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SCF Recap: Pittsburgh Penguins win second straight Stanley Cup

Stanley cup Brent Moore via/ Flickr


For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins got to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup once again after a great, and controversial, Game 6 win.

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Stanley Cup Finals recap

Game 1

Pittsburgh wins 5-3

This game is so crazy it has it’s own recap article.

This game went from Pittsburgh jumping out to a 3-0 lead with goals from Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary and Nick Bonino in the first period.

Then came the second period.

Pittsburgh went the entire second period without recording a shot on goal. Despite this, Ryan Ellis would get the only goal of the period for Nashville, making it 3-1 Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh was getting badly outplayed. And at 10:06 into the third, Colton Sissons scored for Nashville.

Then, a little over three minutes later, the unexpected hero, Fredrick Gaudreau, scored, tying the game up at 3-3.

Pittsburgh still hadn’t got a shot on goal to this point and Nashville was all over them. It wasn’t looking good for the Penguins.

But, after 37 minutes without a shot, on the very first shot on net since the first period, Jake Guentzel takes a wrister from the top of the circle and it beats Pekka Rinne. 4-3 Penguins.

Bonino put the game out of reach with a empty net goal with only 1:02 remaining.

Nashville out-shot Pittsburgh 26-12.

Matt Murray made 23 saves on 26 shots for Pittsburgh.

Rinne made 7 saves on 11 shots for Nashville.

Pittsburgh leads the Stanley Cup Final 1-0.

If this game was any indicator of what was to come in the series, we should have a good series.

Game 2

Pittsburgh wins 4-1

After a wild Game 1, everyone was excited to see what Game 2 had in store.

The first ten minutes went without a goal, but at 12:57 into the first, Pontus Aberg opens the scoring for Nashville. After the poor start last game, Nashville needed this first goal.

But, Pittsburgh wasn’t leaving this period losing. At 16:36 into the first, Guentzel scores his 11th of the playoffs, tying the game at 1-1.

The second period would go back and forth with no successes. We remained tied at 1-1 going into the third.

People prepared for a tight third period, but Pittsburgh did not.

Only ten seconds into the period, Guentzel scores his second of the game for Pittsburgh, breaking the tie.

Then, at only 3:13 into the third, Scott Wilson scores for Pittsburgh, making it 3-1. The third is beginning to look anything but tight.

Malkin would add another 25 seconds later, making it 4-1 Penguins.

That would be all Pittsburgh needed to win the game.

Nashville out-shot Pittsburgh 38-27.

Murray made 37 saves on 38 shots for Pittsburgh.

Rinne made 21 saves on 25 shots for Nashville.

Juuse Saros made two saves on two shots for Nashville in relief.

Pittsburgh leads the Stanley Cup Final 2-0.

Game 3

Nashville wins 5-1

After going down 2-0 in the series, Nashville needed a good start in Game 3. But that’s not what they got.

It took Guentzel only 2:46 to score yet another goal in the Stanley Cup Final, making it 1-0 Pittsburgh quickly into Game 3.

Nashville had to answer in the second. And that’s exactly what they did.

At 5:51 into the second, Roman Josi scored for Nashville, tying the game at 1-1.

Then only 42 seconds later, Gaudreau scores his second of the playoffs, and of the Stanley Cup Final, making it 2-1 Nashville.

James Neal scored with only 23 seconds remaining in the second, making it 3-1 Nashville going into the third.

Nashville would get another two goals from Craig Smith and Mattias Ekholm in third to make it 5-1 Predators. That’s how the game would end.

Nashville out-shot Pittsburgh 33-28.

Rinne made 27 saves on 28 shots for Nashville.

Murray made 28 saves on 33 shots for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh leads the Stanley Cup Final 2-1.

Game 4

Nashville wins 4-1

There was some players for Nashville who had to step up if they wanted to win the Stanley Cup. Viktor Arvidsson was one of them. Arvidsson had no goals in the Stanley Cup Final going into Game 4, and only two all playoffs long.

However, it would be Calle Jarnkrok who stepped up to start the game, opening the scoring 14:51 into the first.

But, in classic Penguins fashion, Sidney Crosby took the lead away from Nashville when he scored 15:57 into the first to tie the game 1-1.

