Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals was part hockey, part speedskating. When it was over Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins had their second title in eight years and their fourth in franchise history, defeating the San Jose Sharks, 3-1.
What turned out to be the winning goal typified the high-end skill on display by both teams. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby fed defenceman Kris Letang for a one-timer low in the right face-off circle that found its way into the San Jose net at 7 minutes, 46 seconds of the second period.
And despite encouragement from the spirited crowd inside SAP Center for the Sharks’ first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in their 25-year history, San Jose could not find the equaliser before Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist scored into an empty net with 1:02 left in the game for the insurance tally.
Crosby, who had 19 postseason points, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player of the playoffs. After taking a three-to-one series lead, the Penguins missed an opportunity to close out the series at home Thursday night. It would have been the first time that a Pittsburgh professional sports team had won a title inside the city limits since a Bill Mazeroski home run against the New York Yankees gave the Pirates a World Series championship in 1960.