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Stanley Cup Final Game 6 Live Blog: Penguins vs. Predators

Pittsburgh repeats as Stanley Cup champion with shutout win in Nashville

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Director of Editorial

Welcome to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators.

NHL.com Director of Editorial Shawn P. Roarke was in Bridgestone Arena and to details all the sights, sounds and news from the game as the Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions with a 2-0 victory.

 

11:02 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Penguins waited until the very end before getting the goal it needed to win the 2017 Stanley Cup with a 2-0 victory against the Nashville Predatoirs with 1:35 remaining in Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena.

 Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Penguins celebrate Stanley Cup win

Patric Hornqvist, a former Predator, banked a missed shot by Justin Schultz off the back of Pekka Rinne and into the net. Hornqvist was behind the goal line when he took the shot.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Hornqvist banks in late go-ahead goal

The goal was challenged for goalie interference, but the goal stood after review.

Carl Hagelin added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Hagelin strikes into the empty net

The Penguins are the first team to repeat as champion since the Detroit Red Wings did so in 1997 and 1998.
Hornqvist, and Nick Spaling, were traded from Nashville to Pittsburgh at the NHL Draft in 2014 in return for Neal
Matt Murray turned in back-to-back shutouts in Game 5 and Game 6.

Colton Sissons of the Predators thought he had scored in the second period, but the referees ruled that the whistle had blown before he scored.

Each goalie, Murray and Rinne, finished with 27 saves.

Tweet from @NHL: THE @PENGUINS ARE THE 2017 #STANLEYCUP CHAMPIONS! pic.twitter.com/Qe1dFVlglp

 

10:42 p.m.

Almost halfway through the third period and the chances are still coming, but nobody has found the back of the net yet.

Pittsburgh's Matt Murray made a big save on a Matt Irwin slap shot and then was saved a bit when Roman Josi hit the post with his shot.

Nashville's Pekka Rinne stopped a Ron Hainsey slapper that was deflected at the last second by Patric Hornqvist and then later stopped Ian Cole on a 4-on-2 rush. Cole, the trailer, fired a wrister into the glove of the goalie.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Rinne gloves down Hainsey's blast

The Predators also missed a great opportunity as the Penguins took back-to-back penalties.

Defenseman Olli Maata went for tripping on Viktor Arvidsson at 7:19. At 8:47, Trevor Daley took a roughing penalty on Ryan Ellis.

Murray made big saves on Mike Fisher and Mattias Ekholm during a penalty kil, which included 32 seconds of 5-on-3.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Murray turns away Ekholm, Arvidsson

 

10:17 p.m.

We're in the third period now and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators are still looking for the first goal of Game 6.

Each team has been close numerous times, but goaltenders Matt Murray and Pekka Rinne have been equal to the challenge.

Rinne's strong play at Bridgestone Arena was to be expected. He allowed two goals in the first 120 minutes here in Game 3 and Game 4. Murray, however, allowed four goals in Game 3 and four more in Game 4.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Rinne staves off Crosby's one-timer
 
Filip Forsberg has been dangerous all night and leads the Predators with three shots.

For the Penguins, the big stars are carrying the weight again. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin each have three shots through two periods.

Tweet from @NHL: It comes down to this. @penguins vs. @PredsNHL. Third period.NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS#StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/uIhoI5bp3w

 

10:05 p.m.

It remains 0-0 after two periods between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators, but the chances have been fast and furious, particularly in the second half of the period.

Pittsburgh had 12 shots in the period and Nashville had 10.

Colton Sissons had another chance to give the Predators the lead in Game 6, but was denied on a breakaway. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray waited out Sissons and was able to make the save when Sissons went to his right on a deke and tried to stuff the puck home.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Murray extends to deny Sissons' break

Since then, the teams have been trading chances with Pittsburgh getting the better of the action.

Nashville might also have an injury problem. Ryan Ellis appeared to re-aggravate his injury with about seven minutes remaining in the period and labored to get back to the bench, showing limited mobility. He played a regular shift after that but was struggling to generate power or change directions rapidly.

 

9:35 p.m.

The Predators thought they had broken the tie in the second minute of the second period when Colton Sissons threw himself at a loose puck in the Pittsburgh crease and pushed home the unattended rebound of a shot by Filip Forsberg.

But it was determined after a meeting among the four officials that the play had been blown dead before Sissons' stick pushed the puck into the net.

The Predators have continued to push after the call and earned their second power play at 4:38. Forward Conor Sheary was called for tripping Calle Jarnkrok in the neutral zone.

 

9:20 p.m.

The first period was the first time in this series that at least one goal was not scored in the first 20 minutes.

