A pair of former NHL stars are now part of the Stanley Cup champions, as Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Joe Pavelski and Tampa Lightning forward Evgeny Svechnikov are the winners of the tournament’s second- and third-ever trophies.
Pavelskski, 31, won the Conn Smythe Trophy for leading the NHL in points (16), assists (27), plus/minus rating (plus-7) and power-play goals (seven) as the Lightning won the Presidents’ Trophy for best overall record.
Svechenikov, 26, was a second-team All-Star and a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman.
He had eight points (three goals, four assists) in five games for the Lightning.
Svetchikov and Pavelsky were the only finalists to miss the playoffs in their respective divisions.
They will be the first Penguins and Lightning to win the Stanley Cups since the team won the Cup in 1960.
The Penguins defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 in overtime on Thursday night in a semifinal that also featured the Cup winners.
“It’s a great accomplishment for us,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.
“We’ve been talking about it for years.
He understands the game and has an excellent work ethic. “
Joe’s a guy that knows how to win, and that’s why he’s here.
He understands the game and has an excellent work ethic.
It’s a really good team win. “
He’s a big, physical player.
It’s a really good team win.
We’ve been working really hard and putting in the hours and putting the hard work in.
It was a fun night for us to win.”
The NHL announced the first two winners in the first round: Los Angeles defenseman Nikita Kucherov and Tampa Bay forward Jameer Nelson.
Kuchevski became the first player in NHL history to win an NHL Stanley Cup in both the regular season and playoffs, as the Florida Panthers captured their first championship in 17 years.
“I’m just so happy for him,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
Kukurov won the Norris for best defenseman.
“There are not many players in the world that can play in every position, but he’s one of them.
He makes the plays.
He gets up and down the ice.
I think he’s going to go to the Hall of Fame someday.”
The Penguins are the first Stanley Cup winners since the teams split in 1998.
The Stanley Cup is the most decorated trophy in sports, with the previous three winners being the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues (1951), the United States Football League’s Minnesota Vikings (1979) and the National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs (2002).
Pittsburgh will be represented by its former star players, including Crosby, who is now an unrestricted free agent after serving as captain of the Lightning for the past three seasons.
Crosby, 31 — the first Russian to win a Stanley Cup — has four goals and four assists in 17 games with the Lightning this season.
“Obviously, Joe’s a fantastic player,” Cooper said of Svechikv.
“But I don’t know if I’ve seen anybody play as well as Joe does.
Joe is one of the best players in hockey right now.”
The Lightning defeated the Washington Capitals 3-1 on Wednesday to advance to the second round.
The Lightning are 3-0-1 since winning the Cup.
“You have to believe in yourself when you’re in the NHL,” Crosby said of his recent success.
“The pressure’s always there, the expectation is always there.
I can’t wait to get back to work and get that trophy back.””
If we’re going to win it, it’s going back to being the same guy.
I can’t wait to get back to work and get that trophy back.”