November 19 2017

The champs are here! Penguins arrive in Pittsburgh with Stanley Cup

November 19 2017, 01:01 | Sammy Rose

The champs are here! Penguins arrive in Pittsburgh with Stanley Cup

The champs are here! Penguins arrive in Pittsburgh with Stanley Cup

On Sunday night, after Sidney Crosby lifted the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive year and for the third time in his career, Penguins owner Mario Lemieux was asked on NBCSN if he ever saw this kind of success coming for the Penguins captain, back when Crosby was a rookie and living in Lemieux's house.

The Penguins were just the 15th team over the past 30 years to reach the Stanley Cup Final while getting outshot through the first three rounds of the playoffs (they were outshot by 46 shots). This is the first time a team won back-to-back championships since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings. The undrafted Gaudreau scored Nashville's game-winning goals in Games 3 and 4 of the Final.

The broadcast crew was predicting an overtime game where fates would be decided, but with just one minute and 35 seconds to go in regulation, Paul Hornqvist gave the Penguins the lead on an assist from Chris Kunitz and Justin Schultz on a handsome set up.

Defenseman P.K. Subban, in calling Crosby "a great leader", also said: It stings.

"I know he lost sight, and we all make mistakes", Rinne said.

"The salary cap gave us a chance to spend to the cap and be on level playing fields with the other teams", he said. Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a whistle 67 seconds into the second period.

Rainnie said Crosby has seen the exhibit, which he describes as in keeping with the Penguins captain's persona.

The Predators probably will need to upgrade their offense to take the next step after they were shut out in the last two games of the Final against the banged-up Penguins' defense.

"It's just incredible to see, considering how beat up they were all year, in the playoffs and probably had the toughest draw I've seen in playoffs in a long time and for them to do that - that's pretty unbelievable". "But I'm really proud of this team and the way we played, the way we handled things when we faced some adversity throughout the series". Of course, Sid being the best player in the world again and winning the Conn Smythe. Murray was injured during warmups of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and was unable to return until Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They killed just 79.8 percent of their penalties during the regular season. Two championships in succession have put Pittsburgh's tally during the Crosby-Malkin era at three - one more than the team earned in the Lemieux-Jagr era.

On the blue line, Pittsburgh could lose Trevor Daley, who averaged more than 20 minutes per game this season.

The disallowed goal will be remembered in Nashville for a long time.

With the younger Matt Murray having emerged as the Penguins' goaltender of the future, the writing was on the wall regarding Fleury's future with the team. Only one other player, beyond Crosby and Lemieux, has won back-to-back Smythes since the award was first given out in 1965.

Even Gretzky never won back-to-back Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP nor did he capture a Cup past the age of 27, while Crosby won his last two at 28 and 29.

The argument can also be made for Murray, who was injured during the warm-ups of Game 1 against Columbus. 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. "Let's hope that the next feeling that we have is raising the Cup over our head and being Stanley Cup champions".

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