Heading into Sunday’s Game 6 in San Jose, it was a certainty that the Stanley Cup would be flying back to Pittsburgh following the game. A Penguins’ victory on the West Coast would ensure that the trophy travels back with their team, not by NHL security en route to a Game 7.
The Pens got the job done, winning 3-1 in Game 6 and clinching the best of seven series, four games to two. The victory earned the franchise its fourth Stanley Cup championship — their first since 2009 and second under the captaincy of Sidney Crosby. Prior to the Cup presentation, Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.
As is tradition in the NHL, Crosby also got to raise (and kiss) the trophy first before handing it off to his teammates on the ice. One of the first recipients was Pascal Dupuis, the beloved former Penguins player who retired back in December due to health issues relating to bloodclots.
Despite hanging up the skates, Dupuis was under contract with the Pens (on long-term IR) and continued to be a significant veteran presence in the locker room. Even though he didn’t get to play in the Final, getting to see him raise the Cup at the conclusion of his final season as a player was a pretty great moment.