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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins vs. Sharks: Game 6 Live Blog

Follow along as Pittsburgh celebrates first championship since 2009

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

SAN JOSE -- The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to win the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in franchise history. Director of Editorial Shawn P. Roarke is at SAP Center and following the action on and off the ice.

11:51 p.m. ET: The Penguins still are celebrating on the ice with friends and family, but things are starting to die down so that does it for our live blog. Thanks for following along tonight and throughout the playoffs. It's been another amazing season and now it's time to start looking ahead to 2016-17. Enjoy the NHL Draft, free agency and the rest of the offseason. Don't forget the World Cup of Hockey in September, too. Good night!

Tweet from @NHL: #StanleyCup

11:24 p.m. ET: Friends and family are everywhere, joining the players to take photos with the Cup. Eric Fehr just sat his crying daughter down in the Cup for their picture.

Tweet from @NHL: Cheer up, dad's a #StanleyCup champion!

11:18 p.m. ET: Kessel talks with Jeremy Roenick briefly and goes to celebrate with his family, which includes his sister Amanda, one of the best women's hockey players in the world. Kessel can't help but get emotional, breaking down a bit on the ice. 

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Kessel discusses HBK line, Cup win

11:13 p.m. ET: Sidney Crosby takes the Cup for one last skate around the ice, all of his hard work leading the Penguins through the most grueling path to a championship in professional sports.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Crosby talks about the Pens' journey

11:11 p.m. ET: Lemieux now has four Stanley Cups; two as a player and two as part-owner. Nice to see Super Mario getting it done on and off the ice for Pittsburgh. The team then gathers up to take a group photo with the Cup. 

11:08 p.m. ET: Finally the coaching staff and front office personnel. Coach Mike Sullivan has got to be loving this moment considering all he's been through after taking over for Mike Johnston during the regular season. GM Jim Rutherford, who won a championship with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, gets to share the Cup again, solidifying his work over the course of the season after taking over for Ray Shero. 

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Lemieux talks about the Pens' season

11:05 p.m. ET: The Cup continues its tour from player to player, Beau Bennett, Derrick Pouliot, third string goalie Jeff Zatkoff each getting a chance to hoist the cup above their heads and skate around the SAP Center ice. 

11:00 p.m. ET: Chris Kunitz was next up after Fleury, the forward a three-time Stanley Cup champion - once with the Ducks in 2007 and twice with the Penguins (2009, 2016). Evgeni Malkin and then Phil Kessel finally gets his chance with the Cup, which is great to see considering everything he's been through the past couple of seasons in Toronto and now Pittsburgh. You can tell that it meant the world to him and each of his teammates with the roller coaster season they've gone through.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Dupuis celebrates with the Stanley Cup

10:58 p.m. ET: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman joins the Penguins on the ice for the presentation of the Stanley Cup, which is given to captain Sidney Crosby. Crosby hands the Cup off to defenseman Trevor Daley, who missed the entire series after sustaining a broken ankle in the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Daley then hands off to Pascal Dupuis, who was forced to retire from hockey due to blood clots, a very touching moment. From Dupuis to Marc-Andre Fleury, who wins his second championship despite seeing very little action in the playoffs after Matt Murray took the reins with Fleury dealing with a concussion. A nice trend from the Penguins letting their injured teammates enjoy the glory of the Cup first. 

Video: PIT@SJS: Crosby, Pens celebrate fourth Stanley Cup

10:55 p.m. ET: The Stanley Cup celebration is on in San Jose as the Penguins flood the ice, tossing their gloves up in the air and embracing each other after an improbable run to the fourth championship in franchise history. For the Sharks, it means having to go home knowing that they fell two games short of winning the Cup in their first Final in the 25-year history of the franchise.

The players take a break from celebrating/mourning for the traditional handshake line. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby leading the way for Pittsburgh, the second time he's won the Stanley Cup in his career. After the two teams congratulate each other on a hard fought series, the Sharks salute the fans at the Shark Tank for their support throughout the franchises most successful run in the playoffs to date. Mario Lemieux, who won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992, joins the Penguins' players on the ice to celebrate as Sidney Crosby is announced the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Pens celebrate fourth Stanely Cup title

End of third period: The Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup. They defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 with Patric Hornqvist scoring a empty-net goal with 62 seconds remaining in the game to give them a 3-1 victory.

A dominant third period, in which they held the desperate Sharks to just one shot, proved to be the difference as the Penguins maintained its 2-1 lead and defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games. It is Pittsburgh's first Cup since 2009 and the fourth in franchise history.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Hornqvist's empty-netter seals the win

11:02 into third period: The Sharks finally got the power play they were waiting for, but they did nothing with it.

Pittsburgh forward Conor Sheary hooked defenseman Justin Braun at 5:25 to put the Sharks' lethal power play in the ice for the time in Game 6. But, the Sharks could not even manage a shot during the two-minute advantage and are 1-for-11 in the series.

