2017 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2017 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2016–17 season, and the culmination of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators, four games to two. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup in their opponent's rink, just like they did the previous four times.
|2017 Stanley Cup Finals|
|Location(s)||Nashville: Bridgestone Arena (3, 4, 6)|
Pittsburgh: PPG Paints Arena (1, 2, 5)
|Coaches||Nashville: Peter Laviolette|
Pittsburgh: Mike Sullivan
|Captains||Nashville: Mike Fisher|
Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby
|National anthems||Nashville: Martina McBride (game three), Dierks Bentley (game four), Faith Hill (game six)|
Pittsburgh: Jeff Jimerson
|Referees||Wes McCauley (1, 3, 5)|
Brad Meier (1, 3, 5)
Dan O'Halloran (2, 4, 6)
Kevin Pollock (2, 4, 6)
|Dates||May 29 – June 11|
|MVP||Sidney Crosby (Penguins)|
|Series-winning goal||Patric Hornqvist (18:25, Third, G6)|
|Networks||Canada (English): CBC|
Canada (French): TVA Sports
United States (English): NBC and NBCSN
|Announcers||(CBC) Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson|
(TVA) Felix Seguin, Patrick Lalime, Renaud Lavoie
(NBC/NBCSN) Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
(NHL International) Steve Mears, Kevin Weekes
(NBC Sports Radio & NHL Radio) Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, Ray Ferraro
During the regular season, the Penguins finished second in the league with 111 points, which gave them home ice advantage in the series. The series began on May 29 and concluded on June 11. The Penguins made their second consecutive Finals appearance, marking the third time in their history they had done this, following their appearances in 1991–1992 and 2008–2009. This was the first time since 2009, a rematch between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, that any team appeared in consecutive Finals. The Penguins also became the first team since the Red Wings (in 1997 and 1998) to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive years and the first to do so since the introduction of the salary cap. They also became the fifth franchise to accomplish this feat more than once.
This marked the second consecutive season in which a Western Conference team made their first appearance in the Finals; the San Jose Sharks made their Finals debut the year prior. This was the first time in NHL history that two United States–born head coaches faced off against each other in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Penguins won the first two games of the series despite being massively outshot by the Predators in both games. Nashville tied the series at two with a pair of convincing wins at home. However, Penguins goaltender Matt Murray did not allow a goal in game five or game six, which Pittsburgh won 6-0 and 2-0, respectively. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan became the third coach in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup in his first two seasons as a coach with his team, joining Pete Green of the Ottawa Senators (in 1920 and 1921) and Toe Blake of the Montreal Canadiens (in 1956 and 1957). This was the first Final since 1983 in which no game was decided by one goal, and the second Final in three years to have none of its games reach overtime.
Paths to the FinalsEdit
This was Pittsburgh's second consecutive Finals appearance, and sixth overall. The Penguins did not make any major transactions during the offseason, instead signing head coach Mike Sullivan to a three-year extension. At the deadline, Pittsburgh acquired defencemen Ron Hainsey and Mark Streit via trade, which proved helpful for depth when star Kris Letang suffered a season-ending injury just weeks before the playoffs started.
Pittsburgh finished with 111 points (50–21–11) during the regular season to finish second in the Metropolitan Division and second overall among playoff teams. Center and team captain Sidney Crosby led the Penguins with 89 points, which ranked second in the league, and won the Rocket Richard Trophy with 44 goals. Phil Kessel led the team in assists with 47.
In the playoffs, the Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games, eliminated the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals for a second consecutive year, this time in seven games, and edged the Ottawa Senators in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals after Chris Kunitz scored in double overtime of game seven.
This was Nashville's first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in its 19-year history.
During the offseason, Nashville traded defenceman and long-time team captain Shea Weber to Montreal for defenceman P. K. Subban, and during the regular season, traded for forwards Cody McLeod and Vernon Fiddler. The Predators also re-signed forward Filip Forsberg during the offseason.
Nashville finished with 94 points (41–29–12) during the regular season to finish as the second wild-card team in the Western Conference, and the 16th overall and last-seeded playoff team. Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson tied for the team lead in regular-season goal-scoring with 31 each. Ryan Johansen led the team in assists with 47. Arvidsson and Johansen tied for the team lead in points with 61.
