The 2017 Stanley Cup playoff picture: Best postseason photos

June 11 - Malkin and Crosby kiss Cup

The 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs provided plenty of drama, from Connor McDavid's debut to a fan frenzy in Nashville to Sidney Crosby's Conn Smythe coronation and the Pittsburgh Penguins' second consecutive title. Here are some of the most stunning and significant photos from this postseason.

June 11: Hornqvist's bank shot banks title for Pens

Nearly three periods of scoreless hockey passed in Game 6 before Patric Hornqvist netted the game (and championship) winner for the Penguins -- off Predators goalie Pekka Rinne's left elbow -- with 1:35 left. Hornqvist, a former Predator, silenced Nashville's raucous, catfish-throwing crowd. The Predators challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld. Carl Hagelin set off a Penguins bench celebration with an empty-netter with 13.6 seconds left. Pittsburgh won its second consecutive Stanley Cup, making the Penguins the first back-to-back Cup winners in almost 20 years.

June 8: Sid and Subban scuffle

After P.K. Subban spent Games 3 and 4 in Nashville getting under Sidney Crosby's skin, needling him on and off the ice, Breathgate seemingly simmered over during Game 5. At the end of the first period, with the Penguins leading 2-0, Crosby and Subban clashed near the boards behind Pittsburgh's net. Crosby held the Predators defenseman down and repeatedly pushed his head into the ice. Crosby and Subban both got minor penalties for holding. After the game, Crosby said that Subban "lost his stick and he was doing some UFC move on my foot there. I don't know what he was trying to do." When Subban was asked if things were getting a little too personal between him and Crosby, he said, "It's hockey, man."

June 7: Crosby focused on Game 5

Sidney Crosby -- who scored his first Stanley Cup Final goal since 2009 in Pittsburgh's 4-1 Game 4 loss and moved into sole possession of 20th place on the all-time postseason scoring list -- was back on the ice Wednesday in Pittsburgh ... and he was already looking ahead. "We're just focused on tomorrow," he said. "That's how we're looking at it. We did some good things last game, so if we can build off of that, we'll put ourselves in a good spot."

June 6: Gaudreau still waiting

Predators rookie Frederick Gaudreau, an undrafted free agent playing in just his sixth postseason game, scored the go-ahead goal in the second period of Game 4. It was his third goal of the playoffs -- and second game-winner -- and made him just the second player in NHL history to score his first three career goals in a Stanley Cup Final. It earned him the team dog chain, a metal chain and padlock awarded to the top Preds player in each win -- but it apparently wasn't enough to earn the 24-year-old his own locker. Gaudreau still has only a chair.

June 5: Rinne saves the day

Pekka Rinne's diving denial of the Penguins' Jake Guentzel -- which came right after the Predators goalie stymied Sidney Crosby twice on a breakaway -- was the save of the Stanley Cup Final so far. Rinne stopped 23 of 24 shots on Monday and robbed the Penguins on several occasions after Crosby tied the score 1-1 on a breakaway in the first period.

June 4: Crosby doesn't waste his breath

The day after Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban claimed that Sidney Crosby accused him of having bad breath during a close encounter during Game 3, Crosby said: "He made that up, I didn't say that. He's a guy that likes the attention. If he wants to make stuff up, what can I do?" Crosby appeared to take out his frustrations on longtime teammate Marc-Andre Fleury during practice on Sunday.

June 3: Josi racks up three points

Predators defenseman Roman Josi scored his sixth goal of the postseason, added two assists and fired up the home fans in Nashville's Game 3 win over the Penguins. His goal came on the power play, and Josi became the first blueliner to post a three-point game in the Stanley Cup Final since Dustin Byfuglien did it with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

June 2: Predators circle

Nashville is down 2-0 in the Final, but the Predators remain optimistic they can right the ship at home at Bridgestone Arena, where they huddled up for practice on Friday. "We're going to win the next game," P.K. Subban said.

June 1: Something's fishy in Nashville

For years, Predators fans have taken to tossing whole catfish onto the ice during home games. So Little's Fish Market in Nashville is offering a free catfish to anyone who shows a ticket for Games 3 or 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Owner Chris Little says he's getting plenty of orders. "We'll definitely see some on the ice," Little said. "There's no doubt about that."

