Published: Tue, May 30, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Pittsburgh coach's challenge is first in Stanley Cup Final


They added an empty-netter.

Pittsburgh had the fewest shots by a winning team in a Cup Final game with 12.

The Penguins, meanwhile, return to the final for the second straight year, looking to repeat as champions.

Rookie Jake Guentzel fired the puck past Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put the Penguins ahead to stay in a back-and-forth 5-3 victory on Monday night. Nashville dominated long stretches of the second and third periods, and even limited the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins without a shot for an impressive 37-minute stretch before falling 5-3. Locals in Pittsburgh are preparing for an influx of Tennesseeans this week as the Preds come to play Games 1 and 2 against the Penguins.

It was Gaudreau's first career playoff goal.

Colton Sissons has scored on a deflection on the power play. He redirected Roman Josi's shot past Matt Murray 10:06 into the third period.

"I knew that we were doing a good job of defensively", Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said, although he had no idea that the Penguins had gone nearly two periods without a shot on goal.

It's been all Predators since the first intermission of Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final.

Pittsburgh was awarded a 5-on-3 power play for a full two minutes, and the Predators were less than 30 seconds from killing the penalty when Malkin's slap shot from the point beat Rinne.

They attempted just six shots in the period.

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The last time Kerr addressed the media prior to Monday was in between Games 2 and 3 of the opening round of the playoffs. It's an awkward situation, again this is so unique", Kerr said.

The Nashville Predators are in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history, and their fans are rightfully excited. The goal is the defenseman's fifth of the playoffs. Instead, they rallied and took over the game. And this was in Pittsburgh.

Last week, when the Predators won Game 6 against the Anaheim Ducks to advance to the Cup Final, Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan made headlines by tossing the catfish in the third period. Conor Sheary scored 65 seconds later. And with just 16.1 seconds left in the first, Rinne poked Bonino's centering pass and the deflected puck bounced off Mattias Ekholm and into the goal. Nashville scored a power-play goal, and it was 3-1. The Predators had what would have been the game's first goal wiped out by a coach's challenge.

Anyway, Malkin finally ended almost two full minutes of futzing around on the ice with a slapshot that rang off the bottom of Pekka Rinne's glove, and it was, a little dubiously but inarguably, 1-0. Malkin scored 15:32 into the first period. The Penguins had never gone shotless in a playoff period before.

It's Malkin's eighth goal of the playoffs. However, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan used his coach's challenge and the goal was overturned. Yes, some people complain that offside reviews suck the living marrow from the game, and that goaltender interference reviews are the closest thing in sports to boring interpretive modern art, but before the game, commissioner Gary Bettman defended both.

As of Monday night, the cheapest ticket available on StubHub for Game 3 or 4 in Nashville was $1,000. The Penguins have Cup-winning goalie Matt Murray back in form from the injury that knocked him out of the first two rounds.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - This is what the Pittsburgh Penguins do. Nashville center Mike Fisher had two assists. The team announced Wilson was out just prior to the start of warmups.

The next game is Wednesday at 8 p.m.at PPG Paints arena.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators are set to each get an important player back for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Sullivan called wingers Carl Hagelin and Jake Guentzel game-time decisions.

Then the rest of the game happened, and it got deeply weird.

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