FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 12th, 2017

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS WIN THE STANLEY CUP ON NBC

“The Pittsburgh Penguins, again, are Stanley Cup champions!” – Mike “Doc” Emrick

“A remarkable year here in Nashville, and for their players and fans…a team to be proud of, for sure.” – Emrick

“Mike Sullivan pushed a lot of the right buttons. He has a tremendous feel of moving guys up and down the lineup.” – Eddie Olczyk

“There was no more difficult path to win the Cup than what Pittsburgh went through.” – Keith Jones

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 12, 2017 – The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 2-0 on Sunday night to win the Stanley Cup on NBC and become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. Patric Hornqvist broke a scoreless tie with 1:35 left in regulation of Game 6, which proved to be the game-winner.  Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner for the second consecutive postseason.

Five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike “Doc” Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire called Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final on Sunday night from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. This marks the 11th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.

Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with NHL Live. Kathryn Tappen and Paul Burmeister anchored pre-game coverage alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick, Anson Carter and Brian Boucher on-site outside of Bridgestone Arena. Boucher and Burmeister spoke with Phil Pritchard, the “NHL Keeper of the Cup,” and interviewed Predators captain Mike Fisher, Penguins D Ron Hainsey, family members of Penguins C Matt Cullen and D Trevor Daley, and country music star Hunter Hayes. Pre-game coverage also featured segments on Fisher and Penguins goalie Matt Murray.

Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.

Country music star Luke Bryan opened NBC’s Game 6 broadcast of the Stanley Cup Final at 8 p.m. ET with a special performance from the rooftop of Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tenn., and joined McHugh, Milbury, and Jones during first intermission coverage.

 

Post-Game

Emrick: “The Pittsburgh Penguins, again, are Stanley Cup champions!”

Jones on the Penguins: “They’re in the toughest division in the NHL all season long…there was no more difficult path to win the Cup than what Pittsburgh went through.”

Penguins owner Mario Lemieux to McGuire: “It never gets old to win the Cup, but this one was a tough one.”

Olczyk: “Mike Sullivan pushed a lot of the right buttons. He has a tremendous feel of moving guys up and down the lineup. Mike Sullivan just seemed to have that touch of recognizing and putting guys together, whether they were the so-called fourth-liners or the highly-skilled guys. Last year, smooth sailing, especially with the forward combinations. This year, many, many different line combinations.”

Jones on Crosby: “It’s an incredible year…he did it all, and he’s got a running mate in Malkin that goes a long way in alleviating some of the pressures that come with being a captain and a superstar in this league.”

Crosby to McGuire: “We knew it was going to be tough all year, but we just tried to keep with it. We had a lot of injuries…we just kept finding ways, that was really what we did all season and all playoffs.”

Emrick on the Nashville fan base: “As the winners celebrate, a remarkable year here in Nashville, and for their players and fans…and the chant is ‘Let’s Go Preds.’ The motto here was ‘Stand With Us,’ and these people did stand with their team. All games this season, for the first time in their 19-year history, were sold out…a team to be proud of, for sure.”

Olczyk: “The Penguins win without their best defenseman, and all of the injuries that they had, and all teams have injuries over the course of seven or eight weeks. Nick Bonino can barely stand up, and he’s out there in the celebration…how about the job by Marc-Andre Fleury in these playoffs? The Game 7 against Washington…you need everybody. You never know when your number is going to be called. Just an amazing run for the Pittsburgh Penguins.”


Third Period

Emrick on goal by Pittsburgh’s Patric Hornqvist, 1-0 Penguins: “It is Hornqvist! A bounce of the boards was shaken in and Hornqvist, who has not played much in the game, made the most of it that time.”

Olczyk on Hornqvist goal, 1-0 Penguins: “The reverse by Ryan Ellis is sniffed out by Chris Kunitz…Pekka Rinne loses his net just enough, and the former Nashville Predator from below the goal line banks this in off of the elbow of Pekka Rinne.”

Emrick with the game still tied 0-0, mid third period: “We could tell by last night that there’s no curfew in town, so we can just keep going.”

McGuire at the start of the third period: “I think we are in overtime right now. It’s that tight of a game…both benches are amazingly focused…first goal wins.”


Second Intermission

Jones on whistle nullifying Sissons goal and officiating: “They should be (leading 1-0). The referee made a mistake. It’s a quick whistle. Once that whistle is blown, the play is dead, but clearly the puck is loose in the crease area…they do blow the whistle when they lose the sight of the puck, but to have it happen in this environment in a huge game like this can’t happen. Human nature then takes over, and the officials allow the Predators to get away with two penalties. Rinne should have been called, McLeod should have been called, and Sheary should not have been called. You have to continue to officiate the game within the rules. Don’t allow your mistake to carry forward and give the other team, the Predators in this case, the advantage by a couple of power plays and non-calls.”

