From the first games April 12 to the final horn nearly two months later, the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs had the kind of excitement, on and off the ice, that makes the NHL postseason so special.
Here are 20 of the top moments from the playoffs:
Jake Guentzel's hat trick
April 16: The Pittsburgh Penguins rookie forward showed signs of what was to come when he scored three goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round. Guentzel got the Penguins on the scoreboard in the first period, put them ahead briefly in the third, and completed the hat trick by scoring 13:10 into overtime for a 5-4 victory that gave the Penguins a 3-0 series lead. He led the League with 13 goals in the playoffs and tied the NHL record for points by a rookie in a single postseason with 21.
Video: PIT@CBJ, Gm3: Guentzel nets hat trick, OT winner
Carrie Underwood sings anthem in Nashville
April 17: The country music superstar and wife of Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher wore her husband's No. 12 jersey when she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Video: CHI@NSH, Gm3: Carrie Underwood sings national anthem
Overtime for everyone
April 17: For the third time in Stanley Cup Playoff history, four games were decided in overtime on the same day. The others were April 11, 1980, and April 10, 1985. Two home teams (Toronto Maple Leafs, Predators) and two visitors (Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks) came out as winners.
Clarke MacArthur's memorable night
April 23: After missing most of the past two seasons with post-concussion syndrome, the Senators forward returned in the final week of the regular season and made an impact against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round. MacArthur's power-play goal at 6:30 of overtime gave the Senators a 3-2 win in Game 6 and moved them into the second round.
Video: OTT@BOS, Gm6: MacArthur scores in OT, ends series
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scores four goals
April 29: The Senators forward had a career day in Game 2 of the second round against the New York Rangers at Canadian Tire Centre. Pageau scored his second and third goals of the game in the final 3:19 of the third period to tie it 5-5, then scored 2:54 into the second overtime to give Ottawa a 6-5 win and 2-0 series lead. Pageau is the first Senators player to score four goals in a playoff game.
Video: NYR@OTT, Gm2: Pageau nets four, wins game in 2OT
No mic, no problem in Edmonton
April 30: When the microphone went out at Rogers Place before Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round between the Ducks and Edmonton Oilers, Canadian country singer Brett Kissel asked for a little help from the crowd, already known for belting out "O Canada" before playoff games. He got plenty. The sellout crowd of 18,347 stole the show with its rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm3: Rogers Place belts out national anthem
Connor McDavid puts on a show
April 30: The Oilers captain brought the crowd at Rogers Place to its feet with perhaps the most spectacular goal of the playoffs in Game 3 against the Ducks. McDavid had the puck in the Anaheim zone when he made a quick stop, cut back to his left, and beat goaltender John Gibson to the right corner with a perfect wrist shot.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm3: McDavid snipes in top-shelf beauty
Super-long shifts have impact for Predators, Ducks
April 30: Each of the two Western Conference Second Round games featured a long shift for the home team, with different results. The Predators got the final goal in their 3-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena when Roman Josi scored after Nashville kept the puck in the St. Louis zone for 1:24. The Ducks weathered an epic shift by the Oilers, who controlled the puck in the Anaheim zone for 1:46 of the second period before play was whistled down on a delayed penalty. The Ducks survived the epic shift for a 6-3 road win.
Ducks make historic comeback
May 5: The Ducks gave a whole new meaning to the saying "refuse to lose." Trailing the Oilers 3-0 in Game 5 with 3:16 remaining in the third period, they scored three straight goals in 3:01 to force overtime. Corey Perry's goal 6:57 into the second overtime gave Anaheim a 4-3 win and 3-2 series lead.
