Mark Recchi scored the biggest goal in Pittsburgh hockey history with 4:20 left as the Penguins rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 Saturday night and earn their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Recchi's shot from the right circle dot off Gord Roberts' pass from the red line completed Pittsburgh's fourth straight win in the series and set up "Miracle On Ice II" - the first Stanley Cup finals between expansion teams.The Penguins, who had missed the playoffs for seven times in eight years prior to this season, will meet the Minnesota North Stars for the Cup beginning Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh and Minnesota both joined the NHL as expansion teams in 1967.
Minnesota, which finished only fourth in the Norris Division during the season and had the 16th-best record in the 21-team NHL, swept by regular-season points leader Chicago, No. 2 St. Louis and defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton to reach the finals.
Pittsburgh's first championship series is nearly as unexpected. The Penguins were a .500 team for most of the season until Mario Lemieux's return and a late-season trade that brought them Ulf Samuelsson and Ron Francis from Hartford helped them to their first Patrick Division championship.
The Penguins then eliminated New Jersey and Washington and spotted Boston a two-games lead before outscoring the Bruins 22-7 during their fourth straight victories.
The victory touched off a huge celebration in the Civic Arena stands reminiscent of that when the Pittsburgh Steelers earned their first trip to the Super Bowl in 1974.
Lemieux had an empty-net goal, his 11th of the playoffs, at 19:32 and set up two earlier Pittsburgh goals as the Penguins refused to fold after falling behind 2-0 to a team they'd rarely beaten until this series.