The Sharks made a bit of a push after the expiration of the power play, but that momentum was negated when Brent Burns turned the puck over at the attacking blue line and had to take a penalty to stop a potential breakaway by Phil Kessel.

Tweet from @NHL: All @penguins fans at this moment. #StanleyCup

Start of third period: How important has Kris Letang been to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final?

Well, he has an assist on each of three game-winning goals by the Penguins in this series and is the present holder of the game-winning goal in what would be the clinching game if the current scoreline holds.

In Game 6, he has already played 18:23, which is 2:01 more than the next most-used defenseman, Brian Dumoulin. He has three shots, three hits and a blocked shot.

 As Pittsburgh tries to navigate these 20 minutes to a championship, it would not be surprising to see Letang play more than half the period. 

For the Sharks, they are going to have to ride their big guns to find a tying and a winning goal if they want to extend this series to a game 7 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

End of second period: The Penguins lead 2-1 and are 20 minutes removed from winning their first Stanley Cup since 2009.

The second period was one of the best of the entire Cup Final as the two teams combined for 22 shots, 13 by the desperate Sharks. Each goalie made a couple of highlight-reel saves and San Jose's Martin Jones escaped trouble when Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin made one too many passes on a promising 2-on-1 break.

Good news for the Sharks is that Marc-Edouard Vlasic returned to action late in the period, He missed more than nine minutes of game play for undisclosed reasons. The Sidney Crosby line scored while Vlasic was in the dressing room. Vlasic has had Crosby duty for much of this series.

13:37 into second period: Sharks are pushing back again.

Joe Pavelski had a great look off a pass from Joe Thornton but missed the net. Patrick Marleau also had a first-rate chance as San Jose has 11 shots this period after having four in the first.

The Sharks may have a bit of trouble though as top defenseman Marc-Edourad Vlasic has missed several shifts and is not on the bench. It is unclear what happened to him.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Crosby feeds Letang for a 2-1 lead

7:46 into second period: It didn't take long for Pittsburgh to re-establish the lead. Defenseman Kris Letang banks one off Martin Jones's skate from a bad angle to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Letang got the puck to the left of Jones after a change-of-direction pass by Sidney Crosby from behind the net. It is only Crosby's third point, all assists, of the series. Jones was caught going from his right post to the left post by the well-placed shot from Letang.

It was only Pittsburgh's fourth shot of the period, but it continues a trend during the past two games to answer any momentum-generating moments from the Sharks with a big goal of their own. They did it in Game 5 to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 within the blink of an eye.

Video: PIT@SJS: Couture tallies after a turnover

6:27 into second period: The pressure finally pays off. The Sharks' Logan Couture scores on a wrist shot from the top of the circle that beats Matt Murray to the five hole. 

The goal came after a sloppy clearing attempt by the Penguins that was intercepted by Brent Burns just outside the blue line and turned immediately into offense.

Couture now has 30 points in the postseason and four in his past five periods.

Pittsburgh is out-shooting San Jose 9-2 in the period.

3:13 into second period: The Sharks have shown a bit more fire at the start.

They already have five shots, including a Grade-A chance by Melker Karlsson on the doorstep. Karlsson clearly has shaken off the effects of his first-period injury.

The period started with a well-done tribute to Gordie Howe, who died Friday at 88. 

The tribute was pushed back to the first intermission because of the pre-game moment of reflection for the tragedy in Orlando. The players from each team watched the video and tapped their sticks in appreciation at the conclusion. The Shark tank, so raucous all evening, was as silent as a church as the video played.

Video: Hockey world pays tribute to Gordie Howe

Start of second period: With their season hanging in the balance, the Sharks know they need more offense.

They had four shots on goal and had another eight blocked. Perhaps their best chance of the period never even became a shot attempt. Joel Ward was on a breakaway but Pittsburgh forward Kris Kunitz raced after him on the backcheck and made a desperate dive, cleanly poking the poke off of Ward's stick before he could shoot it.

That first period was a demanding period for all. Not only were there 16 blocked shots, eight by each team, but there were 30 hits, 18 by the home team.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Jones stones Crosby, prevents stuff-in

End of first period: A perfect road period by the Penguins here at the Shark Tank.

Pittsburgh got the all-important first goal, a slap shot from the point by Brian Dumoulin, and then kept the Sharks bottled up for long stretches. In fact, it would be easy to argue that the Penguins are only up 1-0 because of the continued brilliance of Martin Jones.

Jones, who made 42 saves in Game 5, had a brilliant two-save sequence late in the period, denying Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary on bang-bang shots.

Matt Murray made a big save in the final minute, shouldering away a shot by Joonas Donskoi after he created some space for himself with a filthy-good toe drag move.