The Predators started the playoffs by upsetting the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in four games, becoming the first wild-card team in NHL history to sweep the top seed in their conference. They followed that up by eliminating the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, both in six games. Kevin Fiala and Johansen sustained serious leg injuries in the second and third rounds respectively, and both missed the remainder of the playoffs. The Predators were the third different franchise that head coach Peter Laviolette led to the Stanley Cup Finals. He won the Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, and also took the Philadelphia Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
|May 29||Nashville Predators||3–5||Pittsburgh Penguins||PPG Paints Arena||Recap|
Late in the first period, penalties from Nashville forwards Calle Jarnkrok and James Neal gave Pittsburgh a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play, and Evgeni Malkin scored to make it 1–0. Just 1:15 later, Conor Sheary scored into an open net after a cross-ice pass from Chris Kunitz caught Nashville's defence off guard. In the final seconds of the period, a centring pass from Nick Bonino deflected off Mattias Ekholm and into the net to give Pittsburgh a 3–0 lead. Following Bonino's goal, the Penguins went 37 consecutive minutes without a shot on goal, including the entire second period. The Predators used power-play goals from Ryan Ellis and Colton Sissons to make it 3–2, and Frederick Gaudreau scored immediately following a Penguins power play to tie the game midway through the third. Soon afterwards, Pittsburgh's first shot since the first period resulted in a Jake Guentzel goal to give Pittsburgh the lead again. Bonino scored again into an empty net to clinch the victory for Pittsburgh.
|1st||PIT||Evgeni Malkin (8) – pp||Trevor Daley (3) and Sidney Crosby (14)||15:32||1–0 PIT|
|PIT||Conor Sheary (1)||Chris Kunitz (4) and Sidney Crosby (15)||16:37||2–0 PIT|
|PIT||Nick Bonino (3)||Brian Dumoulin (3)||19:43||3–0 PIT|
|2nd||NSH||Ryan Ellis (5)-(PPG)||P. K. Subban (9) and Mike Fisher (1)||08:21||3–1 PIT|
|3rd||NSH||Colton Sissons (6)-(PPG)||Roman Josi (6) and Calle Jarnkrok (3)||10:06||3–2 PIT|
|NSH||Frederick Gaudreau (1)||Austin Watson (3) and Mike Fisher (2)||13:29||3–3|
|PIT||Jake Guentzel (10)||Matt Cullen (6) and Justin Schultz (8)||16:43||4–3 PIT|
|PIT||Nick Bonino (4) – en||Chris Kunitz (5)||18:58||5–3 PIT|
|NSH||P. K. Subban||Delay of game (puck over glass)||11:24||2:00|
|Shots by period|
|May 31||Nashville Predators||1–4||Pittsburgh Penguins||PPG Paints Arena||Recap|
Midway through the first, the Predators took their first-ever lead in a Stanley Cup Finals game when Pontus Aberg scored around Olli Maatta. The Penguins tied it late in the period when a Guentzel tip sneaked past Pekka Rinne. After a scoreless second period in which the Predators took twice as many shots as the Penguins, Pittsburgh came out firing in the third, scoring three goals in 3:18. The first was Guentzel's twelfth of the playoffs, making him the first rookie since Dino Ciccarelli to score twelve times in a single postseason. The next two goals came 15 seconds apart and prompted Predators head coach Peter Laviolette to replace Rinne with backup Juuse Saros. Nashville never cut into the deficit as Pittsburgh won the game by 4–1.
