NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Leave the change-of-address forms at the post office.

Don’t bother picking up the keys to the moving van.

Lord Stanley isn’t going anywhere for a while.

Patric Hornqvist broke a scoreless tie with 1:35 left in the game as the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators, 2-0, to close out the Stanley Cup Final in six games Sunday night and claim the franchise’s fifth NHL championship.

The Penguins are the first team to defend their Stanley Cup title since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998.

“It’s tough. It was pretty tough all year,” Sidney Crosby said. “We just tried to keep with it. We had a lot of injuries and things like that. We just kept finding ways. That was really what we did all season, all playoffs. It’s great to be able to do it.”

After accepting the Stanley Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman, Crosby handed the famous trophy to defenseman Ron Hainsey, a 36-year-old who was appearing in the playoffs for the first time in his 15-year pro career.

Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for the second consecutive season. He joined Mario Lemieux and Bernie Parent as the only players to win the award in back-to-back years.

“From the day we drafted him, he grew as a great leader, a great player, one of the best of all time,” Lemieux said. “For him to win three Cups, it puts him among the greats of our game.”

Hornqvist played the first six years of his career with the Predators before being traded to the Penguins in 2014. He picked up the rebound of a Justin Schultz shot off the end boards and banked it in off the back of goalie Pekka Rinne.

What was Hornqvist thinking as the clock ticked down and the game remained scoreless?

“To play the right way,” Hornqvist said. “One bounce can change the whole series. If they get one bounce, we’re going back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 and then anything can happen. But we find a way to win, and now we’re going to go celebrate.”

Matt Murray made 27 saves to close out the series with two consecutive shutouts. Carl Hagelin added an empty-net goal with 13.6 seconds to go.

The Penguins caught a potentially game-changing break in the first few minutes of the second period.

Filip Forsberg took a far-side shot from the left wing that tipped off of Murray’s glove and landed in the crease, where Colton Sissons pushed it over the goal line.

Referee Kevin Pollock lost sight of the puck before it went in the net, however, blowing play dead with an erroneously quick whistle.

The Penguins were not awarded a power play in the game. The Predators got four, including 32 seconds of five-on-three time in the third period, but did not score.

“It was very satisfying,” defenseman Ian Cole said. “To step up as a group, as a D corps, as a penalty kill, it’s something where enough can’t be said for how guys sacrificed and how guys dug down deep when they’re tired.

“It’s been two long years. It’s just a hunger, it’s a commitment, it’s a resiliency I’ve never seen before in a team and it’s something special to be a part of.”

Penguins goalie Matt Murray scrambles to control the puck as Predators attack in the first period of Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at Bridgestone Arena. For more images from Game 6, visit the Trib’s photo gallery.

Photo by Christian Tyler Randolph


Through the first five games of the series, tense, white-knuckle hockey was hardly the norm. In general, the home team would take control of the game relatively early and, despite some twists and turns, would hold on for the win.

Game 6 was much tighter, thanks in no small part to Murray and Rinne.

The Penguins had a handful of high-end scoring chances early, but Rinne was up to the task.

The Predators were lurking too, but Murray stopped everything, including a glove save on a James Neal rebound chance in front about 18 minutes in to the game.

In fact, it was Murray’s much-maligned glove that frustrated the Predators the most. In the second period, he used it to stop Sissons on a breakaway and a Viktor Arvidsson shot from the slot as well.

“It’s hard to express it in words,” coach Mike Sullivan said, “how proud we are of this group of players.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.