The Pittsburgh Penguins will have the cup when they return home with the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup following 3-1 win the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. The fourth time it was marked in franchise history that the Penguins won the Stanley Cup but just like the previous three (1991, 1992 and 2009) they had to celebrate.
Captain Sidney Crosby had two assists in the championship-clinching game, including one on Kris Letang‘s game-winning goal, and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“I wasn’t really thinking about ’09 that much, I was just thinking about how hard it was to get to this point and just trying to enjoy every second of it,” said Crosby.
Murray made 18 saves and only faced two shots in the third period. His 15 playoff wins by a rookie equals a Stanley Cup playoffs record.
As captain, Crosby was first to hoist the Cup and then passed it off to injured teammate Trevor Daley, who had been knocked out of the playoffs with a broken ankle.
In the stands, owner Mario Lemieux, who won two Stanley Cups as a player during a Hall of Fame career with Pittsburgh. He celebrated it with hugs all around.
“They were incredible the whole playoffs,” said Lemieux. “To come in here after losing a tough game at home to play the way we did was incredible.”
“It’s been a long season but now we can enjoy it. I get really nervous up there but it’s been a good ride.“
The Penguins did their best to settle their owner’s nerves early by opening the scoring near the midway mark of the first period when Brian Dumoulin‘s shot from the point on the powerplay fooled Sharks goalie Martin Jones. Jones, however, was not fuddled and made impressive saves on Crosby to keep the Penguins from extending their lead.
It marked the fifth time in six games Pittsburgh had drawn first blood as the Sharks, who had four shots in the opening frame, once again had difficulty generating scoring chances.
The Sharks came out with more urgency in the second and fired four shots at the Penguins goal in the opening three minutes. Their efforts were rewarded when Logan Couture extended his play-off scoring lead.
With the Stanley Cup in the building and the champagne on ice, it was the Penguins who came out with desperation in the third and limited the Sharks to two shots while Patric Hornqvist sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 62 seconds to play.
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