Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby found himself in front of a cellphone screen, posing with teammates for a selfie as he was announced as the Conn Smythe Trophy victor for a second straight year, voted the postseason's MVP after he finished with eight goals and 19 assists in 24 playoff games.
The goalie battle continued into the third, with Murray headlining the Pens' push against another Nashville power play and thwarting a brief 5-on-3 for the Preds.
Finally, with under two minutes to play, the Predators could not clear the zone and a point shot by Justin Schultz went wide. That obviously changed in Game 6. Ellis, likely with a little help from the medical staff, played a regular shift with his partner, Roman Josi, and in fact, made two key shot blocks in the first period.
But on Sunday, facing elimination for the first time in their surprising postseason run, the Predators simply could not find a way to solve the Penguins.
The Predators really did do just about everything right in the first period.
"He could feel that we were getting close to winning the Cup and that was the most important game of the season and he played like it".
As nuts as the first period was, the second period started even crazier.
Here is a view of the ref blowing his whistle just before the puck went in the net. "He seems to play his very best when the stakes are high, and this kid just knows how to win". And still, the Pens kept the Preds off the scoreboard, killing off another penalty. Murray finished the period with 19 stops while Rinne had 22 saves.
The Penguins have lost three straight road games, dating to their Eastern Conference final series against Ottawa. Still, the score remained tied.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has already released its odds for who will win the 2018 Stanley Cup, with the defending champion Penguins the biggest favorites at 8-1 and the aforementioned Golden Knights the biggest longshots at 200-1. The 1960 Pittsburgh Penguins were the last Pittsburgh team to win a championship in Pittsburgh. Evgeni Malkin led the postseason with 28 points.
Along the way, Crosby, hoisting his third Cup in four trips, passed Lemieux for the most career points by a Penguins player in a Final series. Hainsey then gave the Cup to Matt Cullen, then Chris Kunitz.
Gretzky remembers beating Philadelphia in 1987 for the Cup and about two into the team's celebration, someone asked: Who won the Conn Smythe? His counterpart, Marc-Andre Fleury, deserved it too since he was brilliant in the first two rounds.
Forget a golden anniversary: The Penguins will cap their 50th season with their names on the most famous silver cup in sports - again. He's 23 years old.