|1st||NSH||Pontus Aberg (2)||Viktor Arvidsson (9) and Mike Fisher (3)||12:57||1–0 NSH|
|PIT||Jake Guentzel (11)||Conor Sheary (5) and Chris Kunitz (6)||16:36||1–1|
|3rd||PIT||Jake Guentzel (12)||Bryan Rust (2) and Ron Hainsey (5)||00:10||2–1 PIT|
|PIT||Scott Wilson (3)||Phil Kessel (13) and Matt Cullen (7)||03:13||3–1 PIT|
|PIT||Evgeni Malkin (9)||Chris Kunitz (7) and Ian Cole (8)||03:28||4–1 PIT|
|1st||NSH||Craig Smith||Cross checking||02:04||2:00|
|PIT||Chris Kunitz||Cross checking||09:36||2:00|
|NSH||Roman Josi||Cross checking||14:32||2:00|
|PIT||Evgeni Malkin||Fighting – major||12:14||5:00|
|NSH||P. K. Subban||Fighting – major||12:14||5:00|
|Shots by period|
|June 3||Pittsburgh Penguins||1–5||Nashville Predators||Bridgestone Arena||Recap|
Jake Guentzel came within one goal of Dino Ciccarelli's rookie playoff record when a shot 2:46 into the game got past Pekka Rinne. In the second period, Roman Josi and Frederick Gaudreau scored only 42 seconds apart to quickly give Nashville the lead. Neal scored with 23 seconds left in the second to give the Predators a two-goal lead. In the third period, a breakaway by Craig Smith and a goal by Ekholm provided insurance in a 5–1 victory for Nashville. Near the end of the game, several misconducts were assessed after a cross checking by Phil Kessel drew a crowd and fights broke out.
|1st||PIT||Jake Guentzel (13)||Ian Cole (9) and Sidney Crosby (16)||2:46||1–0 PIT|
|2nd||NSH||Roman Josi (6) – pp||Calle Jarnkrok and Mattias Ekholm (9)||5:51||1–1|
|NSH||Frederick Gaudreau (2)||Austin Watson (4) and Roman Josi (7)||6:33||2–1 NSH|
|NSH||James Neal (6)||Viktor Arvidsson (10) and Roman Josi (8)||19:37||3–1 NSH|
|3rd||NSH||Craig Smith (1)||Unassisted||4:54||4–1 NSH|
|NSH||Mattias Ekholm (1) – pp||Calle Jarnkrok (5) and Colton Sissons (6)||13:10||5–1 NSH|
|1st||NSH||P. K. Subban||Holding||4:50||2:00|
|NSH||Bench (served by James Neal)||Too many men on the ice||12:44||2:00|
|PIT||Evgeni Malkin||Cross checking||12:43||2:00|
|NSH||Filip Forsberg||Cross checking||12:43||2:00|
|NSH||James Neal||Unsportsmanlike conduct||15:24||2:00|
|PIT||Phil Kessel||Cross checking||17:01||2:00|
|Shots by period|
|June 5||Pittsburgh Penguins||1–4||Nashville Predators||Bridgestone Arena||Recap|
Calle Jarnkrok gave Nashville an early lead, but a breakaway goal by Sidney Crosby tied the score at one. In the second period, after a Penguins breakaway was stopped by Rinne, Gaudreau's wrap-around shot appeared to be stopped by Matt Murray, but video review showed the puck sneak under Murray's paddle and across the goal line before Murray sent it back out. A breakaway goal by Viktor Arvidsson gave the Predators their third goal of the game. Rinne would stop all nine shots faced in the third period and an empty-net goal by Filip Forsberg gave Nashville a 4–1 win and tied the series 2–2.
|1st||NSH||Calle Jarnkrok (2)||Craig Smith (2) and Austin Watson (5)||14:51||1–0 NSH|
|PIT||Sidney Crosby (8)||Brian Dumoulin (4)||15:57||1–1|
|2nd||NSH||Frederick Gaudreau (3)||Ryan Ellis (8) and Harry Zolnierczyk (2)||03:45||2–1 NSH|
|NSH||Viktor Arvidsson (3)||Mike Fisher (4) and James Neal (3)||13:08||3–1 NSH|
|3rd||NSH||Filip Forsberg (9) – en||Unassisted||16:37||4–1 NSH|
|NSH||Ryan Ellis||Cross checking||19:35||2:00|
|Shots by period|
|June 8||Nashville Predators||0–6||Pittsburgh Penguins||PPG Paints Arena||Recap|
