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Breakfast with Benz

First call: Ex-Penguins on full display in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

| Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 7:07 a.m.
Tomas Nosek, Ryan Reaves, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Deryk Engelland and Shea Theodore of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate after Reaves scored a third-period goal against the Washington Capitals during Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas.
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Tomas Nosek, Ryan Reaves, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Deryk Engelland and Shea Theodore of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate after Reaves scored a third-period goal against the Washington Capitals during Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas.

In "First Call" today, we look at the former Penguins on display in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the difference in play-by-play announcers and Justin Verlander's sense of humor.


Former Penguins on display

The Vegas Golden Knights won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final 6-4. Former Penguin Ryan Reaves scored to tie the game 4-4 before Tomas Nosek put the Knights on top to stay.

I guess that's saying something. Since Reaves' last goal came in Game 5 of the Western Conference final, and it was the game winner to clinch the series against the Jets.

Reaves also talked about Vegas' uncanny ability to quickly answer goals by opponents, and Tom Wilson's late hit on Jonathan Marchessault.

Meanwhile, it wasn't the easiest night for Marc-Andre Fleury, but he got the win. Vegas' defensive-zone coverage was tested by Washington's offensive prowess. The Capitals scored four on 28 shots. One goal squeaked through Fleury and sat underneath him for a moment before trickling in. The others were high-quality scoring chances.

But as is normally the case, Flower seemed in good spirits after the win and talked about his transition to Vegas from Pittsburgh.

As for Deryk Engelland, he had two assists and was the third star of the night.


It's all a matter of perspective

If you missed our podcast about yesterday's controversial slide at home plate from Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs on Pirates catcher Elias Diaz, check it out .

One of the topics we discussed is the level of bias advanced from both dugouts about their views of the play.

Well, that trend didn't stop on the field. Click this MLB.com link and listen to the two different play by play teams.

They just saw the same play. Yet their audiences are getting totally different interpretations.

The Pittsburgh one is right, of course.

Of course.

Hyperbole, pandering and jingoism will always have a home in the sports media.


Verlander cap tip

If you are a visiting pitcher, it's tough to think of a better venue to use as a place to shine than Yankee Stadium.

Where better to be a stud and shove it in the faces of 47,000 New Yorkers yelling horrible things at you all game long?

Well, Justin Verlander did just that Sunday.

The Houston right-hander allowed only one run in 6⅔ innings. He was greeted with a chorus of boos as he left the field. It was the second time this month he shut down the Yanks, after fanning 14 batters in a win on May 1.

"I didn't get as many boos when they announced my name in pregame as I thought, but coming off the field I definitely got a fair amount of boos," Verlander said. "I've come to find here in Yankee Stadium it's terms of endearment, so thank you."

So how did he respond? With a big ole' cap tip. Which I'm sure those in the Bronx loved all the more, right?


Speaking of Houston

What a way to drop out of the playoffs for the Houston Rockets. They blew a 15-point lead at home in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final.

Golden State won and advanced to the championship round against Cleveland by a final score of 101-92. Along the way, the Rockets missed 27 consecutive three-pointers.

ESPN went through the trauma of putting them into one painful montage.


Lighten up, Francis

The NFL topic of players kneeling during the anthem has been a combustible one on social media.

Well, maybe some are finally starting to get a sense of humor about it.

OK, I didn't say it was particularly tasteful humor. I just said a "sense" of it. That's all. Baby steps, folks.

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