We head to the second, where a man named Frederick Gaudreau continued to haunt the Pittsburgh Penguins. At 3:45, the unlikely hero Gaudreau struck again, scoring his third goal in the Stanley Cup Final, and putting Nashville up 2-1.

At 13:08 into the second, it would finally be Arvidsson who scored. This put the Predators up 3-1 heading into the third.

Filip Forsberg would add another one for Nashville to put the Predators up 4-1.

This was enough to finish the game, as Nashville won Game 4, 4-1.

Nashville out-shot Pittsburgh 26-24.

Rinne made 23 saves on 24 shots for Nashville.

Murray made 22 saves on 25 shots for Pittsburgh.

The Stanley Cup Final was now tied 2-2.

Game 5

Pittsburgh wins 6-0

As there was in Game 3 for Nashville, there was question about who should start for Pittsburgh in Game 5. Marc-Andre Fleury had played well previously in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and now Murray had two consecutive weak games.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan didn’t believe in the goalie change, as he stuck with young net minder Matt Murray.

However, the way the Penguins’ skaters came out in this one, it didn’t really matter who started in net.

Pittsburgh got goals from Justin Schultz, Bryan Rust, and Malkin in the first to jump out and take a 3-0 lead in Game 5.

Sheary, Phil Kessel, and Ron Hainsey would add another three in the second, growing the Penguins lead to 6-0.

There was no goals in the third, but it wouldn’t matter, as the Penguins got a huge Game 5 victory.

They were now only one win away from being back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.

The shots were tied 24-24.

Murray stopped all 24 shots for the shutout.

Rinne made 6 saves on 9 shots.

Saros made 12 saves on 15 shots.

Pittsburgh lead the Stanley cup finals 3-2.

Game 6

Pittsburgh wins 2-0

This game was tight right from the start.

Both goalies were playing great right out of the gate. And it was because of this that the first two periods ended with no goals scored.

However, if you ask Nashville fans, there should’ve been a goal.

Just over a minute into the second period, Forsberg takes a shot for Nashville. Murray makes the save for the Penguins and the ref, who’s standing in the corner on the side with Murray in it, thinks he’s covered it, so he blows the play dead.

The problem? Murray didn’t have control of it and it squeaked through him and was laying in the crease.

Before a diving Sissons can jam it in, the whistle is blown and the goal does not count.

This is a tough blow for the Predators, but ultimately this is the right call. The ref lost sight of the puck, so the whistle went off.

Halfway through the first period, the Predators seemed to get their chance back when Pittsburgh got two penalties, giving the Predators a two man advantage for 30 seconds. Unfortunately for Nashville, they could’t capitalize.

Overtime was beginning to look like a real possible with a little under two minutes remaining. But after a weird play where Schultz took a slap shot from the point that missed, from behind the goal line Patric Hornqvist was there to wack it towards goal. It went up the net, off the back of Predators goalie Rinne and in the net.

Nashville tried to challenge for goaltender interference, but it was deemed to be a good goal.

Pittsburgh had a huge Game 6 lead with only 1:35 remaining.

Carl Hagelin would score an empty net goal to give Pittsburgh the 2-0 lead, and the series win.

Pittsburgh out-shot Nashville 29-27.

Murray saved all 27 shots for his second straight shutout for Pittsburgh.

Rinne made 27 saves on 28 shots for Nashville.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are your 2017 Stanley Cup champions.

Pittsburgh and Nashville fans

People in Nashville bought in on the Predators playoff run, especially once they hit the Stanley Cup Final.

The streets of Nashville and Bridgestone Arena were packed with Predators yellow.

And Penguins fans acted as if they were challenged, because they did a great job packing PPG Paints Arena for their home games as well.

This is a video of Penguins fans at a packed viewing party inside the PPG Paints Arena when Hornqvist scored the game’s first goal.

Via the NHL twitter page

Next season

Nashville has a lot to lean on leading up to next year. Their great top-4 defensemen and a huge local fan base that is only growing help the future appear bright in Nashville.

Pittsburgh seems to have a few questions that need answering going into the off season. Their cap situation isn’t certain and they have some older players potentially going into retirement.

But it’s not all down for Pittsburgh. There are a few young players who still have the majority of their career in front of them, and don’t forget they made this run without Kris Letang.

But, right now isn’t the time for talking about the future. It’s time to celebrate for Pittsburgh.

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins, your 2017 Stanley Cup champions.