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

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

(Then) I just couldn't do it.

Will Tom Sestito be bringing the Stanley Cup won by the Pittsburgh Penguins to Rome for a day? The Penguins are expected to expose Fleury in the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft later this month.

As the clock slipped under two minutes, the first overtime period of the series looked like a good possibility. Viewership was up 19 percent vs. the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, which featured the Penguins and the San Jose Sharks.

However, that wasn't the case.

Country music star Luke Bryan opened NBC's broadcast of the Stanley Cup Final at 8 p.m. with a special performance from the rooftop of Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge in Nashville.

The Penguins' Cup victory, though, went against conventional thinking in hockey and unconventional thinking also.

Nobody can stop talking about Matt Murray. "Both teams competed right to the final buzzer". Referee Kevin Pollock blew the whistle when he lost sight of the puck, which was sitting behind Murray with lots of space in the crease for Sissons to tap it into the net.

Penguins goalie Matt Murray made 27 saves to record his second straight shutout and win his second Stanley Cup in as many National Hockey League seasons.

While television replays appeared to show that Murray never had control of the puck, the replay also confirmed the whistle was blown before Sissons poked the puck past Murray.

Pittsburgh Penguins players celebrate after defeating the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Without him, there were no workhorses and the Penguins didn't try to force one: In these playoff, no defenseman played more than 21:59 a game. "I'm like, 'God folks, I have no idea, '" he said.

Another bit of awesomeness was the fact Nashville got the better of a more skilled Pittsburgh team throughout much of the series, but that Pens team just had way too much depth and offensive grit to let it go to waste. If not for all four kills, there's probably a Game 7.

It marks the fourth time a former Minuteman has won the Stanley Cup as Sheary joins goaltender Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings - 2012, 2014) as the program's second two-time Stanley Cup champion. Only Crosby and Gretzky, however, captained three Cup winners with two playoff MVPs. That was also the Penguins.

Teammate Evgeni Malkin is his closest statistical peer, but really the best current comparables for his dominance over the sport - with regard to personal and team success -are the NBA's LeBron James and NFL's Tom Brady. Pittsburgh finished the postseason by killing 83.6 percent of its penalties.

By deciding against turning over a significant portion of his roster, Rutherford insured that many of his key players would have more than 200 games of wear on their tires from the start of the 2015-16 season to the glorious end in Nashville on Sunday night. That's not bad considering the difference in the regular-season numbers.

What should have done the Penguins in was losing Kris Letang to neck surgery in April.

Carl Hagelin added the empty-netter.

Kunitz never regularly killed penalties in his life before February, but he took on the new role as a challenge and succeeded.

The Predators proved a resilient bunch that found different ways to get wins, sometimes relying on their stellar goaltending to steal a game, other times it was a stingy defence or simply opportunistic scoring.

It feels nearly surprising that the Stanley Cup was awarded on Sunday evening in Nashville.



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