Pittsburgh Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their second straight NHL Stanley Cup championship Sunday night, defeating the Nashville Predators, 2-0, in Game 6, to win the series four games to two.

While the Predators were making the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in their 19-season franchise history, the title is the fifth for the Penguins, who beat the San Jose Sharks in six games to win their fourth previous year.

"He's now one of the best to ever play the game", Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, a two-time Stanley Cup victor as a player, said of his former team mate. Crosby took the Cup from National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman before handing the trophy off to veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey, who passed it to veteran forward Matt Cullen.

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. Early in the second period, the Predators appeared to score a goal to put them up 1-0, but the goal was waived off. Referee Kevin Pollock blew the whistle when he lost sight of the puck, which was sitting behind Murray with lots of space in the crease for Sissons to tap it into the net.

Crosby and the Penguins are seeking their third title since 2009, and the franchise's fifth overall.

Pittsburgh had two close calls in the final minute of what was the best period yet of the Final series but were denied by Predators goalie Rinne and hit a post seconds later. This year, it was Ron Hainsey, the 36-year-old defenseman who participated in the first playoff run of his career after being acquired by the Penguins at this year's trade deadline.

But they found that extra gear when they needed it, even if the Predators had been the better team at times.

Sissons, later in the second period got another chance at goal. Their Tennessee fans, inspired by the team, throw catfish onto the ice in Game 1 in Pittsburgh. "We know what we have to do, and I think what we're going to take from this that we're going to have to be even better if we want to become champions". But Pittsburgh's penalty kill, which was basically Murray standing on his head, kept Nashville off the board. "But certainly moments here, the whole night, I will never forget".

That doesn't include Crosby also winning the World Cup of Hockey title before this season started, along with tournament MVP. Only five other players have captured multiple Smythes and the last one to do it in consecutive fashion was Lemieux in 1991 and 1992.

The goalie so competitive he doesn't like teammates scoring on him in practice is back in Nashville where he's been almost unbeatable over the past two postseasons at 13-1.

But Matt Murray, who surrendered eight goals in those back-to-back Pens losses in Nashville earlier in the series, had his own highlights early on to thwart the Preds' offense.



Other news