Justin Schultz scored for Pittsburgh early in the first period on the power play. Two more goals from the Penguins caused Nashville to again replace Rinne with Saros in net to start the second period. Pittsburgh scored three more times in the second, the first from Conor Sheary. Guentzel assisted on Sheary's goal, tying the rookie record for points in a single postseason (21). Kessel and Ron Hainsey scored the last of Pittsburgh's six goals; Kessel and Crosby both ended the game with three points. Neither team scored in the third period, making Matt Murray the first rookie since Cam Ward in 2006 to record a shutout in the Stanley Cup Finals. During the third period, 20 penalties were assessed, the most in one period since the third game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
|1st||PIT||Justin Schultz (4) – pp||Sidney Crosby (17) and Patric Hornqvist (4)||01:31||1–0 PIT|
|PIT||Bryan Rust (7)||Chris Kunitz (8) and Trevor Daley (4)||06:43||2–0 PIT|
|PIT||Evgeni Malkin (10)||Phil Kessel (14) and Ron Hainsey (6)||19:49||3–0 PIT|
|2nd||PIT||Conor Sheary (2)||Sidney Crosby (18) and Jake Guentzel (8)||01:19||4–0 PIT|
|PIT||Phil Kessel (8)||Olli Maatta (6) and Sidney Crosby (19)||08:02||5–0 PIT|
|PIT||Ron Hainsey (2)||Evgeni Malkin (18) and Phil Kessel (15)||16:40||6–0 PIT|
|PIT||Bench (served by Scott Wilson)||Too many men on ice||10:06||2:00|
|NSH||P. K. Subban||Holding||18:28||2:00|
|2nd||NSH||Filip Forsberg||Goaltender interference||13:02||2:00|
|NSH||James Neal||Cross checking||07:31||2:00|
|NSH||P. K. Subban||Unsportsmanlike conduct||11:32||2:00|
|PIT||Patric Hornqvist||Unsportsmanlike conduct||11:32||2:00|
|NSH||Viktor Arvidsson||Fighting – major||11:32||5:00|
|PIT||Carl Hagelin||Fighting – major||11:32||5:00|
|NSH||Colton Sissons||Match penalty||19:26||5:00|
|NSH||Yannick Weber||Fighting – major||19:26||5:00|
|PIT||Chris Kunitz||Fighting – major||19:26||5:00|
|Shots by period|
|June 11||Pittsburgh Penguins||2–0||Nashville Predators||Bridgestone Arena||Recap|
The game remained scoreless until the final two minutes of the third period when former Predator Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 left in the game. Nashville challenged for goaltender interference, but the on-ice ruling was upheld. Carl Hagelin added an empty net goal with 15 seconds remaining.
During the second period, a quick whistle prevented a Predators' scoring chance that almost certainly would have resulted in a goal. Referee Kevin Pollock thought Murray had covered a Forsberg shot, but the puck was, in fact, loose in the goal crease.
|PIT||Patric Hornqvist (5)||Justin Schultz (2) and Chris Kunitz (6)||18:25||1–0 PIT|
|PIT||Carl Hagelin (2) – en||Brian Dumoulin (5)||19:46||2–0 PIT|
|Shots by period|
Stanley Cup presentation and engravingEdit
- 1 Played both centre and wing.
Coaching and administrative staff:
- Mario Lemieux (Chairman/Co-Owner/Alt. Governor), Ronald Burkle (Co-Owner/Alt. Governor), William Kassling (Co-Owner/Alt. Governor),
- David Morehouse (President/Governor), Travis Williams (Chief Operating Officer/Alt. Governor), Jim Rutherford (Exe. Vice President/General Manager),
- Jason Botterill (Asst. General Manager) Bill Guerin (Asst. General Manager), Jason Karmanos (Vice President of Hockey Operations),
- Mark Recchi (Player Development Coach), Mike Sullivan (Head Coach), Rick Tocchet (Asst. Coach),
- Jacques Martin (Asst. Coach), Mike Bales (Goaltending Coach), Andy Saucier (Video Coach),
- Sergei Gonchar (Defense Coach), Dr. Dharmesh Vyas (Head Team Physician), Chris Stewart (Athletic Trainer)
- Curtis Bell (Asst. Athletic Trainer), Patrick Steidle (Asst. Athletic Trainer), Andy O'Brien (Director of Sport Science & Performance),
- Dana Heinze (Equipment Manager), J.C. Ihrig (Asst. Equipment Manager), Jon Taglianetti (Asst. Equipment Manager),
- Jim Britt (Director of Team Operations), Randy Sexton (Director of Amateur Scouting), Derek Clancey (Director of Pro Scouting).
