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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins victory parade set for Wednesday

City will celebrate Pittsburgh's second consecutive Stanley Cup title

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

The Pittsburgh Penguins will celebrate their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship with thousands of fans during a parade through downtown Pittsburgh beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, streaming live on NHL.com, courtesy WPXI.

The parade will follow the same route the Penguins took while celebrating their 2016 championship.

Last year, approximately 400,000 fans lined city streets and watched from parking garages when the Penguins made their way along that route with the Stanley Cup. It was the largest sports parade in Pittsburgh history, surpassing the estimated crowd of 375,000 that attended the Penguins' 2009 championship parade.

There is an 80 percent chance of rain with potential thunderstorms in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, according to Weather.com.

The 2016 parade was held on a clear, hot day. With fans 20 rows deep, some packing a large parking garage and others leaning from office building windows in downtown Pittsburgh, the Penguins brought the Stanley Cup down Grant Street and the Boulevard of the Allies.

The Penguins reached a stage at the end of the route, where coach Mike Sullivan and general manager Jim Rutherford each voiced his intention to repeat.

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"I'll try to make one deal with you," Rutherford said to the crowd on June 15, 2016. "Let's try to meet here at this time next year."

Sullivan, who has won two Stanley Cup championships in his two seasons with the Penguins, expressed his admiration for the fans.

"The one thing I've learned is this is one crazy sports town," Sullivan said then. "Maybe even more crazy, this is one crazy hockey town. … This is a group that's been through a lot this year. The challenges that they've overcome to become the best hockey team in the world, we couldn't be more proud of them."

Similar sights and sounds are expected to greet the Penguins on Wednesday. Captain Sidney Crosby, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for a second straight year, went five years without a championship before winning last season.

When Crosby reached the stage at the end of the parade last year, he said not much had changed during that time.

"This is exactly how I remembered it," Crosby said at the intersection of the Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street. "This is a special town. Obviously, this group of guys, we wanted it bad."

The parade ended in familiar fashion. Penguins radio analyst Phil Bourque, who won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992, recited the same line he used during his championship seasons and again when the Penguins won the Cup for a third time in 2009.

"You guys remember the line? … I start it and you guys finish it, all right?" Bourque asked. "What do you say we take this down to the river and party all summer?"

How the parade Wednesday will compare to last year remains unknown. But it's a safe bet Bourque will ask a few friends to take the Stanley Cup down to one of Pittsburgh's three rivers and party all summer.

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