Penguins beat Predators 2-0 to claim 2nd straight Stanley Cup

Updated June 11, 2017 - 10:37 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sidney Crosby is bringing the Stanley Cup back home to Pittsburgh for a second consecutive year. He’s bringing another MVP trophy, too.

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 nearly two decades to repeat as champion with a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 on Sunday night.

The Penguins won their fifth title — all of them clinched on the road — to tie the Wayne Gretzky-Mark Messier-era Edmonton Oilers for sixth on the all-time list. The Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and ‘98 were the last champion to defend their title. 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,” Crosby said. “We had a lot of injuries and things like that. We just kept finding ways. That was really what we did all season, all playoffs. It’s great to be able to do it.”

Crosby also became just the third player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in consecutive years as the Stanley Cup MVP to go along with his third championship. He led the Final in scoring with one goal and six assists, including three in a 6-0 win in Game 5 that put the Penguins on the doorstep of another title. Only teammate Evgeni Malkin (28 points) had more than Crosby’s 27 this postseason.

“You have a small window to play and have a career,” Crosby said. “I feel fortunate, but I also understand how difficult it was so you just want to try to make the best of it.”

Hornqvist scored off Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne’s left elbow , the former Predator silencing the raucous crowd that had stood for long minutes and flung a few more catfish, too. Nashville challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld. With Pekka Rinne pulled for an extra attacker, Carl Hagelin set off a bench celebration with an empty netter with 13.6 seconds left.

“Obviously, it’s going to be the biggest goal I’m ever going to score,” Hornqvist said. “That’s always going to stand really close to my heart.”

All that was left was the celebrating. Crosby took the Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman before handing the trophy off to veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey who passed it to veteran forward Matt Cullen.

Nashville lost for just the first time in regulation on home ice this postseason and this one had some hard luck. Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a whistle 67 seconds into the second period. The Predators went 0 of 4 with the man advantage, including 32 seconds of a 5-on-3 in the third.

“It stings,” said defenseman P.K. Subban, brought over in a trade stunner in the offseason and a foil for Crosby all series. “I think the biggest thing we’ve got to take from this is, remember the feeling. That’s what’s going to drive us. …. We’re going to be back here again next year.”

Forget a golden anniversary: The Penguins will cap their 50th season with their names on the most famous silver cup in sports — again. It is also the third championship for Crosby and a handful of teammates from the 2009 title team, surpassing the two won by the Penguins teams led by current owner Mario Lemieux in the 1990s.

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 fired. Sullivan is the first American-born coach to win the Cup not once, but twice.

“It’s been an amazing year from the start, trying to repeat,” Lemieux said. “A lot of these guys played injured in the playoffs and showed a lot of character. Of course, Sid being the best player in the world again and winning the Conn Smythe. He was our leader and picked up the team when we needed it.”

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 who didn’t play enough games to get that tag removed. That’s something neither Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden or Cam Ward ever managed, but the 23-year-old Murray finished this Final shutting out Nashville for the final 126:52. He set a rookie record with two shutouts in the Final.

“What an experience,” he said. “It doesn’t get any better.”

The loss ended the upstart Predators’ deepest playoff run in their 19-year history and one that became the talk of the town — and the league.

Having won just three of 12 playoff series before this year, Nashville opened this postseason by eliminating the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in four games. In doing so, the Predators became the first eighth-seeded team to sweep a first-round series since the current playoff format was introduced in 1994. Nashville went through St. Louis and then Anaheim to the Final, where only captain Mike Fisher on the roster had ever played before.

The stingy Predators found Pittsburgh was up to the task, with the Penguins taking the first two games on home ice. Nashville roared back at home to even things up, but the Penguins routed Nashville to set up Game 6.

The Penguins ruined Nashville’s big party on the final night of CMA Music Festival, which brought more than 100,000 to downtown Nashville. Country star Luke Bryan serenaded fans from the rooftop of a honky-tonk in a performance that kicked off the television broadcast, and he also sang a four-song set for fans inside and outside the arena an hour before face-off.

Faith Hill became the latest to sing the national anthem with husband, star Tim McGraw, giving her a hug once finished before waving a towel in each hand. At least five catfish hit the ice before the face-off.

Then a series that hadn’t featured even a single one-goal game went scoreless through the first 58 minutes. The Predators thought they had the first goal of the game, just like they did in Game 1 in Pittsburgh, only to have referee Kevin Pollock wave it off immediately. He had whistled the play dead when he lost sight of the puck with Murray on the ice between him and the puck.

