Start date May 15, 1991
Champion Pittsburgh Penguins
MVP Mario Lemieux
|Location(s) Pittsburgh, PA (Pittsburgh Civic Arena) (1,2,5)
Bloomington, MN (Met Center) (3,4,6)|
Announcers Bob Cole, Harry Neale, Dick Irvin, Jr.
Similar 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, 1990 Stanley Cup Finals, 1986 Stanley Cup Finals, 1981 Stanley Cup Finals, 2000 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1991 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota North Stars. It was the Penguins' first Final series appearance and their first Stanley Cup victory. This is the first and only (through 2016) Stanley Cup Final to feature two teams from the expansion group of 1967. It was Minnesota's second Final series appearance, and their last before the franchise's relocation to Dallas two years later. It was also the first time since 1983 that an American franchise would win the Stanley Cup. This was the first all-American finals since 1981, which also featured the North Stars in their first appearance.
This was also the first final since 1982 not to feature either the Calgary Flames or the Edmonton Oilers, and the first since 1981 not contested by a team from Western Canada.
The Finals, and the NHL season, ended on May 25, marking the last time to date that the Stanley Cup playoffs have not extended into the month of June.
Road to the Finals
Minnesota defeated the first-place overall Chicago Blackhawks 4–2, the second-place overall St. Louis Blues 4–2, and the defending cup champion Edmonton Oilers 4–1 to advance to the Finals. The North Stars became the first American team and first Norris Division team to win the Campbell Conference since the league re-aligned the divisions and adopted a divisional-based playoff format in 1981.
Pittsburgh defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3, the Washington Capitals 4–1 and the Boston Bruins 4–2.
Pittsburgh center Mario Lemieux, despite missing a game due to a back injury, recorded twelve points in five games to lead all scorers, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy. One of the most famous goals in NHL history was the goal he made in the second period of the second game. Receiving the puck between the Penguins blue line and the center line, (on a delayed penalty call to Doug Smail) Lemieux skated solo into the North Stars zone facing two defensemen (Shawn Chambers and Neil Wilkinson) and the goalie (Jon Casey) by himself. Mario Lemieux skirted the puck through the legs of Shawn Chambers, skated around Chambers, got the goalie Jon Casey to commit left (Lemieux's right), then switched the puck to his backand side and slid the puck into the net before crashing into the net himself. The brief video of the goal has since been featured on recent Stanley Cup promo ads by the NHL.
Stanley Cup engraving
Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup