The Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks four games to two to win their fourth championship in franchise history (all of them on the road). The Penguins had home ice advantage in the series, being the club with the better regular season record.
The series began on May 30, 2016 and concluded on June 12, 2016.
This was the first Stanley Cup Final since 2007 to feature a team making their first appearance in the Finals in their club history. The Eastern Conference team had home-ice advantage in the Final in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2004 and 2006 Finals.
This was Pittsburgh's fifth Finals appearance, the first since winning the Cup in 2009, and 25 years after their first Stanley Cup winning season in 1991.
Since their win in 2009, the Penguins lost in the Conference Finals in 2013 in four games to the Boston Bruins and were eliminated twice by the New York Rangers in 2014 and 2015.
During the season, the Penguins fired their coach Mike Johnston on December 12, 2015 after compiling a 15–10–3 record. Pittsburgh replaced him with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach Mike Sullivan who went 33–16–5.
Pittsburgh earned 104 points (48 wins, 26 losses, and eight overtime losses) during the regular season to finish second in the Metropolitan Division.
Centre and team captain Sidney Crosby led the club in scoring during the regular season and finished third in the league with 85 points.
During the playoffs, the Penguins eliminated the New York Rangers in five games after being defeated consecutively by them in 2014 and 2015, defeated the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in six games and extinguished the defending Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Final in seven games.
San Jose SharksEdit
This was San Jose's first Finals appearance in their 25-year history.
During the off-season the Sharks hired former New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer to replace Todd McLellan. The Sharks also traded for goalie Martin Jones, the former Los Angeles Kings backup goalie.
San Jose earned 98 points (46 wins, 30 losses, six overtime losses) to finish third in the Pacific Division.
Centre Joe Thornton led the club in scoring with 82 points, and finished tied for fourth in the League, followed closely by centre and team captain Joe Pavelski with 78 points and defenceman Brent Burns with 75 points.
In the playoffs, San Jose avenged their previous loss to the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, in which they gave up a 3–0 series lead, by defeating the Kings in five games.
San Jose also eliminated the Nashville Predators in seven games, winning every home game in the series, then defeated the St. Louis Blues in the Conference Final in six games.
In game one, it remained scoreless until both Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary scored a minute apart for the Penguins midway in the first period.
The score remained tied 2–2 through most of the third period even with the Penguins firing off 18 shots on goal and it appeared that the game would go into overtime.
However, Nick Bonino's goal at 17:27 gave the Penguins the lead, after receiving a pass from Kris Letang that went past the Sharks' defencemen Brent Burns (who had just moments earlier lost his stick) and Paul Martin.
The Penguins held off the Sharks in the final minutes to take game one 3–2.
|1st||PIT||Bryan Rust (6)||Justin Schultz (3) and Chris Kunitz (7)||12:46||1–0 PIT|
|PIT||Conor Sheary (3)||Sidney Crosby (10) and Olli Maatta (5)||13:48||2–0 PIT|
|2nd||SJ||Tomas Hertl (6) – pp||Joonas Donskoi (5) and Brent Burns (15)||3:02||2–1 PIT|
|SJ||Patrick Marleau (5)||Brent Burns (16) and Logan Couture (17)||18:12||2–2|
|3rd||PIT||Nick Bonino (4)||Kris Letang (9) and Carl Hagelin (8)||17:27||3–2 PIT|
|1st||SJ||Dainius Zubrus||High Sticking||8:54||2:00|
|3rd||SJ||Patrick Marleau||Illegal Check to Head||4:47||2:00|
|Shots by period|
In game two, eleven and six shots were taken for the Penguins and Sharks respectively in the first period, but no goals were scored.
In the second period, a series of mistakes led to a Penguins goal starting first with defenceman Roman Polak of the Sharks almost giving it away to Phil Kessel, then Brenden Dillon got stripped of the puck by Carl Hagelin who gave it to Nick Bonino for a tip-in by Kessel.
The Sharks were able to tie the game late in the third on a goal by Justin Braun to send the game into overtime.
Early in overtime, a quick shot by Conor Sheary got past the Sharks goaltender Martin Jones to give the Penguins a 2–0 series lead.
|2nd||PIT||Phil Kessel (10)||Nick Bonino (13) and Carl Hagelin (9)||8:20||1–0 PIT|
|3rd||SJ||Justin Braun (1)||Logan Couture (18) and Joel Ward (6)||15:55||1–1|
|OT||PIT||Conor Sheary (4)||Kris Letang (10) and Sidney Crosby (11)||2:35||2–1 PIT|
|1st||SJ||Paul Martin||Delay of Game (Puck over Glass)||12:09||2:00|
|Shots by period|
In game three, Ben Lovejoy started off the scoring at 5:29 of the first period after his shot got deflected in off Sharks defenceman Roman Polak.