Sissons tapped the puck into the net 67 seconds into the second period behind Murray’s back. Officials huddled, but the goal was not allowed.

Murray also stopped Sissons on a breakaway midway through the second and also gloved a shot from Viktor Arvidsson later in the period. The Penguins also killed off 32 seconds of a 5-on-3 at 8:47 of the third after Trevor Daley punched Ryan Ellis with Olli Maatta already in the box for tripping. Murray made a big stop on a shot by Mattias Ekholm followed by a save on Arvidsson.

“We never gave up,” Fisher said. “We lost a lot of guys to injuries. Sixteen seed. No one really gave us a chance against anyone and here we are in Game 6. Things didn’t go our way, but that happens. That’s sport. Like I said, this team never gave up. We believed all the way.”

This championship season for the Penguins lacked some of the drama from a year ago, but it was far from a slam dunk. Washington won the President’s Trophy for a second straight season and pushed Pittsburgh to seven games in the second round. Ottawa did the same thing, forcing the Penguins to double overtime to clinch the Eastern Conference title.

Crosby, Malkin and others also played in the World Cup of Hockey before the season, making this an even longer year than usual. In the end, the Penguins had more than enough in the tank to bring home another title.

“We’ve got a collection of guys who understand what it takes to win,” Crosby said.

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. … Murray is the first goalie with two shutouts in one Cup Final since Boston’s Tim Thomas and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo had two apiece in 2011. … Nashville finished the series going 0 of 8 on the power play over the final two games. … Grammy winners Cage the Elephant performed during the second intermission after playing at Bonnaroo on Friday night.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Put up Record Amount Shots but Fall Short - VIDEO
The Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. In the second period the Knights put up a record number of shots on goal but still go back to the locker room down 2-0. David Schoen reports from Winnipeg.
Gallant: Knights played a 'good game' vs. Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant says the Knights played a good game in the loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Golden Knights power play
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knight power play vs. Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on loss to Winnipeg
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Mailbag: Will Brandon Pirri be an official Knight? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over the Golden Knights fans reactions to Jonathan Machessault not making the NHL all star roster and Brandon Pirri potentially joining the Knights.
Gerard Gallant on Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about continuing to play good hockey in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on facing Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about trying to take 2 points in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Win In Overtime Against Blackhawks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win 4-3 in overtime against the Blackhawks with Shea Theodore scoring the game winning goal. Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights comeback win.
Gallant on Carpenter goal
Gallant on win
Gallant on overturned goal
Gallant CHI 1
Theodore CHI
Golden Knights Win Streak Ends Against Sharks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win streak ends after a loss against the San Jose Sharks. Golden Knights reporters David Schoen and Adam Hill go over the Knights giving up two goals in the third period and how the team will recover on the road.
Golden Knights React To Loss Against Sharks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights react to their 3-2 loss against the Sharks including Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and head coach Gerard Gallant.
Golden Edge: Knights beat Rangers for 7th straight win
The RJ's David Schoen and Adam Hill recap the Golden Knights' win over the New York Rangers on January 8, 2019.
CES 2019: VR Hockey Trainer Sense Arena - VIDEO
CES 2019 has a lot of VR options, but none quite as cool for Golden Knights fans as Sense Arena. Former NHL Jan Ludvig and Patrik Eliáš talk about the future benefits and possibilities of technology like this. Eliáš also talks about his experience at his first Golden Knights game this past Sunday when the knights faced off against his former team the New Jersey Devils.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks on Jan. 7
Gallant talked about forward Brandon Pirri being recalled, injuries and more.
Golden Edge Mailbag - January 7, 2019 - VIDEO
Reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over all your burning VGK questions and comments
Gallant says the Golden Knights need to keep pressing
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant on how important it is that the team keep playing tough down the stretch as things as the race for the top in the Pacific Division remains close.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rally Behind Subban
The Vegas Golden Knights pick up their 6th win in a row scoring 3 goals to come back from a 2-0 New Jersey lead. Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and Dave Schoen report from T-Mobile arena.
Golden Knights on their comeback victory over the the Devils
Vegas Golden Knights players reflect on their come-from-behind win over the New Jersey Devils. Max Pacioretty talks about the becoming a father for the fourth time and then playing.
UNLV hockey program aims for NCAA Division I status
As the hockey culture continues to grow in Las Vegas, UNLV looks to develop its hockey program and eventually reach NCAA division I status. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Schmidt 3rd periods 2
Schmidt 3rd periods