The chances were there, but both goalies were sharp throughout. Pittsburgh led in shots on goal, 9-8, but the Predators had 15 attempts to 11 for the Penguins. Pittsburgh blocked three shots on the only power-play opportunity of the first period, an interference penalty by defenseman Ian Cole.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis, who was questionable for Game 6 after being injured in Game 5, played 12 shifts, totaling 7:56. He blocked two shots. Forward Cody McLeod, who replaced Harry Zolnierczyk in the lineup, 3:22 and had two hits.

 

9:05 p.m.

It's 0-0 at the end of the first period of Game 6.

The Predators have to be happy about their game. They had a dangerous push late in the period and only a strong save from Matt Murray on a rebound put-back by James Neal prevented a goal.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Murray slams the door on Fisher, Neal

Plus, Pekka Rinne has been sharp in goal. In the last minute, making huge saves on a Carl Hagelin quick shot from the slot, Evgeni Malkin's rising shot from just outside the faceoff circle and a blocker stop on a Sidney Crosby slap shot.

Pittsburgh out-shot Nashville, 9-8.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Did You Know? Game 6 featured the only scoreless first period of the 2017 #StanleyCup Final. #PITvsNSH pic.twitter.com/slqvhPqE8U

 

8:45 p.m.

As expected, the Predators have come up with some serious jump as they try to stave off elimination for the first time this postseason.

Matt Murray has had to make a couple of tough saves in the first 10 minutes, including a slapper from P.K. Subban and an in-close shot from Filip Forsberg.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Murray denies Subban's early bid

Pekka Rinne also had to be strong so far. His best save was a reaction leg save on a Chris Kunitz put-back shot early in the period.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis has played a regular shift for the Predators so far, not overly limited by the injury that took him out of Game 5 in the second period.

The Predators invited David Legwand, the team's first draft pick, to Game 6. He was warmly welcomed by the crowd.

 

8:30 p.m.

Oh man, what a pregame production for the last home game of the season in Nashville.

Faith Hill, wearing a No. 6 Predators jersey, sang the national anthem, capping a string of brilliant performances throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Hill, McGraw pump up Nashville fans

Tim McGraw, her husband, wearing a No. 44 jersey, came out to the ice when she finished. After a quick hug, he did Seventh Man duties, waving a towel in each hand as the crowd roared relentlessly.

Now, we are off for the first period.

Tweet from @TheTimMcGraw: LETS! GO! PREDS! #stanleycup #smashville #standwithus pic.twitter.com/ECr0CRGOIm

 

8:17 p.m.

Warmups are finished. Country star Luke Bryan wrapped up his concert on top of Tootsies and we are ready to go.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Bryan talks buzz in Nashville

Inside, Bridgestone Arena is rocking as well. The arena was almost completely full at the start of warmups.

Pittsburgh showed no changes in its lineup and will go with same personnel that carved out a 6-0 victory in Game 5.

For the Predators, defenseman Ryan Ellis is starting. He was injured in Game 5 and missed most of the second period and the entire third period. But, reserve defenseman Anthony Bitetto also took warmups and could play.

Forward Harry Zolnierczyk did not take warmups and it appears he will be replaced by forward Cody McLeod, who played in the first two games of the Final or by Bitetto dressing as a seventh defensemen.

 

6:40 p.m.

The Stanley Cup will be in Bridgestone Arena on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Penguins chase history and the Nashville Predators face elimination for the first time this postseason in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can win a second-straight Stanley Cup with a victory in Game 6. The last team to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons was the Detroit Red Wings, who won in 1997 and 1998.

Nashville must win game 6 to avoid elimination and force Game 7 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

The home team has won each of the first five games. In the previous two games at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators outscored Pittsburgh, 9-2. They have been outscored 15-4 in the three games at PPG Paints Arena. Nashville is 9-1 at home this postseason.

The Predators may be without defenseman Ryan Ellis in Game 6. He was hurt in Game 5 and missed most of the second period and all of the third period. He has not practiced since, although he did skate alone before practice on Sunday, and is questionable for the game. If Ellis does not play, Brad Hunt or Anthony Bitetto would step in and either Matt Irwin or Yannick Weber would move into the top-four rotation on the blue line.

It has already been a crazy day in Nashville with the 2017 Country Music Association Music Festival in town. Massive crowds have been building downtown throughout the afternoon and as many as 100,000 people are expected to be downtown as game-time approaches.

Country music star Luke Bryan is playing a set from the rooftop portion of Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge. Bryan had previously sung the national anthem before a game at Bridgestone Arena.

The anthem singer for Game 6 has not been revealed, but it is expected to continue the list of famous singers that have performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before each of the previous nine home games.

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