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Penguins' Stanley Cup Win

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
June 12, 2017
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Hoping to end the 2016-17 season the same way as they did in the 2015-16 season, the Pittsburgh Penguins hoping to lean on their goalie Matt Murray and keep the series from returning to the Steel City. This would also be the first back-to-back champion crowned during the salary cap era if the Penguins won.Starting Game 6 much like they did in Games 3 and 4, the Predators played with a strong physical game and board play throughout the first period keeping the fans engaged and the building rocking. Although the Preds dominated the hit column with a 17-8 advantage, the Penguins played a complete 200 foot game driving the net and getting scrappy deep in the zone resulting in multiple chances below the dots and a slight shot advantage of 9-8.

Back-to-back Cups.Back-to-back Conn Smythes.#StanleyCup

— NHL (@NHL) June 12, 2017

Starting the second period with a controversial whistle and denial of a goal for the Predators, the Penguins took advantage of the momentum shift with multiple chances before Conor Sheary took a tripping penalty with 15:22 remaining. The best opportunity of the power play was a blast by Filip Forsberg that sailed wide of the net near the midpoint of the advantage. Later in the period, Matt Murray made a stellar save against Colton Sissions on a breakaway keeping the scoreless tie in tact. With multiple icings by the Penguins late in the period of the long chance, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan was forced to use his time out with 1:33 remaining to keep the score knotted as the horn sounded.The third period started relatively slow and cautiously, each exchanging a few offensive chances. Strong defense was the signature of both teams until Olli Maata took a tripping penalty and allowed the Predators to have a chance to establish their offense. They made no mistake after winning the faceoff and got a solid scoring chance before reloading and blasting from the top of the zone multiple times. Board play again solid by the Preds led to a frustration penalty as Trevor Daley was called for roughing and gave a 32 second 2-man advantage to Nashville.

Back to back. #StanleyCup

— NHL (@NHL) June 12, 2017

On the 5-on-3, the Penguins won the faceoff and cleared the puck to eliminate most of the advantage but still allowed a scramble in the crease as the first penalty expired. Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray play with intensity throughout the game, but during the second powerplay kept his team even with multiple 10 bell saves.With 6:41 to go Sissions hit the post for Nashville. That was the best offensive chance for either team until with just 1:35 remaining Patric Hornqvist put the puck past Pekka Rinne on a rebound off the boards and off of Rinne’s arm to clinch the victory and secure the Pittsburgh Penguins second straight Stanley Cup. Carl Hagelin added to the lead with 13.6 seconds remaining on an empty net goal.

We’re going dancing with Lord Stanley! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2017 Stanley Cup Champions.

— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 12, 2017

Winning the Conn Smythe trophy, the NHL Playoffs MVP, was awarded to Sidney Crosby for the second straight year. This was the third time in NHL history that a player won in back-to-back seasons. More importantly, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby hoisted the Stanley Cup for the third time in his 12 seasons at the NHL level as the team’s captain. Always of interest to fans, Crosby handed the cup to Ron Hainsey who played 907 regular season NHL games without making the playoffs prior to this season. Pittsburgh becomes back-to-back champions for the second time as former Penguin and current owner Mario Lemieux did it in the 1991 and 1992 seasons.

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