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.
The Finals (and the NHL season) ended on May 25, 1991 marking the last time to date that the Stanley Cup playoffs have not extended into the month of June.
Road to the Finals
The Minnesota North Stars 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 & adopted a divisional-based playoff format in 1981.
One of the most famous goals in NHL history was the goal that he made in the second period of the second game of the series.
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.
|Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Minnesota North Stars|
|Pittsburgh wins series 4–2|
and Stanley Cup
|Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh)|
wins Conn Smythe Trophy
Stanley Cup Engraving
- 9 Ron Francis
- 10 Barry Pederson*
- 15 Randy Gilhen
- 19 Bryan Trottier (A)
- 38 Jiri Hrdina
- 66 Mario Lemieux (Captain)
- 7 Joe Mullen
- 8 Mark Recchi
- 12 Bob Errey (A)
- 16 Jay Caufield*
- 24 Troy Loney
- 25 Kevin Stevens
- 29 Phil Bourque
- 34 Scott Young (also played center)
- 68 Jaromir Jagr
- 2 Jim Paek
- 3 Grant Jennings
- 5 Ulf Samuelsson
- 22 Paul Stanton
- 23 Randy Hillier (A)
- 28 Gordie Roberts
- 32 Peter Taglianetti
- 55 Larry Murphy
- 77 Paul Coffey (A)
- 35 Tom Barrasso
- 40 Frank Pietrangelo
- 1 Wendell Young
- Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. (Chairman/Owner)
- Marie Denise DeBartolo York (President/Owner)
- Paul Martha (Vice President-General Council)
- Craig Patrick (Vice President/General Manager)
- Scotty Bowman (Director of Player Development-Recruitment)
Bob Johnson (Head Coach)
- Rick Kehoe (Asst. Coach
- Rick Paterson (Asst. Coach)
Barry Smith (Asst. Coach)
- Gilles Meloche (Goaltending Coach/Scout)
- Steve Latin (Equipment Manager), Charles "Skip" Thayer (Trainer)
- John Welday (Strength-Conditioning Coach
- Greg Malone (Head Scout)
- 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.
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 car accident in the off season.
- #44 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).
- 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. All 5 players were awarded Stanley Cup ring).
- 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.