The 1991 Season
After a disappointing season in 1990, in which the Pens lost a playoff spot in
the last day of the regular season, the 1991 season was the second turnaround of
the franchise (with the first being obviously the Mario Lemieux draft), where
the Pens reached the pinnacle of their history.
The First Title
First, GM Craig Patrick brougth in Bob "Badger" Johnson, and he
lead the team to its first ever Patrick division title. The team finished with
the 7th best record of the league, which had 21 teams by that time, and its best
recors ever, with a mark of 41-33-6.
Then, came the playoffs, and in the first round the Penguins suffered to
overcome the NJ Devils in a 4-3 Divisional Semifinal series. In the Division
Finals, against the Wasington Capitals, the Pens had it a little easier, beating
the Caps 4-1.
In the Pens first Wales Conference series, they met the defending conference
champs Boston Bruins. And in 6 games, the Pens grabbed the Wales Conference
trophy for the very first time, then qualifying for the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 1991 Stanley Cup finals featured 2 newcomers, as the Penguins faced the
Minnesota North Stars. After splitting the first 4 games, the Penguins won the
5th and 6th games, being the last a memorable 8-0 win, and reached the top of
the hockey world by becoming Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 24
Some of the best moments in the Cup run :
- April 5 - Jaromir Jagr, then a promising rookie, scored an 8:52 overtime
goal, against the Devils, after a great move over John MacLean and goalie
Chris Terreri. The goal gave the Pens a 5-4 win.
- April 13 - Being 3-2 down to the Devils, the Pens faced a must-win game
without starting goalie Tom Barrasso. Then came Frank Pietrangelo and what
is called "The Save", when Peter Stastny was alone in front of the
net, and everyone though the shot had went in, but somehow Pietrangelo ended
up with the puck on his glove. The Pens went on to win 4-3 and tied the
- April 15 - Pietrangelo again was the Pens' hero, making 27 saves, keeping
the shutout, while the offense scord 4 past the Devils and the Pens were
alive in the playoffs.
- April 19 - Against the Capitals, Pietrangelo had some hard times, and
after losing the first game, it looked like the Pens were going down 2-0,
but somehow the team managed to send game 2 into overtime, with Randy Gilhen
as an extra attacker in a delayed penalty situation, scored the tying goal.
In OT, Kevin Stevens after a Ron Francis pass scored the game winner against
Don Beaupre at 8:10 of the extra session.
- May 9 - In the Wales Conference finals, Pittsburgh and Boston entered the
5th game tied at 2 wins each. In the Boston Garden, a builiding that never
brought good memories, the Penguins had a wonderful match, destroying the
Bruins 7-2. In game 6, back in Pittsburgh, the Pens won again to become
Eastern Champions, and got a trip to the Stanley Cup.
- May 25 - On this saturday the NHL crowned a new champion and a new king.
With Mario Lemieux scoring one goal and recording 3 assists, the Penguins
blasted the North Stars, scoring frequently, and cruising to an 8-0 win,
clinching the series 4-2, and received their first Stanley Cup.
Penguins Playoff Run
Regular Season - 80 games, 41 wins, 33 losses, 6 ties.
Play Offs - 24 games, 16 wins, 8 losses.
Play Offs Results :
Division Semi-Finals - Penguins 4 - 3 New Jersey Devils
Division Finals - Penguins 4 - 1 Washington Capitals
Conference Finals - Penguins 4 - 2 Boston Bruins
Stanley Cup Finals - Penguins 4 - 2 Minnesota North Stars
Wed, May 15, 1991 : Stars 5 at Penguins 4
Fri, May 17, 1991 : Stars 1 at Penguins 4
Sun, May 19, 1991 : Penguins 1 at Stars 3
Tue, May 21, 1991 : Penguins 5 at Stars 3
Thu, May 23, 1991 : Stars 4 at Penguins 6
Sat, May 25, 1991 : Penguins 8 at Stars 0