Back to back champs: Penguins beat Preds 2-0 for Stanley Cup

Posted June 12, 2017

Matt Murray went from being sidelined by an injury in opening the playoffs to posting back-to-back shutouts in leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

The Penguins capped their 50th season in the NHL's centennial year with 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.

The goal was a odd one as Hornqvist shot the puck from behind the net, banking it off of Predators goalie Pekka Rinne and into the net.

The Pittsburgh Penguins finished off the Nashville Predators on Sunday to become the first repeat Stanley Cup champions in 19 seasons.

Nashville is known for its country music, its food and friendly people, but up until this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, not many would've thought of it as a hockey town.

In Game 1, he limited Nashville enough to help the Pens overcome a almost two-period run in which they went without a single shot on goal. But Peter Laviolette's fast-skating bunch with the lockdown defense roared past Chicago in a sweep to get things started and shrugged off the home-ice advantage of St. Louis and Anaheim on the way to the first Final in the franchise's 19-year history - much to the joy of their catfish-tossing fans. Nashville challenged the goal for goalie interference, but it was upheld after a brief review.

A heroic and historic postseason run for the Predators came up short when the Penguins prevailed in Game 6 Sunday night in Bridgestone Arena. That's what makes this Stanley Cup Final so special, so unique.

The Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games last season and topped Nashville in six games this year to keep the Stanley Cup in the Steel City.

Ron Hainsey, who is 36 years old and a veteran of more than 900 National Hockey League regular season games but had never played a postseason game until this spring, getting the nod to lift the Stanley Cup first after Sidney Crosby was one of those.

The game was scoreless through the first 58 minutes of the game before a former friend dealt the final blow. Team captain Mike Fisher is an unrestricted free agent, but he seems likely to stay in Nashville if he wants to.

You can see on the replay how he managed to get the puck into the net despite shooting from behind the goal line, bouncing it in off the elbow of Rinne.

To do so, they'll need to beat the Predators at Nashville in Game 6 of a series in which the home team has yet to lose.

Nashville has also gone 0-of-2 on the power play.

"We never gave up", Fisher said. "Put a lot of medicine into it and wasn't able to push off like I wanted to".

The final was 2-0 and the series ended 4-2 in Pittsburgh's favor. The always-collected 23-year-old Canadian took fewer playoff games to record 20 wins (28) than anyone but Montreal Canadiens legends Bill Durnan (26) and Patrick Roy (27).