The Pittsburgh Penguins won in thrilling double-overtime fashion last night to become the first team since 2009 to head to a second straight Stanley Cup Final. That 2009 team was of course another iteration of the Sidney Crosby-led Penguins, a group which would capture the franchise’s first championship since 1992. The team is looking to repeat as champions this year, which would be the first such feat in the salary cap era.
Amazingly, they’ve gone this far without their top defenseman Kris Letang playing a single game. Like last year, when the team brought in Trevor Daley and Carl Hagelin at the deadline, smaller moves have proved invaluable to the Penguins. Ron Hainsey played over 30 minutes for the Penguins last night, and has been a key contributor to a blueline decimated by injuries. The fact it took 907 regular season contests before ever suiting up for a NHL playoff game is a staggering thought, one that Hainsey would love to forget with a victory in the Finals this season.