NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It's been nearly 20 years since someone successfully defended the Stanley Cup.
That's a record, by a huge margin.
Pittsburgh could end that drought by winning either Game 6 or Game 7 of this Stanley Cup Final. Sunday's game ended after this edition of The Times went to press. The Penguins would become the first back-to-back champion in the NHL since Detroit won the Cup in 1997 and 1998.
There were 24 repeat champions from 1930 through 1998, a span that includes some three-peats, four-peats and even a five-peat by Montreal.
Until now, the longest drought without a repeat Cup winner was from 1937 to 1948. Detroit went back-to-back in 1936 and 1937; Toronto won three straight in 1947, 1948 and 1949.
And if Pittsburgh wins this series, take note: Hockey hasn't had a back-to-back-to-back winner since the Islanders won four straight titles from 1980 through 1983.
Big saves and a quick whistle that negated a goal left the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators scoreless after two periods of the tense Game 6.
Though the Penguins had a 21-19 edge in shots, it was the Predators who have had the best opportunities, including two by Colton Sissons. He had a goal disallowed 1:07 into the second period when referee Kevin Pollock blew the play dead before Sissons poked the puck into an open net.
Some 10 minutes later, Sissons was in alone only to be stopped by goalie Matt Murray. Faking left, Sissons shifted right, where Murray got his pad and glove across to make the save.