Monday, May 29th, 2017



It was a game that belonged to Nashville, but the Penguins are all about finding ways to win.” – Mike Milbury

“It’s a wake-up call to Pittsburgh. That was not an easy win for the Penguins.” – Keith Jones

We’re looking at one of the top five players of all-time. He can do everything.” – Mike Milbury on Sidney Crosby

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 29, 2017– NBC Sports began exclusive coverage of its 12th consecutive Stanley Cup Final tonight with Game 1 on NBC, featuring the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite being outshot 26-12, the Penguins won Game 1 by a score of 5-3, as Jake Guentzel broke a 3-3 tie with 3:17 remaining in the third period, and Nick Bonino scored an empty net goal with 1:02 left in the game.

Five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire called Game 1 tonight from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. This marks the 11th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.

Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with NHL LiveKathryn Tappen hosted alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter on-set outside of PPG Paints Arena. In addition, Paul Burmeister spoke with Penguins Assistant Coach Rick Tocchet, Stanley Cup Champion and Penguins Player Development Coach Mark Recchi, and D Trevor Daley. Brian Boucher spoke with Predators C Mike Fisher.

Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones. 


Milbury: “It doesn’t make any sense. It was a game that belonged to Nashville in terms of effort, puck possession, and shots on goal. The Penguins are all about finding ways to win.” 

Jones: “Moving forward, it’s almost like a wake-up call to Pittsburgh. The crowd goes away happy, but confused. That was not an easy win for the Penguins.”

Milbury: “Nashville has to feel some level of confidence about this performance. This was still a really good performance.”

Third Period

Emrick signing off: “For Eddie and Pierre, Phil Jackson, Charles Barkley, the Mandrells and Vince Gill, Clint Hurdle and Franciso Cervelli, Doc Emrick saying goodnight.”

McGuire on the game-winning goal: “Before they went on the ice, Mike Sullivan said, ‘Is anyone going to get a goal for this team?’ Guentzel just did.” 

Olczyk: “Tremendous puck movement by the Nashville power play, and play by the Predators early in the third.”

Second Intermission

Milbury: “Watch out if you’re Pittsburgh. It’s not over yet. They crawled through the second period.”

Jones: “There is no doubt this game is not over. The crowd is uncomfortable because they know it.”

Second Period

Olczyk on the catfish thrown on the ice by a Predators fan: “Fortunately it’s early in the game. Could you imagine having to sit next to that guy during the first period?”

Olczyk: “An outstanding period by the Nashville Predators. Absolute pressure, bodies all over the place, net-front presence, and Matt Murray with some incredible saves. You can’t have a better period than that, but they only have one goal to show for it.”

First Intermission

Jones: “It’s 3-0 Pittsburgh and they have all the mojo in this matchup.”

Milbury on Crosby: “We’re looking at one of the top five players of all-time. He can do everything.”

First Period

Emrick on the pace of play: “The fans are loving this. It’s the living embodiment of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Sacrifice, firing shots and blocking shots.”

Olczyk: “The defense of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been the difference during the last seven or eight minutes of the period.”

McGuire on the Penguins second goal: “I’ll tell you what else makes a difference, a coach that pays attention to matchups. Mike Sullivan saw the third tandem was on the ice for Nashville. He had Crosby, Kunitz and Sheary on the ice, and they lit them up like a Roman candle.”

 Pre-Game on NBC (8 p.m. ET)

Milbury on Crosby: “It looks like he’s ready to get another cup. This guy has been terrific. Crosby level is otherworldly. Don’t expect anything less than maximum effort from him.”

Jones on Pekke Rinne: “Pekka Rinne is outstanding. He found a way to get the Nashville Predators to the Stanley Cup Final, in the absence of his top two center icemen, with spectacular saves.”

Olczyk on Game 1 and the series: “This has a chance to have a little bit of everything. You have two teams that love to skate, love to score, are not afraid to play physical hockey, and both teams have outstanding goalies. I expect a very, very long series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators.”

NHL Live on NBCSN (6-8 p.m. ET)

Roenick on Predators: “It seems like a team of destiny. Nobody gave them a chance to be in this situation when the playoffs started. They rolled through the playoffs, beating the Blackhawks with speed, the Blues with defense, and pounded and battled their way through the Ducks with toughness. This is a team that can play any way possible. It’s hard to not root for a team like the Nashville Predators.”

Carter on the difference in pre-game locker room culture between the two teams: “Walking through the locker rooms this morning there was a distinctly different vibe between the two teams. In Nashville’s room it felt like Christmas time. The guys were excited and pumped to play in Game 1. In Pittsburgh’s room, it was a little more subdued and they were business like and focused. They have been here before, and the Stanley Cup is all they care about.”

Carter on Filip Forsberg: “It’s been a huge coming out party for Filip Forsberg. We knew he could shoot the puck, and we knew that he was fearless going to the net. He’s doing it now with the consistent play that you see from star players. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and wants the puck. He can do it so many different ways. The puck gets off his stick so quickly, the goaltenders have no chance to react to that puck going off the blade.”

Roenick on Sidney Crosby: “His focus is absolutely off the charts. He continues to push the limits. I’ve never seen a player, for more than a year-and-a-half, dominate the game as well as Sidney Crosby does. When he’s on a roll and going at a top pace, he’s almost impossible to stop. He leads the Penguins in every aspect of the game. He does it emotionally and physically.”

Boucher on Crosby: “Off the rush, this guy is a threat at all times. He has the ability to make plays at high speeds, find teammates, and suck in defenders. If you’re defending him, you better hope that you have strength in numbers and your goalie is on his game. We’re watching greatness. This guy is one of the better players that will go down in the history of this game. We will be marveling at him for years to come.”

Roenick on Phil Kessel: “The Toronto Maple Leafs are kicking themselves right now after giving up Phil Kessel. You talk about a pressure player, and Phil Kessel is that player. In the playoffs, he scores big goals and is a master on the power play. He is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to the game. I don’t think he’s overrated, I think he’s underrated.”

Milbury on Mike Sullivan and Peter Laviolette: “I have been really impressed with both of them. They have been really bold, excessively bold in their movement of line combinations, shifting players around, and switching goaltenders in the case of Pittsburgh. These are tough decisions and both of these guys have the courage to make them.”