The good, bad, and ugly from a downright bizarre Game 1

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final has come and gone, and yet, most of the hockey world is wondering what the heck just happened.

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 5-3, but this was no ordinary contest.

The Good

Predators' Defense

While observers sit back and mock the Penguins for failing to muster a shot for 37 minutes, why not dish out some credit to the Predators' defense?

By now, we all know Nashville's strength is its blue line, and they stifled the playoffs' best offense unlike we've ever seen, allowing just 12 shots in the loss.

P.K. Subban in particular was dominant. In his first Cup Final game, Subban logged 22 minutes, and was on the ice for a team-leading 17 of Nashville's 36 even strength shot attempts. He even scored a goal ... kind of. We'll get to that.

Entertainment value

While the second period was a 20-minute snoozefest, there was no shortage of talking points to take away from this one.

This pretty much sums it up:

The bad

Ekholm's own goal

Already facing a 2-0 deficit, a seemingly harmless play turned the Predators' tough first period into a full-blown disaster.

Cruising down the boards, Penguins winger Nick Bonino shoveled the puck toward the goal, where it bounced off Pekka Rinne, then defenseman Mattias Ekholm, and into the goal.

Funnily enough, the Penguins' next shot on goal was Jake Guentzel's winner.

Offside reviews

This cost the Predators a lead.

While by the book it's correct, hockey fans have long dreaded the moment a coach's challenge would effect a Stanley Cup Final game, and we finally got it.

Pittsburgh gained possession, gave it away, then watched Subban pick the corner with a perfect shot before this play was deemed illegal. Something needs to change.

The ugly

Rinne's save percentage

One of the main reasons Nashville has reached this point, Rinne would be best to forget his Game 1 performance.

Pittsburgh may have lulled him to sleep by essentially taking him out of the game, but Rinne finished with a .636 save percentage, the worst single-game effort in the expansion era.

The catfish

(Photo Courtesy: Action Images)

Nashville's catfish-chuckin' tradition made its way to Pittsburgh for Game 1, and it was gross.

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Penguins go exactly 37 minutes between shots on goal

It was a record-setting night for the Pittsburgh Penguins and not in a good way.

After firing home three goals in the first period of the Stanley Cup Final opener against the Nashville Predators, the middle frame was a stark contrast for Sidney Crosby and Co.

The Penguins were held without a shot in the second period, while the Predators peppered netminder Matt Murray with 10 pucks. Despite the difference, the Penguins held a 3-1 lead at the second intermission.

It was a franchise low mark for the Penguins, who prior to Monday had not gone an entire period of a playoff match without a shot on goal. It was also the first time a team has been held without a shot in a period of the Finals since the NHL began tracking the stat in 1957-58.

The streak lasted exactly 37 minutes before Jake Guentzel put a shot on Pekka Rinne and scored. It was the first shot since Nick Bonino scored with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.

Interestingly enough, it wasn't the first time this postseason where a team was held without a shot through a period. In Round 1 action between the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins, the Bruins failed to put a puck on net during the second period of the series opener. The Bruins went 24:49 before finally getting a shot in the third frame.

Earlier this season, the Vancouver Canucks set a modern-day record when it took them more than 28 minutes to register their first shot in a game against the Arizona Coyotes.

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Watch: Guentzel’s winner snaps Penguins’ historically long shot drought

The Pittsburgh Penguins were due for a shot on goal, and Jake Guentzel certainly gave them one.

Guentzel scored the eventual game-winning goal late in the third period, beating Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne with 3:17 remaining to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead en route to a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

It was Pittsburgh's first shot on goal in exactly 37 minutes, snapping a drought that included a shot-less second period.

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Bettman: Rutherford may be trying to ‘tweak’ officials over Crosby treatment

Gary Bettman brushed off Jim Rutherford's concern over treatment of his captain before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The NHL commissioner was asked Monday about comments made by the Pittsburgh Penguins general manager on the eve of the championship round. Rutherford implied Sunday that Crosby and Pittsburgh's other stars are being pushed around without adequate consequences and that he might have to add some beef to the roster to protect them.

