Hornqvist scored off Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne's left elbow, silencing the raucous crowd. Penguins. Penguins that very well may be the greatest hockey team of the decade.
Center Sidney Crosby, who scored eight goals and dished out 19 assists in 24 playoff games, was named Conn Smythe Trophy victor as postseason most valuable player for the second straight year.
Nonetheless, some of his teammates are a bit more optimistic following the Nashville Predators' most successful playoff run, which ended with a Game 6 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday.
The final game of the season will be viewed by many as a controversial one, as the Predators were robbed of a goal when a referee prematurely blew play dead just before Nashville's Colton Sissons scored what should have been the game's opening tally.
Game 6 on NBC averaged a TAD of 7.086 million viewers, up 29 percent vs. last year's cup-clinching Game 6 on NBC featuring Pittsburgh and San Jose (5.476 million). While the Predators were physical early, accumulating 17 hits, the Penguins seemed to skate past them at other junctures, with Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both getting clean looks at Rinne.
Either way Pittsburgh has a lot to celebrate about and so does Nashville.
Darren Cossar, executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia, said Crosby has been a trailblazer for many other Nova Scotia hockey players who are aspiring to play in the NHL.
"He came in previous year out of school, played three games and we sat him out", Donatelli said Friday. Murray stoned Sissons on a breakaway later in the period, and he also denied Craig Smith on a breakaway.
From his angle of the goal, Pollock couldn't see that a shot from Predators center Filip Forsberg actually slipped through Penguins goaltender Matt Murray's arm and was sitting in the crease. Nashville finished the series going 0 of 8 on the power play over the final two games. The game seemingly was destined for overtime until the deciding play of the game and the series took place. It's like, I can imagine this because I just lived it this year, but describing this, as I'm sure you can tell by reading this, it's just so tough to do.
My gut says the Predators KNOW they won't get a penalty called against them because of the No-goal. And it's not really that close. With the goalie pulled by Nashville, the Pens ensured the cup would stay in the "Burgh when Carl Hagelin broke away and netted the insurance goal".
Since the start of the NHL's salary cap era, only one team that has lost in the Stanley Cup final ever has made it back to the final round of the postseason. We had a lot of injuries. We just kept finding ways.
"You have a small window to play and have a career", Crosby said. "We tried to do that this series and I thought we did a good job of that". "We've got a collection of guys who understand what it takes to win".
While everyone thinks about teams that could take down the back-to-back champs, or even just reasons why they can't possibly repeat once more, here are five reasons that the Penguins could do the impossible and win three straight Stanley Cups. "There's no way I'm able to play as freely as I have been without Flower being there to support me". He is the best player in the world, but that designation goes way beyond hockey talent.