May 31: Malkin and Subban hug it out

It's rare for two superstars to fight in the Stanley Cup playoffs, much less the Final. Even though it didn't last long and looked more like an overly long, awkward embrace, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban did drop their gloves for a quick bout in the third period of Game 2. The "fight" went down eight years to the day after Malkin also earned both a goal a fighting major in the 2009 finals.

May 29: Guentzel's goal lifts Pens

Penguins forward Jake Guentzel -- who hadn't scored in eight games and was rumored to be a healthy scratch for Game 1 against the Predators -- not only played, he came up big. The rookie beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put Pittsburgh ahead to stay in a 5-3 victory.

May 28: Sid skates free

This is probably what Sidney Crosby looks like to pursuing backchecking centers: a bit of a blur. Crosby was clearly in the zone -- and defying physics -- as he and the Penguins practiced at PPG Paints Arena in advance of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday against the Predators.

May 27: Preds play soccer

Playing some futbol during warm-ups is a time-honored hockey tradition -- even on media day. Nashville's Vernon Fiddler and Anthony Bitetto were among the Predators who partook in a game of two-touch in the hallway.

May 26: Mike Fisher makes an entrance

Nashville fans were thrilled to have Predators captain Mike Fisher, who missed the last two games of the Western Conference finals with an undisclosed injury, back in the fold. "I feel good," Fisher said. "Ready to rock. Excited about Game 1."

May 25: Kunitz caps off double-OT Game 7 classic

It took a couple of overtimes against a relentlessly resilient Ottawa Senators team, but the reigning champs finally got their shot at a repeat. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz scored his second goal of the game to beat the Senators 3-2 in double overtime during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

May 23: Sens' power-play surge

Ottawa's Mark Stone celebrated as Bobby Ryan's quick release on a one-timer beat Penguins goalie Matt Murray in the second period of Game 6 -- and gave the Senators their first power-play goal since Game 1 against the New York Rangers on April 27.

May 22: Sizzling Sissons sends Preds to first finals

P.K. Subban jumped for joy after the Nashville Predators -- who've never won even a division title in their 19-year history -- clinched their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals by eliminating the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 win in Game 6. The Predators got a timely hat trick from Colton Sissons, who entered the game with two career playoff goals. Sissons' memorable evening was made possible by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who carried Nashville for long stretches in this series and ended Game 6 with 38 saves.

May 21: Penguins pour it on

For the second consecutive game, defenseman Olli Maatta opened the scoring for the Penguins, doubling his regular-season goal output in two playoff games -- much to the delight of forward Nick Bonino, center. Pittsburgh piled on from there, with a commanding first period that chased Senators goalie Craig Anderson on his birthday. When Matt Cullen scored in the second period, it meant that a player from each of the Penguins' four lines, along with a defenseman, had a goal.

May 20: Jostling with Josi

Anaheim Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano got tied up with Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) in the crease in during Game Five of the Western Conference finals -- and Preds goalie Pekka Rinne was caught on the middle.

May 19: Crosby and Murray come through

Matt Murray was back -- and so was Sidney Crosby. Crosby had a goal and an assist, Murray made 24 saves in his first start of the playoffs and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 to even the Eastern Conference finals at 2-2.

May 18: Perry pulls Ducks even

Corey Perry was clutch once again. The veteran Ducks winger's goal 10 minutes, 25 seconds into overtime -- Perry's second OT winner in two weeks -- gave Anaheim a 3-2 win in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, evening the best-of-seven series against the Nashville Predators at two games apiece.

May 17: Senators' flurry chases Fleury

Ottawa struck early in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Mike Hoffman scored 48 seconds into the game, then the Senators blew things open against the sluggish Penguins a few minutes later with the fastest three goals in team playoff history. Marc Methot, Derick Brassard (above) and Zack Smith all found the net during a 2:18 span midway through the first period. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury got the early hook after allowing those four goals on just nine shots in the first period.

May 16: Anaheim ducks for cover

This rubber toy tossed onto the ice by a fan after the Predators scored during the third period of Game 3 pretty much summed up Anaheim's night. Not even having two goals in eight seconds waved off for goaltender interference could shake the Predators, who rallied to beat the Ducks 2-1 in their first-ever home game in the Western Conference finals.