The Sharks tied it up at 9:34 on Justin Braun's goal after receiving a pass from Joe Thornton. The Penguins got their second lead in the game in the second period with Ben Lovejoy's point shot being tipped in off forward Patric Hornqvist's stick.
In the third period, Penguins forward Nick Bonino high-sticked Thornton (resulting in some blood being spilled) causing a four-minute power play for the Sharks.
|1st||PIT||Ben Lovejoy (2)||Unassisted||5:29||1–0 PIT|
|SJ||Justin Braun (2)||Joe Thornton (16) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (11)||9:34||1–1|
|2nd||PIT||Patric Hornqvist (8)||Ben Lovejoy (4) and Olli Maatta (6)||19:07||2–1 PIT|
|3rd||SJ||Joel Ward (7)||Joonas Donskoi (6) and Joe Thornton (17)||8:48||2–2|
|OT||SJ||Joonas Donskoi (6)||Chris Tierney (3)||12:18||3–2 SJ|
|3rd||PIT||Nick Bonino||High-sticking (double-minor)||4:48||4:00|
|Shots by period|
The Penguins scored first for the seventh consecutive game; at 7:36 of the first period, after receiving a pass from Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel sped into the Sharks zone and fired a shot that rebounded off Martin Jones onto Ian Cole's stick for his first playoff goal.
In the second period, Sharks forward Melker Karlsson got called for interference against Eric Fehr and on the ensuing power play, Malkin tipped in a shot by Kessel for the Penguins' second goal. During the third period, Karlsson was able to cut the deficit to one at 8:07.
However, the Penguins were able to regain a two-goal lead with 2:02 left when Carl Hagelin received a chip pass from Olli Maatta then gave it to Eric Fehr who fired a snap shot past Jones.
|1st||PIT||Ian Cole (1)||Phil Kessel (10) and Evgeni Malkin (12)||7:36||1–0 PIT|
|2nd||PIT||Evgeni Malkin (5)||Phil Kessel (11) and Kris Letang (11)||2:37||2–0 PIT|
|3rd||SJ||Melker Karlsson (4)||Chris Tierney (4) and Brenden Dillon (1)||8:07||2–1 PIT|
|PIT||Eric Fehr (3)||Carl Hagelin (10) and Olli Maatta (7)||17:58||3–1 PIT|
|PIT||Ben Lovejoy||Holding the stick||14:45||2:00|
|Shots by period|
In game five, four goals were scored in the first 5:06 of the game.
Brent Burns started the scoring at 1:04 slipping it past the Penguins goaltender on the right post after receiving a pass from Melker Karlsson.
For the Sharks, it was their first lead in the Finals during regulation. At 2:53, the Sharks scored their second goal; this time Logan Couture scored the goal, deflecting a shot by Justin Braun.
Less than two minutes later, Sharks forward Dainius Zubrus got called for a delay of game after shooting the puck over the glass.
On the ensuing power play, Evgeni Malkin's shot got deflected off Braun's skate, cutting the deficit to 2–1. Twenty-two seconds later, Brenden Dillon gave away the puck to Nick Bonino who shot it on goal then getting deflected in by Carl Hagelin.
In the middle of the first period on the power play, the Penguins shot once on the crossbar and Phil Kessel's shot went off both posts but stayed out. Later in the period, Dillon passed down low for Couture who sauced a backhand pass for Karlsson's goal to regain the lead for the Sharks.
The Sharks then played defensively throughout the second and third period with goaltender Martin Jones stopping all 31 shots. Joe Pavelski provided an empty-net goal to force a sixth game.
|1st||SJ||Brent Burns (7)||Melker Karlsson (2) and Logan Couture (19)||1:04||1–0 SJ|
|SJ||Logan Couture (9)||Justin Braun (5)||2:53||2–0 SJ|
|PIT||Evgeni Malkin (6) – pp||Phil Kessel (12) and Kris Letang (12)||4:44||2–1 SJ|
|PIT||Carl Hagelin (6)||Nick Bonino (14)||5:06||2–2|
|SJ||Melker Karlsson (5)||Logan Couture (20) and Brenden Dillon (2)||14:47||3–2 SJ|
|3rd||SJ||Joe Pavelski (14) – en||Joe Thornton (18)||18:40||4–2 SJ|
|1st||SJ||Danius Zubrus||Delay of game (shot puck over glass)||4:21||2:00|
|2nd||PIT||Bench (served by Phil Kessel)||Too many men on ice||5:58||2:00|
|Shots by period|
In the second period, San Jose tied it up as Logan Couture took a pass from Melker Karlsson and fired a shot past Matt Murray.
