5 reasons the Nashville Predators were beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins

5 reasons the Nashville Predators were beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins

5 reasons the Nashville Predators were beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins

NASHVILLE - It was a half hour after the Pittsburgh Penguins had won their second consecutive Stanley Cup and the general manager of the team - the man who hired the head coach, who last year brought in Phil Kessel and this year traded for Ron Hainsey, while refusing to trade Marc-Andre Fleury - couldn't stop smiling.

Crosby did have some help.

Congrats to Pittsburgh on a well-deserved championship.

Lord Stanley's Cup will be making a trip to Cole Harbour, N.S., for a second year in a row.

PITTSBURGH-Another Stanley Cup, and another Conn Smythe Award for Sidney Crosby. Sullivan is the first American-born coach to win the Cup not once, but twice. Well, that's a road no NHL team has taken since the league changed the playoff format to require teams to win four best-of-seven series.

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. Carl Hagelin (HAG'-lihn) sealed the win by scoring into an empty net with 14 seconds left.

Either way Pittsburgh has a lot to celebrate about and so does Nashville.

Bonino revealed after Sunday's Game 6 victory that broke his leg in the first period of Game 2, but played through it, finishing the night with 16:06 of ice time - more than he logged in Game 1. It was certainly more stressful for me this time around.

They did because they were gritty and resilient, and they took their lead from their captain.

Through the playoffs, feeding off of the energy and stellar play of the Predators, the city showed the world what Nashville is besides a music town. Sullivan picked up on that same spirit when he replaced Mike Johnston behind the Pittsburgh bench last season.

Malkin may have led the league in playoff points, but at times went through spurts where he was unable to create offense throughout the course of the game.

This year's win was tougher than last year's. Many expected them to lose the finale against Washington, but Fleury shut out his team's arch-rival.

Heading into the series, we knew that the Predators were at a disadvantage offensively against Pittsburgh, especially with Nashville's top centerman Ryan Johansen sidelined for the rest of the season due to injury.

Crosby becomes just the third back-to-back victor of the award, which was first handed out in 1965, after former Penguins captain Mario Lemieux (1991, 1992) and Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent (1974, 1975). 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.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports once again set a record in Nashville, which delivered a 28.3 rating - the highest-rated Predators game in that market on the NBC networks.

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