EDITORIAL Another Cup of cheer for Penguins

EDITORIAL Another Cup of cheer for Penguins

Letang has not played a game since February 21.

Nashville appeared to score early in the second period as Colton Sissons poked home a rebound sitting in the crease. The home team had won every game of the finals.

Conn Smythe Trophy, for the most valuable player in the playoffs, was awarded to Sidney Crosby, also for the second year in a row. "I think we gained a ton of experience from this run". But if it wasn't for Rinne giving the performances of a lifetime I don't think they would have made it as far as they did, he deserved it more. Nashville challenged the goal for goalie interference, but it was upheld after a brief review. And before that, it was Mario Lemieux's Penguins, buttressed by some teenager from the Czech Republic named Jaromir Jagr; they lifted the Cup in the springs of 1991 and 1992, cementing Pittsburgh as a hockey town.

Not Pittsburgh. The Penguins have more Cup appearances (four), playoff wins (90) and regular-season victories (467) over the last decade than any team in the National Hockey League.

"We knew it was going to be tough all year, but we just tried to keep with it", said Sidney Crosby, who won his third championship, and second straight Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup MVP. And the only rookies to ever post a shutout in the final series were Patrick Roy, in 1986, and Cam Ward, in 2006, with one apiece. Nashville shattered ratings records throughout the playoffs, and averaged a 22.0 in the Stanley Cup Final. Game 6 had a Predators' win stamped all over it, from the way the narratives were drawn up to the fight the team had shown all postseason. "When you talk about building off of something, you don't get to this point without investing an bad lot, as individuals, as a team, and your personal life". Viewership was up 19 percent vs. the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, which featured the Penguins and the San Jose Sharks.

Matt Murray stopped 27 shots for Pittsburgh, including four critical saves when Nashville failed to capitalize on 3:28 of power-play time midway through the third period. Partly because he is married to country music star Carrie Underwood, he also has become a part of the face of hockey in Nashville during his seven seasons with the Predators. With a true No. 1 defenceman in the line-up, Pittsburgh's one weakness will become a definite strength again.

Crosby became the sixth multiple victor of the Conn Smythe Trophy since it was first handed out in 1965 and the third to win it in consecutive seasons, joining Philadelphia's Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975) and Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992).

Both players remain dominating talents, and they are going to give the Penguins a chance most nights.

"He's pretty inspirational when he plays that way and gets to a level that not many guys can get to", veteran Matt Cullen said. 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. Grammy winners Cage the Elephant performed during the second intermission after playing at Bonnaroo on Friday night.

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