Bettman responded Monday, prefacing his reply by saying he thinks "the world" of Rutherford personally and professionally, but adding that the timing of the Penguins GM's remarks was a bit strange.

"The timing of what he said, to me, seems a little odd," the commissioner said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "That's something you do in a GM meeting, not the night before - or the day of - (Game 1 of) the Stanley Cup Final. Maybe he's trying to tweak the officials a little bit, but in the final analysis, we don't want our players getting hurt."

Bettman also pointed out that the Penguins have drawn criticism from other teams for the way they've played.

"I think it's fair to say that all of the teams that have been in the playoffs have been very physical," he said. "There are a couple of people who have complained from other teams about some of the things Pittsburgh players have done. Some of that goes in the category of gamesmanship. Some of that goes to the fact we need to be vigilant as a league to make sure players are not unnecessarily and inappropriately hurt. As I said, that is something we continue to monitor and will. Having said that, I take all of the concerns from all of our players, all of our clubs and all of our owners very seriously on this issue.”

Rutherford's comments largely fell on deaf ears until Bettman was questioned about them Monday before the opening game of the Cup Final.

“I hear year after year how the league and everyone loves how the Penguins play,” Rutherford told Ken Campbell of The Hockey News on Sunday. "(Everyone says) ‘They play pure hockey and they skate.’ Well, now it’s going to have to change and I feel bad about it, but it’s the only way we can do it. We’re going to have to get one or two guys…and some of these games that should be just good hockey games will turn into a s--- show. We’ll go right back to where we were in the '70s and it’s really a shame.”

Rutherford wasn't done there.

β€œThe league has got to fix it,” the GM said. β€œIn other leagues, they protect star players. In basketball, they don’t let their top players get abused. And in our league, well the thing I keep hearing is, β€˜That’s hockey. That’s hockey,’ No, it’s not.”

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Watch: Subban’s goal disallowed on offside challenge

Well, that was anticlimactic.

P.K. Subban thought he'd scored the opening goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, but a coach's challenge from Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins ultimately nullified it when Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg was deemed offside upon entering the zone.

The NHL determined Forsberg preceded the puck into the attacking zone and didn't have possession or control of it before crossing the blue line.

It was an extremely close play, and the challenge drew plenty of derision on social media, so it's time to have your say. Should it have counted?

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Twitter reacts to Subban’s recalled offside goal

He scored a goal, but then he didn't.

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban opened the scoring in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, wiring a point shot past Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Matt Murray.

But the score was soon reset to zero after a challenge by Penguins bench boss Mike Sullivan, who charged that Predators winger Filip Forsberg was offside on the play, proved successful.

The ruling came less than three hours after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated the offside review is working as intended.

It goes without saying that the social media world didn't agree with the outcome:

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Watch: Big Ben gets Pittsburgh on its feet to start Stanley Cup Final

Ben Roethlisberger knows a thing or two about winning a championship, so he lent a hand to the Pittsburgh Penguins as they hosted Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, who has been known to check out a little puck when he gets a chance, whipped out his Terrible Towel and got the fans on their feet as they hoped to get a good start against the Nashville Predators.

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Bettman doesn’t expect players under contract to defy Olympic decision

Gary Bettman isn't planning on NHL players going rogue.

The commissioner remained steadfast in his insistence that the NHL will not participate in the 2018 Olympic Games when asked about it at his annual Stanley Cup Final news conference before Game 1 on Monday night, adding that he doesn't envision players disregarding the league's stance.

"We have an expectation that none of our players are going," Bettman told reporters, according to CSN Mid-Atlantic's Tarik El-Bashir, adding, "There's no reason to pick that fight right now."

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is among several players who've stated they plan to go to Pyeongchang, South Korea for the tournament regardless of the NHL's official stance on participation.

Pyeongchang organizers have expressed a desire to re-open talks since the league announced in early April that it will not formally take part in the Games, but Bettman insisted Monday that it's no longer up for discussion.

"It is not and has not been," the commissioner said when asked if it's an open issue, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Monday's revelation that Tampa Bay will host the 2018 All-Star Game would also seem to put the Olympic chatter to bed.

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