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Patric Hornqvist among top performers in Game 6 of Final

Honor Roll, Stock Watch from Penguins victory against Predators

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

Who played well in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final? Sometimes it's easy to tell, sometimes it's not. graded the players in the 2-0 victory by the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Nashville Predators on Sunday that gave the Penguins a second straight Stanley Cup. Here are the ones who stood out the most.


Honor Roll 

Patric Hornqvist (Penguins) -- He scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal. What more needs to be said? 

Sidney Crosby (Penguins) -- Once the best-of-7 series was tied at 2-2, the captain became the best player on the ice. In Game 6, he had a team-best four shots and played 17:17, the second-most among Pittsburgh's forwards.

Matt Cullen (Penguins) -- In what was likely the final game of his NHL career, Pittsburgh's oldest player (40) looked like one of the youngest. No Penguins forward played more than his 19:42. He took 18 faceoffs, winning 10, and his 56 percent success rate was by far the best on the team. He was also the primary penalty killer on a unit that went 4-for-4.

Matt Murray (Penguins) -- He did not allow a goal on 27 shots and got his third shutout of the postseason. He finished the playoffs with a shutout streak of 123.23 and stopped the final 63 shots.

Ron Hainsey (Penguins) -- Criticized during the first two games of the series, Hainsey was a force on Sunday. He played 21:24, second among Pittsburgh defenseman, and had three shots and four hits.

Carl Hagelin (Penguins) -- Slowed throughout the postseason by injury, Hagelin found another gear and showed his speed in Game 6. He had an empty-net goal, two shots on goal and four shot attempts. His quickness on the forecheck and in transition caused fits for the Predators. 

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


Pekka Rinne (Predators) -- For the third straight home game he allowed one goal. This time, though, it wasn't enough to get the win. Rinne finished with 27 saves.

Colton Sissons (Predators) -- Sissons was in the middle of the fray all game. He had an apparent game-opening goal negated by a premature whistle and hit the post on another shot. In all, he had seven attempts at net. He also had two hits and won 12 of 16 faceoffs (75 percent).

Mattias Ekholm (Predators) -- The defenseman was a driving force on offense, generating eight shot attempts and three shots on goal. He played 26:11, 46 seconds less than P.K. Subban, who played a game-high 26:57.

Filip Forsberg (Predators) -- As has been the case throughout the postseason, Forsberg was among the most dangerous players on the ice. He had four shots on goal and five shot attempts. He also had a hit and a takeaway in 19:45.



Stock Watch

Ryan Ellis (up) -- The Nashville defenseman played with an undisclosed injury in Game 6, less than three days after being knocked out of Game 5. Despite laboring at times, he played 24:05 and had two hits and three blocked shots, including one off his knee that added to his injury woes.

Nashville's power play (down) -- The Predators had four power plays, including a 32-second 5-on-3 in the second period, but could not capitalize. Nashville was 1-of-12 with the man advantage in the final three games.

Faith Hill (up) -- Finishing a run of 11 superstar singers of the national anthem, Hill brought the house down with her rendition Sunday. After she was finished, she was joined on the ice by Tim McGraw, her husband, who handled Seventh Man duties with aplomb, waving not one but two towels over his head.

Bridgestone Arena ice crew (up) -- They didn't need shovels or gloves when the catfish came flying onto the ice throughout Game 6. Each of the eight times play was stopped, a member of the crew skated out and made a barehanded swipe of the fish, skating it out of play. 

Chris Kunitz (up) -- The veteran Pittsburgh forward has won the Stanley Cup four times, three times with Pittsburgh and once with the Anaheim Ducks. Not too bad for a player never drafted by a NHL team.

Pittsburgh's fans (up) -- There were more than 200 Penguins fans in Bridgestone Arena, lined up along the glass around the rink as the Penguins celebrated the Cup triumph on the ice. Back home, a sold-out PPG Paints Arena celebrated throughout the game.

Luke Bryan (up) -- The country star, who sang the national anthem earlier in the playoff run, did a mini set of songs from the rooftop of Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge. He also held a pre-concert press conference in which he talked about the mini-stick games contested by his three sons, a topic near and dear to any hockey parent's heart.

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


Sights and Sounds

"We hate the result, but our guys gave a pretty good effort, and it's difficult for us right now because our sights were set on winning the championship, like anybody would be when you get to this point, and for that, it's disappointing." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Laviolette on team's effort in defeat


"We knew it was going to be difficult, but I think that's probably where the most joy comes out of, is just knowing how difficult it is now to go back-to-back and knowing that we overcame all those things. It's a pretty special group. I'll say that." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

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


Tweet from @NHLonNBCSports: �� champagne showers ��

It was quite the party in the visiting dressing room at Bridgestone Arena it seems.


"It [stinks]. This isn't fun. You come all this way, you play an extra two months for really nothing." -- Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis


"I think we did a good job together to win this Cup. Matt is the goalie of the future for this team, I think it was important for him to celebrate tonight." -- Penguins backup goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on why he handed the Stanley Cup to Matt Murray

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Fleury talks winning third Cup title



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