It’s been over four months since the Predators have seen the Pittsburgh Penguins in PPG Paints Arena, and they didn’t leave with what they wanted. The Penguins were victorious in Nashville and became the 2017 Stanley Cup Champions. Saturday’s game was an opportunity for some redemption. JuuseSaros and Matt Murray got to start in between the pipes for this Stanley Cup Final rematch.
Only 1:06 into the first period, Evgeni Malkin scored from inside the blue line with a beautiful feed from Phil Kessel to give the Pens a 1-0. With a scramble to clear the puck in front of Saros, Jake Guentzel notched his first of the season, which made it 2-0 with 9:03 remaining in the first.
Colton Sissons laid a huge hit on Evgeni Malkin to begin the second period, which Malkin was slow to get up on. After Austin Watson dished out a clean hit on Ryan Reaves along the benches, Reaves and Watson drop the gloves only 3:22 into the period. Olli Maatta shot the puck, and got double deflected by Ryan Reaves and Kris Letang. However, Reaves deflected the puck last which gave the Pens the 3-0 lead.
In a transition from being on a power play to being back at even strength at the beginning of the third period, Olli Maatta cranked a slap shot past Juuse Saros to give the Pens a 4-0 lead. Reaves then got into his second fight of the night with Cody McLeod being the other opponent. The fight started with McLeod hitting Reaves from behind along the boards. The resulting penalties included McLeod being docked for interference, fighting and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Later on in the third period, Phil Kessel had a breakaway scoring opportunity, but Saros denied him the chance to score. With 7:33 remaining in regulation, Scott Hartnell got called for high-sticking, roughingand a 10 minute misconduct all after getting involved with Reaves along the boards following a high stick to Sidney Crosby. There were a total of 82 penalty minutes during the whole game, during which most came from the third period.
The Predators were unable to get redemption from the Stanley Cup Final as they got shutout by the Penguins, 4-0. Nashville will be home on Tuesday, October 10 to face the Philadelphia Flyers. Not only is this the home opener, but this is the night where fans will officially be able to look to the rafters and see the Preds hard work at becoming Western Conference Champions.