Pittsburg Starts NHL Finals against Nashville


Logan Winser and Alex Nannetti

On Monday, May 29th, the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Finals began with The Nashville Predators facing defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. In a best of seven series, the two teams will be playing until either team wins four games.
During the regular season the Predators finished with a record of 41 wins, 29 losses, and 12 ties. The Penguins finished with a record of 50 wins, 21 losses and 11 ties.
Arrowhead senior Nick Noll said “I’m rooting for the Predators, they are the underdog and Pittsburgh has won a lot.”   
Arrowhead senior Chris Marmes said “I think Pittsburgh will win they are clearly the best team and will easily win the series.”  
These two teams are trying to make history. If the Penguins win the Stanley Cup, they will become the first repeat champions of the salary-cap era. If the Predators prevail, they would win the first championship in franchise history and would be the NHL’s first number sixteen seed to pull it off.
The Penguins forwards, meanwhile, are led by two franchise centers in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin — while Nashville is without its best center, Ryan Johansen, who will miss the remainder of the postseason because of a thigh injury.
With all the distraction this year for the Penguins, coach Mike Sullivan has tried to keep his team composed and focused on the task at hand, win the cup.
“They have gone through a lot this season.” Sullivan said. “So I have tried to keep them focused on the game. Just play.”

On the other side of the ice, the Predators are built from the back end out. Pekka Rinne their goalie might be the leading Conn Smythe candidate, propelling Nashville through the first three rounds. With star center Ryan Johansen out for the rest of the postseason, the pressure’s on Rinne.

The first game of the Finals has already been played. The Penguins beat the Predators 5-3 in Pittsburgh. Nashville held Pittsburgh to 37 minutes without a shot on goal. The game was controlled through the first period by pittsburgh who scored three goals in the first period. Nashville scored in the second to make it a 3-1 Pens lead. Both teams scored 2 goals each in the third period.  

According to NHL Stats analyst Chris Johnston, this was the fourth time since 1990 a team won a playoff game shooting less than 12 shots, and the lowest in a Stanley Cup Series.

The Predators will look to rebound in Game Two. The game will be played on May 31st on NBCSN in Pittsburgh.