1991 Stanley Cup Finals

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1991 Stanley Cup Finals
Stanley Cup 1991 Logo.gif
123456 Total
Pittsburgh Penguins 441568 4
Minnesota North Stars 513340 2
Location(s) Pittsburgh, PA (Pittsburgh Civic Arena) (1,2,5)
Bloomington, MN (Met Center) (3,4,6)
Coaches Pittsburgh: Bob Johnson
Minnesota: Bob Gainey
Captains Pittsburgh: Mario Lemieux
Minnesota: Curt Giles[1]
Dates May 15 to May 25
MVP Mario Lemieux (Penguins)
Series-winning goal Ulf Samuelsson (2:00, first)
Networks CBC (Canada-English)
SRC (Canada-French)
SportsChannel America (United States)
KBL (Pittsburgh Area, Games 1, 2 and 5)
KDKA (Pittsburgh Area, Games 3, 4 and 6)
KMSP-TV Channel 9 (Minnesota Area, Games 1, 2 and 5)
Midwest Sports Channel (Pay-Per-View) (Minnesota Area, Games 3, 4 and 6)
Announcers Bob Cole, Harry Neale and Dick Irvin, Jr. (CBC)
Claude Quenneville and Gilles Tremblay (SRC)
Jiggs McDonald and Bill Clement (SC America)
Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald (KBL and KDKA)
Doug McLeod and Lou Nanne (KMSP and MSC PPV Minnesota)

The 1991 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1990–91 season, and the culmination of the 1991 Stanley Cup playoffs. It 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 2018) 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.

Paths to the Finals[edit]

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.

Game summaries[edit]

Pittsburgh centre 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 centre 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 backhand 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.

Schedule and results[edit]

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Minnesota North Stars
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 15 Minnesota 5 Pittsburgh 4
May 17 Minnesota 1 Pittsburgh 4
May 19 Pittsburgh 1 Minnesota 3
May 21 Pittsburgh 5 Minnesota 3
May 23 Minnesota 4 Pittsburgh 6
May 25 Pittsburgh 8 Minnesota 0
Pittsburgh wins series 4–2
and Stanley Cup
Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh)
wins Conn Smythe Trophy


In Canada, the series was televised in English on the CBC and in French on SRC.

In the United States, the series aired nationally on SportsChannel America. However, SportsChannel America's national coverage was blacked out in the Minnesota and Pittsburgh areas due to the local rights to North Stars and Penguins games in those respective TV markets. In Minnesota, KMSP-TV aired games one, two and five while the Midwest Sports Channel had games three, four, and six. In Pittsburgh, KBL televised games one, two and five while KDKA aired games three, four, and six.

Pittsburgh Penguins - 1991 Stanley Cup champions[edit]



Coaching and administrative staff:

Stanley Cup engraving

  • Jay Caufield* played only 23 games. His name was engraved on the Stanley Cup because he spent the whole season with Pittsburgh.
  • Barry Pederson (C) did not play a single game in the 1991 playoffs, but his name got engraved on the Stanley Cup and got a Stanley Cup ring because he played 46 games during the season.
  • Pierre McGuire, Les Binkley, John Gill, Charlie Hodge, Ralph Cox were with the team as scouts in 1990–91, but names were not included on the Stanley Cup that year. All five of these scouts were awarded Stanley Cup rings.
  • Randy Gilhen was the first German-born player to win the Stanley Cup, but grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Jim Paek was the first Korean-born hockey player to both play in the NHL, and have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.

Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup

  • #5 Gord Dineen (D - 9 games played), #20 Jamie Leach (RW - 7 games played), #18 Ken Priestlay (2 games played), did not qualify to be included on the Stanley Cup for playing rest of the season in minors.
  • #27 Gilbert Delorme (D) missed the whole season due to a car accident in the offseason.
  • #30 Bruce Racine was called up from the minors to serve as back-up to Frank Pietrangelo. He was dressed for last two games of round one, and first two games of round two. Both Wendell Young (who missed first three rounds due to injury), and Tom Barrasso (missed four games due to injury) were unable to play. Racine name was left off the Stanley Cup, because he had not played in the NHL - in fact, Racine has never played for Pittsburgh. His only NHL experience came in 1995-96 for the St. Louis Blues.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giles didn't play in any of the games in the finals. Neal Broten served as acting captain
  • Total Stanley Cup. NHL. 2000. 
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont: Fenn Pub. pp. 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7. 
Preceded by
Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Penguins