Penguins defeat Predators, defend Stanley Cup title

Katy Johnson

Katy Johnson

Still technically a rookie, Murray became the first goalie in National Hockey League history to win the Stanley Cup in each of his first two seasons thanks to a 27-save shutout in the Penguins' 2-0 championship clinching victory Sunday.

Center Sidney Crosby, who scored eight goals and dished out 19 assists in 24 playoff games, was named Conn Smythe Trophy victor as postseason most valuable player for the second straight year.

The Penguins accomplished the feat by downing the Nashville Predators, 2-0, in game six of the Stanley Cup finals. "For us, it's about winning and giving a chance to these guys to win a Stanley Cup every year, and with that, we're happy".

Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. with "NHL Live".

Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn. Murray is the first goalie with two shutouts in one Cup Final since Boston's Tim Thomas and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo had two apiece in 2011.

And the Penguins and Crosby, who will turn just 30 in August, aren't done yet.

When it came his turn to hold aloft the Cup, center Nick Bonino lifted the 35-pound trophy easily. He joined McHugh, Milbury and Jones during first intermission coverage.

But looking at the NHL's recent history, there have been what could be considered other dynastic teams besides the Penguins.

Either way Pittsburgh has a lot to celebrate about and so does Nashville.

The Penguins deservedly won the Stanley Cup, but it's hard not to see the shadow of Colton Sissons' goal that wasn't.

When Murray was healthy and Fleury faltered versus Ottawa, coach Mike Sullivan chose to make a change in net, giving Murray the starting role once again. He has a tremendous feel of moving guys up and down the lineup.

The Predators know exactly what they need to do better against Pittsburgh. Last year, smooth sailing, especially with the forward combinations. Last year it was Sheary, and this year Guentzel, and next year, it could be someone entirely different.

Jones on Crosby: "It's an incredible year".

What remains is perspective, no longer pressure.

"I think people thought because I tried it was getting better", Bonino said of his injury. "We just kept finding ways, that was really what we did all season and all playoffs". "A team to be proud of, for sure".

On Feb. 23, the day Hainsey was traded to the Penguins by the Carolina Hurricanes, the defenseman had played 891 regular-season games - 300 for the Canes - but had never been on a playoff team. So to lose in the second round in overtime of a Game 7 to the New York Islanders was a huge letdown.

Even Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to be challenged trying to top this.

There are so many intangibles to consider when any team wins a championship.

The Penguins win is another reminder of Red Wings glory days long passed.

Rinne has a 9-1 record this spring with a 1.44 goals-against average and.949 save percentage in Nashville.

TAD measures consumption across multiple platforms, combining the average minute audience (AMA) for television and digital.

On Sunday night, after Sidney Crosby lifted the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive year and for the third time in his career, Penguins owner Mario Lemieux was asked on NBCSN if he ever saw this kind of success coming for the Penguins captain, back when Crosby was a rookie and living in Lemieux's house.

Despite the loss of both their starting goalie and their No.1 defenceman, despite an extended slump from Phil Kessel, a slow start from Crosby in the final, and a blue line that was running on hope and fumes, the Penguins still managed to lift the Cup at the end.

James has significantly more finals defeats, but that has more to do with the nature of the two sports.

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