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks on Jan. 5
Gallant talked about the team’s recent run of success in the third period, the schedule and more.
Golden Knights On Five Game Win Streak After Beating Ducks: Golden Edge - VIDEO
The Golden Knights are now on a five game winning streak after beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Golden Knights reporter Adam Hill goes over the Knights win.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Win with another Goal from Brandon Pirri
The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the LA Kings 2-0 with another goal from Brandon Pirri and shutout number 6 from Marc-Andre Fleury. David Schoen and Adam Hill repot from T-Mobile arena.
Pirri, Fleury on the Golden Knights shutout win over the Kings
Brandon Pirri and Marc-Andre Fleury discuss the team's play that led to the Vegas Golden Knights win over the L.A. Kings.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Big Against Coyotes
The Golden Knights defeat the Arizona Coyotes after scoring three goals in the third period and allowing one goal from a 5-on-3 power play. Golden Knights reporter Ben Gotz breaks down the highlights from the game.
Closing Out 2018 With The Golden Knights
With 2018 coming to a close, Golden Edge host Cassie Soto shares some of the highlights from the end of the Golden Knights inaugural season and the start of year two. While there were many big sports stories in 2018, none might be as historic as what the Golden Knights were able to accomplish in their first year of competition. The team joined the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues as the only professional baseball, basketball, football or hockey team to make it to the championship round. Although the Golden Knights fell short in their hunt to the hoisting the Stanley Cup, the team was able to unite the city of Las Vegas unlike anything ever before and for that, the community thanks them.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights fefeat Kings giving Subban his first win
The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the LA Kings 4-1 and Malcolm Subban gets his first win on the season reported by Ben Gotz and Adam Hill from Los Angeles.
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018: The Golden Year
The Golden Knights started off the year strong by making it to the Stanley Cup Finals and held many community to be closer with the fans.
Golden Knight Lee Orchard Discusses Career
Golden Knight Lee Orchard discusses his career and what he loves most about being part of an NHL team in Las Vegas.
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves visits tavern to launch his beer brand
Ryan Reaves visits the Parkway Tavern to sign autographs for fans and get reactions about his new beer called training day.
Golden Edge: Knights get back in the win column at home
After losing two games in overtime on the road, the Vegas Golden Knights returned home to score a victory over the Colorado Avalanche. David Schoen and Ben Gotz analyze the team's 2-1 victory in their final home game of 2018.
Fleury, Pirri and Stastny recap Golden Knights win over Avalanche
After their 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brandon Pirri and Paul Stastny recap the team's performance.
Gallant says Golden Knights were recharged after 3 days off
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's win over the Colorado Avalanche and says the time off helped the team perform better.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Consecutive Overtime Loss
The Golden Knights fell to the Kings 4-3 in overtime and will enter the holiday break on a two-game losing streak. Golden Edge reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz discuss the loss.
Golden Knights Discuss Overtime Loss to Kings
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Nate Schmidt and head coach Gerard Gallant discuss the 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings ahead of the holiday break.
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley Talks About First Season
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley talks about the Knights phenomenal first season of the NHL and how they hope to continue the momentum this season.
Golden Knights Fall To Canadiens In Overtime
Golden Knights lose to the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen, Adam Hill and Ben Gotz go over the Knights loss and how Marc-Andre Fleury was upset after the game about a potential high sticking call.
Golden Knights React To Overtime Loss Against Canadiens
Golden Knights react to their 4-3 overtime loss against the Montreal Canadiens.
Golden Knights Santa Surprises Kids with Gifts
Santa (Ryan Reaves) and his helpful elf (Will Carrier) surprised a lucky group of kids with Golden Knights swag and tickets to a game.
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley Visits Review Journal Studios
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley made some time to tour the Las Vegas Review Journal Studios and sat down with Adam Hill and Ben Gotz for a podcast segment, as well as Ed Graney for an in-studio interview.
Golden Edge: Knights rally to beat the Islanders
Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen of the Review-Journal recap the Golden Knights win over the Islanders in their return to the T-Mobile Arena from a 4-game road trip.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant previews Islanders game
Gallant discussed William Carrier’s hot streak, shuffling his lines and more.
Gallant NY 4
Gallant NY 3
Gallant NY 2
Gallant NY 1
Gallant NJ 3
Gallant NJ 2
Gallant NJ 1
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Deryk Engelland at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was a new experience for Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland on Wednesday night. He said he was looking forward to spending time with family and going for a skate, as well as lighting the Christmas tree for fans.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like