Shots are 9-4 in favor of Pittsburgh.

15:38 into first period: The Sharks have found their sea legs a bit and have kept Penguins hemmed into their zone on a more regular basis, but are still having trouble getting clean looks for shots.

Forward Joel Ward had a breakaway just a few minutes ago, but it was foiled by the all-out hustle of Chris Kunitz.

By the way, Melker Karlsson has returned to action after missing two shifts. It will be interesting to see how effective he is.

14:00 into first period: The Sharks have received more bad news asKarlsson, one of their most effective forwards, was injured in a puck race with Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maata. Each player slammed into the end boards, but Karlsson did not get up until he received help. He was favoring his knee as he left the ice.

The Sharks, with their season on the line, have two shots, so far.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Dumoulin's point shot finds net for PPG

8:16 into first period: The Penguins take the lead for the fifth time in six games in this Final as their power play continues to heat up.

Brian Dumoulin, the player who drew the penalty to put Pittsburgh on the power play, scored the goal with a slap shot from the point. Nick Bonino was cutting in front of Martin Jones and may have provided the screen. It was Pittsburgh's third shot of the game. They also scored one of their two goals on Thursday on the power play.

7:50 into first period: A cautious start here to Game 6, almost the polar opposite of Game 5. The teams have combined for four shots instead of four goals so far.

Evgeni Malkin had a great chance for the Penguins but his slapper was gobbled up by Jones. Matt Nieto answered for the Sharks with a breakaway, but his shot hit Matt Murray in the chest.

Now, the Penguins are on the power play as a sliding Dainius Zubrus is whistled for tripping Domoulin.

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: A moment of silence for Orlando

5:20 p.m. PT: The Sharks final pre-game show of the 2015-16 season was one to remember.

The light show, with the accompanying blinking bracelets in the crowd was a fine start, followed by a fabulous five of former Sharks opening the doors to the dressing room to welcome the current Sharks onto the ice. Dave Hannan, Mike Ricci and Evgeni Nabokov were among the door men employed Sunday.

After a moment of reflection for the tragedy Sunday in Orlando, Fla., where 50 people were killed in a terror attack at a nightclub there, Pat Monahan, the lead singer of Train, belted out a pitch-perfect "Star Spangled Banner."

Now it is time for some hockey!

Video: PIT@SJS, Gm6: Pat Monahan performs national anthem

4:55 p.m. PT: We have the final pre-game warmup of the season at SAP Center, No. 54 this season. 

There are no surprises in the lineups. Top-line forward Tomas Hertl remains out with a lower-body injury. He was injured at the tail end of Game 2 and has not played since. Joonas Donskoi will play in his place with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, just as he did in Game 5.

Coach Peter DeBoer said Sunday morning that Hertl was making progress from his injury, but was not available for Game 6. Hertl's status for Game 7 on Wednesday, if it were to come to pass, is unclear.

The Penguins are going with the same lineup as Game 5.

4:35 p.m. PT: The No. 9 associated with Gordie Howe is everywhere at SAP Center as the League, its teams and its fans celebrate the life of Mr. Hockey, who died on Friday at 88.

The Sharks had No. 9s placed in the upper bowl of the stands by covering some of the seats with teal material to offset the white of the giveaway T-shirts in the upper deck.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: #9RIP

The Penguins and the Sharks also wore No. 9 decals on their helmets during warmups to honor Howe. 

There also will likely be several moments honoring Howe before and during the game.

Tweet from @penguins: Tonight during warmup, the #Pens and Sharks will wear these "9" decals to honor the memory of Gordie Howe.

4:20 p.m. PT: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns made his usual fashionable arrival at the arena earlier Sunday. With this being the final home game of the season, Burns stepped up his game a bit.

He went with a Tartan suit, with red as the dominant color, a white shirt with a bowtie, sunglasses and a brown fedora with a feather in the band.

In a playoff of strong suit games, this may be his strongest effort yet.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Sunday best. #TurnUpTheTank #SJSharks

If you want to read more about what makes Burns tick, colleague Amalie Benjamin has a great profile of him. 

4:12 pm PT: It's another beautiful day in San Jose for a hockey game. The sun is shining and temperatures are moderate. So, it's not surprising that there is a lively atmosphere around SAP Center as we get ready for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Stanley Cup is in the building for the second straight game as the Pittsburgh Penguins take another shot at claiming it first Cup since 2009 and fourth overall. As a side note, this is the seventh anniversary of that Cup win against Detroit at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009.

The Sharks are trying to put the party on hold again, like they did Thursday night at Consol Energy Center with a 4-2 victory. The odds of forcing a Game 7 are long - only six of the 32 teams to fall behind 3-1 in a series have forced a Game 7 - but the Sharks say they are up for making a bit of history.

It should be a night filled with drama and memories. Please join us for the thrill ride.

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