Share This Page

Pietrangelo name evokes vivid memories

St. LOUIS -- A name from Pittsburgh's sports past resurfaced Saturday night when the Penguins played the St. Louis Blues.

Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo's last name most likely rings a bell for hockey fans, particularly those in Pittsburgh.

His third cousin is Frank Pietrangelo, a former Penguins goaltender, who spent about a decade in the NHL.

Perhaps Frank Pietrangelo is best known for what has been pegged "The Save." He made a famous stop in Game 6 of the Penguins' series against the New Jersey Devils in the 1991 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Alex Pietrangelo, the fourth overall pick of the 2008 draft, is used to the question he's asked when people hear his last name.

"A lot of people know Frank," Alex Pietrangelo said. "He won the Stanley Cup. He was in the league for a while. People know who he is, so I get asked quite a bit if I'm related to him and how I'm related to him."

Although Alex Pietrangelo was only a year old when his cousin made his most remembered save, he's very familiar with the play.

"I've seen it a bunch of times," the younger Pietrangelo said. "I was a young toddler, very young at the time. I've watched it on YouTube. It's always on YouTube."

Frank Pietrangelo's big moment came in 1991 with the Penguins trailing New Jersey in the series, 3-2. With the Penguins facing elimination, Pietrangelo filled in for an injured Tom Barrasso. The Penguins were protecting a lead when Pietrangelo dove to his left to make a dramatic glove save against the Devils' Peter Stastny, who was shooting toward an open net. "The Save" helped the Penguins to a 4-3 win and forced a seventh game. Pietrangelo then shut out the Devils, 4-0, in the finale, and the Penguins eventually won their first Stanley Cup.

Now, Alex Pietrangelo is trying to make a name for himself, although he has played in just four games this season. He has missed six games because of injuries.

Pietrangelo returned to the ice last night. Although he grew up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, he always kept tabs on the Penguins. He's often reminded of his cousin's accomplishments during family gatherings when he glances at Frank Pietrangelo's championship ring.

"I look at it all the time," Alex Pietrangelo said. "I haven't tried it on. He doesn't take it off."

Although the cousins have allegiances to different teams, by the time Blues practice ended Saturday morning, they didn't have any wagers on the game. That might have changed, though.

"Maybe I'll call him after and do that," Alex Pietrangelo said after the pregame skate. "That's a good idea."

Frank Pietrangelo coaches the Mississauga Rep Bantam Triple-A team. He also offers advice to his younger cousin.

"He just tells me to have fun with it," Alex Pietrangelo said. "Enjoy playing in the NHL. There's nothing really to it. Go there, do what you can and enjoy the process. There's nothing better in life than to go through what I'm going through."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.