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game recap

Penguins repeat Stanley Cup with Game 6 win against Predators

Patric Hornqvist scores with 1:35 left; Pittsburgh first back-to-back champion since 1997-98

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched back-to-back championships with a 2-0 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.

Pittsburgh is the first NHL team to repeat since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. It is the fifth Stanley Cup title for the Penguins, and they have won each of them on the road.

Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season in his third Cup victory. He finished the postseason one point behind teammate Evgeni Malkin with 27 points (eight goals, 19 points) in 24 games.

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Penguins highlights | RELATED: Complete Nashville vs. Pittsburgh series coverage]

 

"I think I'm just really happy for this group," Crosby said. "A good chunk of the guys were returning from last year, so it's pretty special. We set out to try to go back-to-back. We knew it was going to be pretty difficult, but I think that's probably where the most joy comes out of is just knowing how difficult it is to go back-to-back and knowing that we overcame all those things. It's a pretty special group, I'll say that."

Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 remaining in the third period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

The Penguins acquired Hornqvist in a trade with the Predators for James Neal on July 27, 2014. He said scoring the game-winning goal against his former team made it even more special.

"Yeah, for sure," Hornqvist said. "This is where I've been playing most of my games and to win it and score that goal here, it couldn't end any better for me."

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Bettman awards Stanley Cup to Pens

Carl Hagelin scored an empty-net goal with 14 seconds remaining to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

Rookie goaltender Matt Murray made 27 saves for his second consecutive shutout, fourth in the playoffs in his NHL career. He made 24 saves in a 6-0, Game 5 win Thursday.

Colton Sissons appeared to give the Predators a 1-0 lead at 1:07 of the second period, but the goal was disallowed because a whistle was blown.

"Every time we got back to the bench, we felt that next shift was going to be the one that was going to go for us," Sissons said. "And we kept that all the way through, right up until they got the empty-netter to kind of seal the deal there."

The Predators had a 5-on-3 power play for 32 seconds in the third period. Nashville was held to three shots on goal during four power plays.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Crosby receives Conn Smythe Trophy

 

Goal of the game

Hornqvist's goal came on a missed shot by defenseman Justin Schultz that bounced off the boards and the back of the net. Hornqvist got the rebound and shot it off of Rinne's back.

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

 

Save of the game

Murray made a save on a breakaway by Sissons in the second period. Sissons got behind the Penguins defense on a line change and tried to beat Murray on the glove side.

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

 

Unsung performance of the game

Defenseman Brian Dumoulin had an assist and three blocks, and led Pittsburgh with 26:06 of ice time, including 5:17 shorthanded to help kill all four Nashville power plays.

 

Highlight of the game

Murray made saves on Mike Fisher and Neal in the first period to keep the game 0-0. Fisher's shot went off of Murray's pads, and Neal got to the rebound by the crease. Murray got enough of his glove on Neal's shot to direct the puck away from the net.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Murray flashes leather to rob Neal

 

They said it

"I think this feeling right here. You can't match this. It's what it's all about, and to be able to share that with a group of guys, a lot of them guys that you've played a long time with and understand how difficult it is and what you've had to go through and that kind of thing, share it with family and friends, that's what it's about. You have a small window to play and have a career. I feel fortunate, but I also understand how difficult it is, so you want to try to make the best of it." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

 

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Crosby talks Penguins' Stanley Cup win

 

"It's hard to describe. You dream about lifting the Stanley Cup as a young kid, and the dream has happened probably a million times for most of us. Being that close, being two games away and 120 minutes away from lifting the Stanley Cup, it [stinks]. But for us, we did so many things well and this is such a tremendous run for our team, and we have such a young team. I think we gained a ton of experience from this run." -- Predators defenseman P.K. Subban

 

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Subban on Preds' Stanley Cup Final run

 

Need to know

Crosby is the third player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in back-to-back seasons, joining Mario Lemieux (1991, 1992 Penguins) and Bernie Parent (1974, 1975 Philadelphia). ... Crosby, Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang won the Cup for a third time with the Penguins (2009, 2016, 2017). ... Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is the first United States-born coach to win the Stanley Cup twice. ... Murray is the fourth goalie to close a Cup Final with consecutive shutouts, first since Terry Sawchuk of the Detroit Red Wings in 1952. Murray did not allow a goal for the final 146:26. ... Hornqvist's goal was the second latest (18:25) to win a Stanley Cup in regulation. Dave Bolland scored at 19:01 for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 against the Boston Bruins. … Penguins forward Nick Bonino missed his fourth game because of a lower-body injury. He revealed to the media that he broke his tibia in Game 2. ... Pittsburgh won 32 percent of the faceoffs in Game 6. … The Predators were shut out for the final 123:23 of the series. ... Defenseman Ryan Ellis played and was paired with Roman Josi. Ellis left Game 5 because of an undisclosed injury and did not participate in the optional morning skate Sunday.

 

What's next

Season over

 

Video: Pens repeat as Stanley Cup champions with 2-0 win

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