Photo: Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

Penguins are back-to-back Stanley Cup champions

The Predators fall for just the second time on home ice in Game 6

June 11, 2017 - 11:40 pm

Joe DiBiase reporting

For the second consecutive season, the Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup Champions. Pittsburgh won a controversial Game 6, and in the process was the first team to win back-to-back Cups since the Detroit Red Wings did so in 1997 and 1998.

Patric Hornqvist was the hero, scoring the Cup-winning goal with just 1:35 to go in the game. Carl Hagelin provided the insurance with an empty netter in the final seconds of the third period.

In the beginning of the second, the Predators were robbed of a goal by the officals. A Filip Forsberg wrist shot got through Matt Murray, sat in the crease, and was poked in by Colton Sissions. However, the referee lost site of the puck and blew the whistle as Sissions was scoring the goal. The disallowed goal was the only puck to find the back of the net after 40 minutes.

Game 6 was actually the first game all series where the Penguins ended up outshooting the Predators by a 29-27 total. Nashville did have their opportunities, including a 5-on-3 powerplay midway through the third period.

Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the best player in the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Crosby is just the third player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in consecutive seasons.

Evgeni Malkin ends the postseason as the leading point getter in the postseason with 28 in 25 games. He became only the third Russian-born player to win three Stanley Cups, joining Sergei Federov and Igor Larionov. Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel led the playoffs in goals with 13.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill joined his former organization on the ice for the celebration, and was in the team picture.

Botterill will be busy over the next few weeks. He will first have to hire a new head coach, which he is expected to interview with Phil Housley and possibly Rick Tocchet and Jacques Martin. After hiring a coach, he will possibly be busy with trades and movement around the league leading up to the Vegas Expansion Draft and NHL Draft in Chicago.

The rest of this month has been predicted to be the busiest in NHL history.

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