May 15: Phan-OOF!

Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf has made his presence felt during the Senators' series against the Penguins. Phaneuf leveled Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel (59) during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at PPG Paints Arena.

May 14: Gibson saves the day

The Ducks dug themselves out of a two-goal hole and rallied from behind twice for a 5-3 win over Nashville to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece. Netminder John Gibson stopped 29 of 32 shots for the Ducks.

May 13: Ryan finds redemption

Senators winger Bobby Ryan, center -- who was drafted second after Sidney Crosby in 2005 -- rebounded from the worst regular season of his 10-year career and came up big in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins. Ryan's no-look, backhanded pass set up Jean-Gabriel Pageau's goal, which opened the scoring in the series. Ryan then netted the winner in overtime.

May 12: Forsberg flips the script

The Predators prevailed 3-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals despite 43 saves by Ducks netminder John Gibson. Gibson more than held his own in a goalie showdown with Nashville's Pekka Rinne, but he couldn't stop a redirection by Nashville's Filip Forsberg in the first period.

May 10: Ovi, Capitals ousted

The Penguins did it again, eliminating Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals from the postseason by delivering a crushing 2-0 win in Game 7 behind 29 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury.

May 9: Sens celebrate

Erik Karlsson and the resilient Senators showed off their toughness in the third period of Game 6 of their second-round series against the New York Rangers, holding on for a gritty 4-2 win that sent them to their first Eastern Conference final in 10 years.

May 8: Burakovsky buries game winner

Andre Burakovsky scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom got his sixth goal of the playoffs, and Washington beat the archrival Penguins 5-2 to force a Game 7 in their seesaw Eastern Conference semifinal.

May 7: Draisaitl's hat trick

Leon Draisaitl helped the Oilers bounce back from a tough loss in their previous game with three goals and two assists as the Oilers cruised to a 7-1 victory over Anaheim, forcing a decisive Game 7 in their Western Conference semifinal series.

May 6: Holtby douses Penguins rally

On the brink of elimination and trailing a Pittsburgh team that went 37-1-1 in the regular season and 6-0 in the playoffs when up after two periods, the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals finally responded like the Cup contenders everyone thought they should be. Goalie Braden Holtby had his strongest performance of the season, stopping 20 shots to help force a Game 6 back in Pittsburgh.

May 5: Corey Perry keys comeback

Ducks winger Corey Perry scored 6:57 into the second OT after the Ducks rallied from a three-goal deficit in the final minutes of regulation, completing a stunning 4-3 victory over the Oilers and seizing a 3-2 lead in their second-round series. Anaheim became the first team in Stanley Cup playoff history to force overtime or win a playoff game after trailing by three goals with less than four minutes left in regulation.

May 4: Lundqvist leads Blueshirts

Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves to help the Rangers beat the Senators 4-1 to tie their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece. Ottawa had trouble generating sustained pressure against Lundqvist, who earned his 61st playoff win to tie Tom Barrasso for 13th on the NHL's career list.

May 3: Silfverberg strikes again

Jakob Silfverberg exploded on the Oilers through the first three games of their series with the Ducks, with four goals and five points. The Ducks' right wing played a crucial role in Anaheim's first win of the series by scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the playoffs. His game winner 45 seconds into overtime of Game 4 gave the Ducks their second consecutive win and evened the series.

May 2: P.K. gets physical

Predators defenseman P.K. Subban put a hurting on Blues winger Magnus Paajarvi in the second period of Game 4. His Nashville teammate James Neal scored the game-winning goal with 6:57 left, as the Predators beat the Blues 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.

May 1: Crosby collapses

In a scary sequence just over five minutes into Game 3 of Pittsburgh's Eastern Conference semifinals series against Washington, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby took a stick to the head from Alex Ovechkin, followed by another blow from Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen as he fell to the ice The double whammy left Crosby writhing on the ground in front of a stunned home crowd. He did not return to the ice and missed Game 4 of the series after being diagnosed with a concussion.

April 30: Ducks deal a convincing blow

Corey Perry and the Ducks cut the Oilers' series lead to 2-1 with a commanding 6-3 win over Darnell Nurse & Co. on their home ice in Edmonton.