Milbury: “You have no choice. You press the reset button and move on.”


Second Period

Emrick: “The surges have been traded in this game tonight, and the goaltenders have been magnificent.”

Olczyk on performances by Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray: “If either of these goaltenders is off a bit, could easily be 3-3.”

Olczyk on whistle nullifying a goal for Nashville’s Colton Sissons: “The referee is instructed when he loses sight of the puck to blow the whistle…you could faintly hear it because of the crowd noise…a very quick whistle by referee Kevin Pollock. Clearly the puck was never frozen, but the official lost sight of it…look at his positioning. The puck is on the opposite side. He can’t see that the puck is loose on the opposite side of where he is. By rule and by law, that is the right call.”

McGuire: “He clearly lost sight of it.”

Olczyk: “Probably too quick of a whistle, but he thought that the goaltender had it. He didn’t. No goal.”

Emrick: “A judgment call – not reviewable.”


First Intermission

Jones on the Predators’ first period: “They played really well. Rinne made some key saves, including one early on Chris Kunitz. They were much more physically engaged…the speed game starting to become a factor for the Nashville Predators.”

Bryan on the impact of the Predators’ success in Nashville: “I can’t explain how much fun the city of Nashville is having. When you look at what it’s doing to the NHL and how it’s showcasing hockey in the south. My boys – I’ve got a 15-year-old, a nine-year-old, and a six-year-old – they’ve been playing hockey in the living room. I’ve got to replace all of the furniture in my house. My wife and I are waking up every morning to hockey sticks slapping. Nashville is on fire with hockey.”

Bryan: “When you grow up in south Georgia, you have no idea about hockey. The most amazing thing is someone like me, you have to encourage somebody to go to a game. When you see it in real speed, you hear the sounds of the sticks and the skating, when you see it in person, it changes your whole aspect. You truly understand how tough these guys are…when you’re watching on TV, you can appreciate it. But when you see it live and hear the hits, it’s unbelievable.”


First Period

McGuire on point-blank chance for Preds’ James Neal late in first period: “James Neal thinks he has it on his stick and that it’s going to the back of the net. The rolling puck is a theme here in the first period. Eddie and Doc have touched on it, but if that puck is flat, it’s 1-0 Nashville.”

Olczyk on P.K. Subban: “He’s certainly a guy that is confident in his position, and I think he’s come to Nashville and been a safer player since he got to Nashville. Not as high-risk.”

McGuire: “He’s never been coached by anyone like (Nashville assistant coach) Phil Housley. I think Phil Housley has made a tremendous difference in how P.K. Subban plays.”


NHL Live
on NBCSN (6-8 p.m. ET)

Roenick on the Predators and Game 6 pressure: “I truly believe that this game tonight is going to be the hardest game that anyone in that Predators locker room has played to date in their lifetime…the situation, the nerves are going to be running rampant, and the team that they’re playing. Knowing they’re playing a team that absolutely smoked them out of the building in Game 5, and have the Stanley Cup in their hands. If their top guys do not show up tonight – Filip Forsberg and Pekka Rinne – this series could be done tonight.”

Carter on the Penguins: “They’ve played in this environment already in Games 3 and 4. They know exactly what to expect from this crazy crowd here. That’s not going to throw this Pittsburgh Penguins team at all.”

Roenick on Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan and implementing speed in the lineup: “He made sure they got from goal line to goal line faster than any team in the NHL. It’s all up to their defense. He doesn’t want their defensemen holding the puck too long. He says, ‘We’ve got such great forwards. Put it in their hands and let them go to work.’ They’ve made a new trend in the NHL. Other teams are starting to take that same kind of mentality…when you have that speed, like we saw in Game 5, the defensemen back off that blue line.”

Carter on 40-year-old Matt Cullen: “I just turned 43 the other day. There’s no way that I’d be playing in the NHL right now. The fact that he’s still playing is a testament to how well he skates. When he came into the league, he was a speed demon, and he’s been able to sustain that over the course of his career.”

Carter comparing the Penguins to the Red Wings in ’97 and ’98, last repeat Stanley Cup champs: “Both have superstar captains – Steve Yzerman and Sidney Crosby. Look at their second lines, both Russian centermen – future Hall of Famer Evgeni Malkin and Detroit’s Sergei Fedorov.”

Jones on Smashville phenomenon: “This is the most unique environment I’ve ever seen in my life. These fans will not let you off the hook.”

Carter on Preds captain Mike Fisher: “Every guy to a man (on the Predators) has told me that Mike Fisher legitimately cares about you. That isn’t always the case in the NHL. Some guys can be fake, some guys can be a little phony, tell you what you want to hear. But that isn’t the case with Mike Fisher at all. And I watched when they were handing out the Clarence Campbell trophy, and they waited for their captain to come down. He didn’t play in that game…I think that’s part of the culture that he’s established in Nashville.”

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–