Penguins Beat Predators 2-0 For Second Consecutive Stanley Cup

Andrew Cummings
June 12, 2017

Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 left and Matt Murray made 27 saves for his second straight shutout as the Penguins became the first team in almost two decades to repeat as champion with a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 on Sunday night. The win cements his legacy as a three-time Stanley Cup champion and leader of the first repeat champs since the 1997-98 Red Wings.

And it's the second championship in 18 months for coach Mike Sullivan, who has yet to lose a playoff series since taking over after Mike Johnston was sacked.

"I would have to believe that with what Sid has been able to accomplish in his career to this point would put him in the company of the all-time greats", said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

"He could feel that we were getting close to winning the Cup and that was the most important game of the season and he played like it".

Penguins goaltender Matt Murray made 27 saves for his second straight shutout but caught a huge break early in the second period when the referee lost sight of the puck and mistakenly blew his whistle to stop play moments before Predators forward Colton Sissons poked home a rebound. Crosby's accolades include two Olympic gold medals, a World Cup title, a golden goal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2007 and 2014, the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer in 2014 and the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer in 2010 and 2017.

Lemieux, now the Penguins' owner, says he could always tell Crosby would become a special player.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) accepts the Conn Smythe Trophy from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

A little good fortune also benefited Murray, particularly on Sunday night when Nashville was counting on goalie Pekka Rinne to be his usual dominating self at home.

"It stings", said Predators defenseman PK Subban.

There's a chance Murray will be replacing the 32-year-old Fleury on a full-time basis after this season. That's sport. Like I said, this team never gave up.

Murray also stopped Sissons on a breakaway midway through the second and also gloved a shot from Viktor Arvidsson later in the period.

Notes: Lemieux won the Conn Smythe in 1992 and 1992, and Bernie Parent was the first to win the MVP trophy in consecutive years in 1974 and 1975.

The Predators entered the playoffs as the lowest seed in the Western Conference with 94 points and had a daunting road to the NHL's championship round, one that few fans in Music City could realistically have expected they would reach.

Crosby has already won the Rocket Richard Trophy this season and is a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist. Grammy winners Cage the Elephant performed during the second intermission after playing at Bonnaroo on Friday night.

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