It took three periods of furious hockey, but the Pittsburgh Penguins secured their second consecutive Stanley Cup with a Game 6 win in the Stanley Cup Final.
Patric Hornqvist, traded from Nashville to Pittsburgh just a few years ago, had the game-winning goal in the third period of Pittsburgh’s 2-0 win.
It’s the first back-to-back Stanley Cup win in the NHL’s salary cap era.
Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the NHL playoffs’ MVP.
Two periods of Game 6 were full of energy and high-octane scoring chances, which were fairly even throughout the game. The closest either side came to scoring was in the second period when Colton Sissons had a Predators goal waved off due to a quick whistle by the referees.
The officials thought Penguins goalie Matt Murray had the puck covered, but it was free in the crease as Sissons poked it in for a goal. The NHL’s stingy whistle rules kept it from being reviewed or reversed, and both teams played on.
Sissons would have two more prime scoring opportunities that period, including a breakaway that Murray turned aside. At the start of the third period, Murray had stopped 56 straight shots in the series.
The deciding goal came in the dying minutes of the third period. Previously, the Predators couldn’t get anything going on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the frame. That haunted them late in the third, when former Predator Hornqvist scored the game-winning goal with barely a minute left to clinch the Stanley Cup.
Nashville challenged for goalie interference, but the play stood. Nashville’s own former draft pick cost them the Cup and delivered the NHL’s first back-to-back championship since the Red Wings in the late 1990s.