The Commercial Appeal
Penguins close out Sharks in Game 6
A turnaround season for the Pittsburgh Penguins ended with Sidney Crosby once again holding the Stanley Cup.
Crosby set up Kris Letang’s go-ahead goal midway through the second period and the Pittsburgh Penguins won the fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history by beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 of the final Sunday night.
“It wasn’t easy getting here, especially the way things started out,” said Crosby, who also won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. “The first half wasn’t easy and I think everyone just stuck together, kept going and found some momentum there in March and continued to keep it going.”
Brian Dumoulin opened the scoring with a power-play goal and Patric Hornqvist added a late empty-netter. Matt Murray made 18 saves to give the Penguins a championship seven years to the day after they beat Detroit for their third title.
The game ended when Crosby cleared the puck the length of the ice with San Jose on the power play, setting off a wild celebration.
“We tried to keep fighting and slowly started to turn things around,” Crosby said. “Everyone has a part in this. It feels really good to win your last game of the season.”
Three nights after squandering a chance to become the first Pittsburgh team to win a title in front of the home fans in 56 years, the Penguins finished the job on the road just like they did in Minnesota (1991), Chicago (1992) and Detroit (2009) in past title runs.
The championship in Detroit was supposed to be the first of many for a team led by players like Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. But a series of concussions that led Crosby to miss almost an entire season and a half, and a run of early playoff exits that included twice blowing 3-1 series leads prevented a second celebration in the Crosby era until now.
Logan Couture scored the lone goal for the Sharks, whose first trip to the final in their 25-year history ended two wins short of a title. Martin Jones made 24 saves and was San Jose’s best player for the series.