A little over a minute later though, Pittsburgh took the lead again as a shot by Kris Letang ricocheted off Sharks goaltender Martin Jones into the net.
The Penguins played defensively in the third period, limiting the shots by the Sharks to two. The Penguins got an empty-net goal by Patric Hornqvist as insurance.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup in their franchise history, winning all on the road.
|1st||PIT||Brian Dumoulin (2) – pp||Justin Schultz (4) and Chris Kunitz (8)||8:16||1–0 PIT|
|2nd||SJ||Logan Couture (10)||Melker Karlsson (3) and Brent Burns (17)||6:27||1–1|
|PIT||Kris Letang (3)||Sidney Crosby (12) and Conor Sheary (6)||7:46||2–1 PIT|
|3rd||PIT||Patric Hornqvist (9) – en||Sidney Crosby (13)||18:50||3–1 PIT|
|Shots by period|
San Jose SharksEdit
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2016 Stanley Cup ChampionsEdit
The 2016 Stanley Cup was presented to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following the Penguins' 3–1 win over the Sharks in game six.
- 3 Olli Maatta
- 4 Justin Schultz
- 6 Trevor Daley
- 8 Brian Dumoulin
- 12 Ben Lovejoy
- 28 Ian Cole
- 58 Kris Letang
- 14 Chris Kunitz (A)
- 17 Bryan Rust
- 19 Beau Bennett
- 34 Tom Kuhnhackl
- 43 Conor Sheary
- 62 Carl Hagelin
- 72 Patric Hornqvist
- 81 Phil Kessel
- 7 Matt Cullen
- 13 Nick Bonino
- 16 Eric Fehr1
- 40 Oskar Sundqvist1
- 71 Evgeni Malkin (A)
- 87 Sidney Crosby (C)
- 29 Marc-Andre Fleury
- 30 Matt Murray
- 37 Jeff Zatkoff
Coaching and Administrative Staff
- Mario Lemieux (Chairman/Co-Owner/Alt. Governor), Ronald Burkle (Co-Owner/Alt. Governor), David Morehouse (President/Governor), Travis Williams (Chief Operating Officer/Alt. Governor), Tony Liberati (Director/Alt. Governor), Jim Rutherford (Exe. Vice President/General Manager),
- Jason Botterill (Asst. General Manager), Bill Guerin (Asst. General Manager), Jason Karmoas (Vice President of Hockey Operations),
- Mike Sullivan (Head Coach), Rick Tocchet (Asst. Coach), Jacques Martin (Asst. Coach), Mike Bales (Goaltending Coach),
- Mark Recchi (Player Development Coach), Sergei Gonchar (Defensemen Development Coach), *Andy Sauceir (Video Coach), Jim Britt (Director of Team Operations)
- Dan MacKinnon (Director of Player Personnel), Randy Sexton (Director of Amateur Scouting), Derek Clancey (Director of Pro Scouting),
- Patrik Alivin (Head European Scout), Alex Trinca (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Chris Stewart (Athletic Trainer), Curtis Bell (Asst. Athletic Trainer),
- Patrick Steidle (Asst. Athlectic Trainer), Rick Jozeitz (Physical Therapist), Dana Heinze (Equipment Manager),
- Teddy Richars (Asst. Equipment Manager), Danny Kroll (Asst. Equipment Manager).
Television and RadioEdit
In the United States, the Stanley Cup Finals was split between NBC and NBCSN.
NBCSN aired two games of the series while NBC aired the other five (if necessary).
On May 27, 2016, NBC Sports announced that if the series was tied at 1-1 entering Game 3, then it would have aired on NBC and Game 4 televised on NBCSN.
However, if one team led 2-0 (as this eventually happened), Game 3 moved to NBCSN and then Game 4 on NBC. The games were broadcast nationally on radio via the NBC Sports Radio network.
In Canada, the series aired on CBC Television (through "Hockey Night in Canada" as produced by Sportsnet through a brokerage agreement) in English and TVA Sports in French.