The Stanley Cup is returning to Pittsburgh after Patric Hornqvist scored the go-ahead aim with 95 seconds left in a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators
Sidney Crosby is bringing the Stanley Cup back home to Pittsburgh for a second consecutive year.
Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 left and Matt Murray built 27 saves for his second straight shutout as the Penguins became the NHLs first team in almost two decades to repeat as champions following a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 on Sunday night.
The Penguins won their fifth title all of which have been clinched on the road to tie the Wayne Gretzky-Mark Messier-era Edmonton Oilers for sixth on the all-time listing. The Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 98 were the last champion to defend their title, but the Penguins are the first to do it in the salary cap era.
We knew it was going to be tough all year, but we just tried to keep with it, said Crosby, who won his second Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP. We had a lot of traumata and things like that. We simply kept finding ways. That was actually what we did all season, all playoffs. Its great to be able to do it.
Hornqvist scored off Nashville goalie Pekka Rinnes left elbow to aim the scoreless game. Nashville challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld. With Rinne pulled for an extra attacker, Carl Hagelin set off a bench festivity with an empty netter with 13.6 seconds left.
Nashville lost for simply the first time in regulation on home ice this postseason.
Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a whistle 67 seconds into the second period. The Predator went 0 of 4 with the man advantage, including 32 seconds of a 5-on-3 in the third.
Forget a golden anniversary: The Penguins will cap their 50 th season with their names on the most famous silver beaker in athletics again. It is also the third championship for Crosby and a handful of teammates from the 2009 title team, outperforming the two won by the Penguins squads led by current proprietor Mario Lemieux in the 1990 s.
And its the second championship in 18 months for coach-and-four Mike Sullivan, who has yet to lose a playoff series since taking over after Mike Johnston was fired. Sullivan is the first American-born coach to win the Cup not once, but twice.
Matt Murray became the first goalie to win not one, but two Stanley Cups as a rookie after being a late-season call up a year ago and didnt play enough games to get that tag removed. Thats something neither Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden or Cam Ward ever managed, but the 23 -year-old Murray finished this Cup Final shutting out Nashville for the final 126:52.
The loss ended the upstart Predators deepest playoff run in the franchises 19 -year history and one that became the talk of the town far beyond Music City, catfish and all.
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