one of the most one-sided losses in Final history, the Predators stormed back with three goals of their own, not allowing any shots to reach their starting goaltender, Pekka Rinne. From Nick Bonino’s goal with 17 seconds remaining in the first to 16:43 of the third period, Pittsburgh couldn’t get shots through the Predators’ defense. Then, Guentzel did what he has done all postseason.
The Penguins’ attack on Nashville’s breakout was evident, as defenseman Roman Josi was checked by Matt Cullen, causing the puck to spring loose. Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz sent the puck back to Cullen, who immediately fed Guentzel breaking through the neutral zone. Guentzel drove the center lane and ripped a well-placed shot to beat Rinne and put his team up for good. Bonino added an empty netter and the Penguins were victorious on home ice.
The young forward has been a centerpiece for the Penguins’ offense all postseason. His quick hands and eye for the net have been vital to the Penguins edging closer to capturing the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons.
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