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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final Buzz: Penguins go for back-to-back Stanley Cup titles

Pittsburgh can become first repeat champion since 1998 by defeating Predators in Game 6 @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators. Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final is Sunday in Nashville (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). writers in Nashville will be checking in throughout the day. 

Here is the Stanley Cup Final news for Sunday:

2:45 p.m.
Will Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis play?

The status of defenseman Ryan Ellis remains the biggest question mark for the Predators entering Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ellis, who sustained an unspecified injury in the second period of Nashville's 6-0 loss at Pittsburgh in Game 5 on Thursday, skated on his own prior to Nashville's optional morning skate Sunday. That gives the Predators some hope he'll be able to play with the team facing elimination for the first time in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. Staff Writer Tom Gulitti has the latest on Ellis' situation, as well as who could take his place if he's not able to go.

In his 5 Keys for Game 6, Correspondent Robby Stanley writes about the status of Ellis, the impact Penguins captain Sidney Crosby can make, the need for Nashville to get offense out of forwards Filip Forsberg and James Neal, and more. He also has the projected lineups, as well as news and notes.

The Stanley Cup will be in the building, there for the Penguins to win it. But to do so, they'll have to buck a negative trend that has made life difficult for them in each of their previous four playoff series, going back to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Senior Writer Dan Rosen explains.


10:10 a.m.
Penguins one win from title

The NHL has gone 19 years without a repeat Stanley Cup winner, the longest gap without a back-to-back champion since the League began play in 1917. The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win consecutive titles when they play Game 6 of the Final against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

Through five games, the series has been dominated by the home team. Pittsburgh won Games 1, 2 and 5, outscoring the Predators 15-4. But it's been a different story at Bridgestone Arena, where Nashville won Games 3 and 4 by a combined score of 9-2.

Coaches, like players, try to stick to a routine and make sure everyone is on task. Staff Writer Lisa Dillman looks at Penguins coach Mike Sullivan's efforts to get his team ready for Game 6.

A victory would give the Penguins three Stanley Cup championships since 2009. But it would be a fourth title for 37-year-old Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz, who also won with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. Staff Writer Tim Campbell reports that the noise inside Bridgestone Arena won't make Kunitz nervous but will help him sharpen his focus.

It's win-or-go-home time for the Predators after they lost 6-0 in Game 5 at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday. In his blog for, forward Harry Zolnierczyk says he and his teammates aren't intimidated by what's at stake in Game 6, but that they must be at their best in order to send the series back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 on Wednesday.

Video: Hersch and Johnson on the Pens' keys to win the Cup

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