Other eligible playersEdit
- 58 Kris Letang (D) – played 41 regular season games, missed 41 regular season games and all 25 playoff games due to injury – qualifies
- 65 Ron Hainsey (D) – played 56 games for Carolina, 16 regular season and 25 playoff games for Pittsburgh – qualifies
- 32 Mark Streit (D) – played 49 games for Philadelphia, 19 regular season games and three playoff games for Pittsburgh (all three in the Conference Finals) – did not automatically qualify but the name was engraved
- 37 Carter Rowney (RW) – played 27 regular season and 20 playoff games for Pittsburgh – qualifies.
- 45 Josh Archibald (RW) – played 61 games in AHL, 10 regular season and four playoff games for Pittsburgh (three in the Conference Finals, one in the Finals) – qualifies
- 2 Chad Ruhwedel (D) – played 34 regular season games and 11 playoff games. Missed last 2 games of Conference and all 6 games of the finals due a concussion. No injury exemption left off the cup.
- 35 Tristan Jarry (G) – dressed for 11 playoff games while Matt Murray was injured (Jarry received his second Stanley Cup ring, despite only playing one NHL game) – name not engraved on Cup
- The Penguins fill the last spot on the bottom ring the Stanley Cup. The top ring, featuring winners from 1954 to 1965, was removed after the Capitals were added in 2018.
Included in the team picture, but left off of the Stanley Cup.
- Alex Trinca (Strength & Conditioning Coach) (on Cup in 2016)
- Danny Kroll (Assistant Equipment Manager) (on Cup in 2009)
- Sergei Gonchar was left off of the Cup in 2016. In 2017, Gonchar was included, and Alex Trinca was left off.
Both teams lost in the second round of the 2017-18 NHL Playoffs the following season; the Penguins lost 4-2 to the Washington Capitals, eventual Stanley Cup Champions, while the Nashville Predators lost to the Winnipeg Jets, 4-3.
TV and radioEdit
In Canada, the series was broadcast by Sportsnet and simulcast by CBC Television in English, and TVA Sports in French. In the U.S., NBC broadcast most of the games; games two and three were aired by NBCSN. In the U.S., the games were seen by an average of 4.762 million viewers, an increase of 19% over the 2016 finals, and the highest-rated finals without an Original Six team. Despite competition from the 2017 Tony Awards broadcast and the return of ABC's Sunday-night game show block, game six achieved a total viewership of 7.086 million.
The NHL on Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio carried the games throughout the United States on radio and through online streaming, while the home calls of Nashville (WPRT-FM/Predators Radio Network) and Pittsburgh (WXDX-FM/Penguins Radio Network) was available both over the air in their home markets and through online streaming.
- "Stanley Cup Final will begin Monday, May 29". NHL.com. May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Werner, Steve (May 26, 2017). "Mike Sullivan, Peter Laviolette make Stanley Cup final history". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins Roster and Statistics". hockey-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- "2016-17 Nashville Predators Roster and Statistics". hockey-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Crosby, Wes (May 29, 2017). "Penguins recover to edge Predators in Game 1 of Cup Final". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
- Crosby, Wes (May 31, 2017). "Penguins surge past Predators to win Game 2 of Cup Final". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- Stanley, Robby (June 3, 2017). "Predators cruise to Game 3 win against Penguins, first in Cup Final". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- Stanley, Robby (June 5, 2017). "Predators top Penguins in Game 4 to tie Stanley Cup Final". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- Crosby, Wes (June 8, 2017). "Penguins score six, shut out Predators in Game 5". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- "Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cup; defeat Nashville Predators for back-to-back titles". Sporting News. June 11, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Stanley, Robby (June 11, 2017). "Penguins repeat Stanley Cup with Game 6 win against Predators". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- "Stanley Cup Final controversy: Predators' goal waved off after quick whistle". USA Today. June 11, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- "NHL announces full schedule for Stanley Cup Final" (Press release). Toronto: Sportsnet. May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- "NBC Sports Group to present every Stanley Cup playoff game for sixth consecutive year" (Press release). Stamford, Connecticut: NBC Sports. April 6, 2017. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- "Tony Awards Ratings Fall, Stanley Cup Finals Decider Rises, Game Shows Return". Deadline.com. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- "The NHL returns to Westwood One in 2017" (Press release). Westwood One. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2017.