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“I’m almost speechless right now because it is tough,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “To come that close, it is really tough.”

This is the fourth championship for five members of the Red Wings, but it is also the first Cup win for 39-year-old Dallas Drake, who has more than 1,000 games of NHL experience. It is also the first title for Detroit since Datsyuk and Zetterberg replaced Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov as the prominent forwards on the roster.

The constant through both eras has been defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who became the first European captain to lead his team to the Cup. Lidstrom’s four Cup rings and five Norris trophies (likely to be six in a week) have cemented his place among the sport’s legends at his position.

“There has been a lot of talk of that this year, and it was just great to see him lift the Cup,” Zetterberg said. “He means so much to this team.”