Video: EDM@ANA, Gm5: Perry, Ducks stage rally for 2OT win
Leon Draisaitl's five-point night
May 7: The Oilers forward had a night to remember against the Ducks in Game 6. With his team facing elimination, Draisaitl scored three goals and had two assists in a 7-1 victory.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm6: Draisaitl nets PPG to tally hat trick
Marc-Andre Fleury comes up big for Penguins
May 10: With the Penguins' season on the line, Fleury made 29 saves to help them defeat the Washington Capitals 2-0 in Game 7 of the second round at Verizon Center. Fleury started every game in the first two rounds after Matt Murray was injured during warmups before Game 1 of the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Video: PIT@WSH, Gm7: Fleury steers aside Ovechkin's drive
Matt Murray returns for Penguins
May 17: The Penguins goalie missed five weeks of playoff action after he was injured during warmups prior to their first playoff game. Murray got his chance to return when the Senators scored four times against Fleury in the first 12:52 of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. Murray allowed one goal on 20 shots in 46:58 of ice time and started every game after that, helping the Penguins repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Video: PIT@OTT, Gm3: Murray gloves down Ryan's redirect
Predators make Cup Final for first time
May 22: The Predators advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since entering the NHL in 1998 by defeating the Ducks 6-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. With first-line center Ryan Johansen sidelined after emergency surgery on his left thigh following Game 4, Colton Sissons stepped up with a hat trick. His third goal, with six minutes remaining in the third period, put the Predators ahead to stay. Among those on the ice to celebrate afterward was Johansen, crutches and all.
Video: ANA@NSH, Gm6: Predators awarded Campbell Bowl
Win-win for Andersons
May 23: Craig Anderson made 45 saves and the Senators defeated the Penguins 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at Canadian Tire Centre. One day later, his wife, Nicholle, visited a doctor who gave her the news she and Craig had waited nine months to hear: She was cancer-free.
Chris Kunitz puts Penguins into Cup Final
May 25: Chris Kunitz entered Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Senators without a goal since Feb. 16. He ended that drought in the second period, and then put the Penguins into the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight year by scoring at 5:09 of the second overtime for a 3-2 victory.
Video: OTT@PIT, Gm7: Kunitz wins series in double overtime
Stanley Cup Final comes to Nashville
June 3: Music City outdid itself when the Stanley Cup Final came to Nashville for the first time. Thousands of fans lined the street for a free pregame concert by country singer Alan Jackson, and the festivities went on well into the night, especially after the Predators defeated the Penguins 5-1 in Game 3.
Video: PIT@NSH, Gm3: Fans celebrate Game 3 with catfish
P.K. Subban gets Listerine sponsorship
June 3: Subban and Penguins center Sidney Crosby exchanged words after the Predators' 5-1 victory in Game 3. Asked by NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire what they talked about, the Predators defenseman replied, "He told me my breath smelled. But, I mean, I don't know, I used some Listerine before the game so I don't know what he's talking about." Five days later, Listerine announced a product partnership with Subban.
The Great One announces Greatest NHL Team
June 5: Wayne Gretzky revealed that fans voted the 1984-85 Oilers as the greatest team in NHL history. Those Gretzky-led Oilers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in a five-game Final to win the Stanley Cup. While Gretzky was making the announcement, basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley made a surprise visit and revealed himself as a hockey fan. "The best thing about my job is when I'm in work for two straight months, like the NHL playoffs, I'm in a room with 20 televisions," he said. "I watch pretty much every single hockey game."
Video: Charles Barkley speaks about greatest teams in sports
Pekka Rinne saves the day
June 5: The Predators goaltender made 23 saves in a 4-1 win against the Penguins in Game 4 of the Cup Final. Perhaps the most important came 3:28 into the second period, when he stopped Kunitz on a breakaway that would have given the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Instead, rookie Frederick Gaudreau scored 17 seconds later to give the Predators a 2-1 lead.
Video: PIT@NSH, Gm4: Rinne dives for amazing blocker stop
Penguins win it again
June 11: Entering the 2017 playoffs, the NHL had not had a repeat champion for 19 years (Detroit Red Wings, 1997 and 1998). That changed when the Penguins defeated the Predators in a six-game Final, the same number they needed to defeat the San Jose Sharks last year. It was the fifth championship for the Penguins since entering the NHL in 1967; they are tied with the Oilers for the most titles by a non-Original Six team.
Video: Hornqvist nets late winner to give Pens Cup win