The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be well-represented on the Stanley Cup after the Pittsburgh Penguins laid claim to the NHL championship with a 2-1 win in Game Seven of the Finals on Friday night.
Head coach Dan Bylsma led Pittsburgh to the title after being promoted from the AHL in mid-February.
Bylsma, who reached the 2008 Calder Cup Finals as an assistant coach in Wilkes-Barre and began the 2008-09 season as bench boss of the AHL Pens, took over the reins in Pittsburgh on Feb. 15 and guided the NHL Penguins to an 18-3-4 record to close out the regular season, and the Pens then ousted Philadelphia (4-2), Washington (4-3), and Carolina (4-0) before taking a seven-game victory over the defending champion Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Eight current Pittsburgh players – Tyler Kennedy, Maxime Talbot, Miroslav Satan, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi, Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury – spent time with the AHL Penguins, and will now have their names etched into the cherished trophy. Those players all either played 40 regular season games with Pittsburgh or appeared in at least one Stanley Cup Finals game this season, making them eligible to be placed on the chalice.
Bylsma and assistant coach Mike Yeo honed their coaching skills in Wilkes-Barre, and will bring the total number of former AHL Penguins placed on the Cup to 10.
Talbot and Fleury shared hero duties on Friday. Talbot scored both Pittsburgh goals in the victory, while Fleury, a 2004 Calder Cup finalist with Wilkes-Barre, stopped 23 of 24 shots to record his 16th win of the postseason.
This is the third time the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup, and the first time since the spring of 1992.