In their first Stanley Cup Final game ever, the Nashville Predators controlled play for most of it but, when they didn’t, the Pittsburgh Penguins took full advantage.
“I thought we played a good game,” Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We hate the score. We hate the result. But we’ll move forward.”
The Penguins took Game 1, 5-3, on Monday night to go up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Don’t let the scoreboard fool you, however. Nashville actually scored first but, when Pittsburgh challenged, the play was ruled off-side and the goal was wiped off the board. This turn of events spurned all kinds of debate on Twitter and not just from Preds fans.
Unless there’s another camera angle, not sure there was conclusive evidence of that call. Shocked.
— Nick Alberga (@thegoldenmuzzy) May 30, 2017
That’s a good goal in 29 NHL arenas.
— Rusty Miller (@RustyMillerXAP) May 30, 2017
After the questionable ruling, Pittsburgh tallied three goals in a five minute span at the end of the first period — the third of which deflected in off of Mattias Ekholm’s leg — and the series of events proved to be too much to overcome.
In short, the Penguins know they stole one.
“We got a favorable result tonight but we know we need to be much better to get where we need to go,” Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan said.
Give the Predators full marks for battling back. They held Pittsburgh without a shot on goal in the entire middle frame, marking the first time in NHL history a team has gone shotless in a period of the Final. They would eventually tie the game midway through the third thanks to goals by Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau. On their first shot in exactly 37 minutes, however, the Penguins retook the lead and that was all she wrote.
“We weren’t very good,” Sullivan admitted. “You’ve got to have some push back and I didn’t think, in the second period, we had any push back.”
The Preds will try to rebound in Game 2 on Wednesday night.