Sidney Crosby caps stunning and perhaps unprecedented two-year run with Cup

Sidney Crosby caps stunning and perhaps unprecedented two-year run with Cup

Despite several chances and a fast-paced style, the Predators and Penguins played the first scoreless first period of this year's Stanley Cup Final. "There was no more hard path to win the Cup than what Pittsburgh went through". Carl Hagelin (HAG'-lihn) sealed the win by scoring into an empty net with 14 seconds left.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup for the second-straight year thanks to a late goal by Patric Hornqvist and a controversial decision by the referees to waive off a goal by the Nashville Predators. "We shot it up right when it happened and I was able to finish on it with some adrenaline".

"Knowing Sid and working with him through his hockey school and organizing the parade I've got to know him as a better person than he is a hockey player", he said". And if you don't think it did, well, I can't help you. That was really what we did all season, all playoffs. "Every player speaks volumes of his leadership on that team". Guentzel finished just one goal short of the National Hockey League record for most goals by a rookie during the Stanley Cup Playoffs behind only Dino Ciccarelli, who finished with 14.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been teammates since the 2006 season and they have been through a lot together.

"You have a small window to play and have a career", Crosby said. With Fleury's no-move clause, Pittsburgh would have to protect the 32-year-old at the risk of losing Matt Murray.

In fact, since 2009, the Penguins first Cup with Crosby, six of the past nine Stanley Cups have gone to either Chicago or Pittsburgh. Despite having two of the best players of their generation, the Pens were underachieving. Nashville challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld.

FIRST TIME, NOT THE LAST TIME: Even though Nashville was the lowest-seeded of the 16 playoff teams, one might make a mistake if they look at its first Stanley Cup Final as an outlier. Then things went stale, and Rutherford retired as general manager and Ron Francis took over.

The Nashville Predators deserve many kudos for their postseason run. It was certainly more stressful for me this time around. We had a lot of injuries. Team captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smyth trophy as Most Valuable Player of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs - the second time he has claimed the honor. When you have Crosby and Malkin supplemented by Phil Kessel and complimented by the likes of Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel, that becomes the strength.

Then a series that hadn't featured even a single one-goal game went scoreless through the first 58 minutes. Crosby had three assists in that 6-0 win. He may never approach the untouchable point totals of Gretzky or the incredible goals-per-game figures of Lemieux.

Cole Harbour's golden boy of hockey added to a growing list of accomplishments after clinching another Stanley Cup win on Sunday night.

Across 84 games on NBC/NBCSN/CNBC/USA Network, the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a TAD of 1.387 million viewers, up 11 percent vs. the 2016 postseason (89 games; 1.253 million).

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