2017-06-11 23:34:02
Penguins 2, Predators 0 | Pittsburgh wins series, 4-2: Pittsburgh Penguins Beat the Predators to Repeat as Stanley Cup Champions

23:34, June 11 232 0

NASHVILLE — The Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in nearly two decades to win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships when they defeated the Nashville Predators, 2-0, on Sunday in Game 6 of a seesaw series pitting a high-scoring heavyweight against an upstart challenger.

Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist, a former Predator, scored the winning goal on Sunday with 1 minute 35 seconds remaining in the third period. Carl Hagelin added a goal with 14 seconds to go.

And so the Penguins held off the hard-charging Predators, who were making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, after they had entered the playoffs as the lowest seed in the Western Conference. The Predators outshot the Penguins in nearly every game, and their stout defense held the Penguins’ stars, including Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, in check for long stretches.

But on Sunday, three days after they poured in six goals and shut out the Predators in Game 5 in Pittsburgh, the Penguins beat them in Nashville, where the Predators had been nearly flawless during the postseason.

Game 6 was the first in these finals to be won by the visiting team; the Penguins took the first two games at home before the series shifted to Nashville, where the Predators roared back with a 5-1 victory in Game 3 and a 4-1 win in Game 4.

The Penguins, who beat the San Jose Sharks in the finals last season, have now won five championships, all of them since 1991; no other N.H.L. team has won as many in that span. And no other team has repeated as champion since the Detroit Red Wings won in 1997 and ’98.

The Penguins are also the first team to win consecutive titles in the league’s salary-cap era, which began after a lockout in 2004-5.

This Stanley Cup is the third for Crosby, 29, the Penguins’ team captain and perhaps the N.H.L.’s most recognizable star.