April 29: Pageau's pageantry

Jean-Gabriel Pageau accounted for four of Ottawa's six goals in its 6-5 double-overtime win over the Rangers in Game 2 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series, including the game winner 2:54 into the second OT.

April 28: Cam Talbot keeps his cool

While the Ducks dominated the puck and peppered the Edmonton net with shots over the final 2 1/2 periods, Oilers goalie Cam Talbot stood tall -- when he wasn't sprawling, diving or gloving everything in sight. Talbot made 39 saves and Edmonton moved halfway to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 victory.

April 27: Bonino! Bonino! Bonino!

Nick Bonino put the finishing touch on another playoff classic. The Penguins' third-line center beat Capitals goalie Braden Holtby with 7:24 left for the Game 1 winner and his latest spring heroics. "Bones is a guy that's a high-stakes player," coach Mike Sullivan said. "He brings his best game when the games are most important."

April 26: Subban steals the show

P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists, powering Nashville to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

April 23: Johansson nets series winner in OT

Marcus Johansson came through to help Washington get another big overtime win in a series that had five games go beyond regulation. The Capitals center stuffed his second goal of the game past Frederik Andersen at 6:31 of overtime, lifting the Capitals to a series-winning 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6.

April 22: Jake Allen tames Wild

Jake Allen led the Blues a 4-3 victory in Game 5 of their playoff series against the Minnesota Wild. Allen made 34 saves for the Blues, who led 2-0 and 3-1 before a furious but ultimately fruitless rally by the Wild.

April 21: Kuraly comes through in double OT

Sean Kuraly picked a great time to score his first two NHL goals. Kuraly's second goal of the game at 10:19 of the second overtime gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators in Game 5, avoiding elimination in the first-round series.

April 20: Predators complete sweep

Roman Josi scored twice, Pekka Rinne had 30 saves and Nashville beat Chicago 4-1 to complete a surprising sweep of the Western Conference's top seed.

April 19: Wild-Blues tussle

Wild center Ryan White (21) scrapped with Blues pivot Patrik Berglund (21) as Minnesota's Matt Dumba (24) put St. Louis' David Perron (57) in a headlock during Game 4 of their first-round series.

April 18: Sharks pour it on

Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice and the Sharks rebounded from back-to-back shutouts in emphatic fashion, beating the Oilers 7-0 to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

April 17: Predators, Blackhawks get physical

Marcus Kruger (16) of the Chicago Blackhawks was called for holding against Nashville Predators winger Harry Zolnierczyk (26) during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. The Predators had never before won the first three games of any playoff series, but they did so by outscoring the Western Conference's No. 1 seed 9-2.

April 16: Guentzel's game winner

Jake Guentzel earned the first playoff hat trick for a Pittsburgh rookie. The 22-year-old capped his big night by slipping the puck past Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky at 13:10 of the extra period for a 5-4 win and a 3-0 advantage for the Penguins in the playoff series.

April 15: Ducks-Flames fisticuffs

Animosity was in the air from the start of the Calgary Flames-Anaheim Ducks series opener. Flames winger Micheal Ferland (79) and Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa had a history dating back to the 2015 playoffs, so it was no surprise when they traded punches. The Ducks won their 29th consecutive matchup with the Flames in Anaheim since April 25, 2006, extending the longest such streak in NHL history.

April 14: Radulov in red-light district

When Alexander Radulov lit the lamp 18:34 into overtime, it gave the Montreal Canadiens new life against the New York Rangers and evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal at 1-1.

April 13: Mr. Game 1

Tom Wilson scored 5:15 into overtime to secure a 3-2 victory for the Capitals in Game 1 of their first-round series against the young Toronto Maple Leafs. Playoff star and 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams scored twice in regulation, and Braden Holtby stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced to give Wilson the opportunity to be the hero.

April 12: McDavid's debut

Superstar Connor McDavid made his much-anticipated playoff debut, but the San Jose Sharks did not roll out the welcome mat. San Jose instead taught McDavid and the upstart Edmonton Oilers a lesson in playoff intensity, spotting them two early goals in Game 2 and then roaring back to win.