By: Kim Garafola
The Pens ended the regular season with 51 wins, 25 losses and 6 wins in overtime play, giving them 108 points. They had clinched a playoff spot for the Stanley Cup. After having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the last regular season game on April 7th, the Penguins discovered that they would be facing them again in a 7 game series. The Penguins won this last game on home ice with a score of 4-2. All they would need to do now is win 4 of the 7 games to continue to the Stanley Cup.
The first and second playoff games were scheduled to play in Pittsburgh on April 11th and April 13th. The next two would be played in Philadelphia on April 15th and April 18th. If there were additional games, they would alternate, starting at Pittsburgh and then back to Philadelphia.
The Penguins started the beginning of their first game well ending the first period with a 3-0 lead. The Flyers were quick to answer those three goals in the second and third periods, sending the game to overtime, which the Flyers won with a shot by Jakub Voracek.
Again in the second game, the Penguins came out strong, scoring two goals first, followed by a Flyer goal and ending with another goal for the Pens. The second period was the reverse, leaving the score tied at 4-4 with 20 minutes of regular play left. At the beginning of the third, they thought they had it with a Tyler Kennedy goal, however the Flyers delivered four unanswered goals to leave the game 8-5.
The Penguins, astounded by having lost on home ice, knew they would have to come back in Philadelphia, making the journey that much harder. The Penguins lost game 3 with at score of 8-4 and hope was almost lost. With the next game again in Philadelphia, and the Flyers only needing one more game to proceed to the next round, the Penguins were going to need to dig deep to find a win.
It didn’t look good as the Flyers scored first only 1 minute and 16 seconds into the game. But by the end of the first period the Pens were up 4-3. By the end of the second period, they knew they had it. They scored 5 goals and continued with only one goal in the third period to gain a big win of 10-3.
Back to Pittsburgh, the Penguins needed another win to stay in it. With the lowest scoring game of the series thus far, the Pens managed to clinch it with a 3-2 victory. They would be traveling back to Philadelphia, hopefully for a win so they could play in a game 7.
One quick goal shook the confidence of the Penguins. Thirty seconds into the game, they were down 1-0. By the end of the second period, hope was lost as the Flyers led 4-1. The game ended 5-1 and fans across Pittsburgh were heartbroken. No one was ready to have the hockey season be over nor were they ready to lose to their rival.
The Penguins had a great season, regrettably losing in game 6 of the first round of the playoffs, but will look forward to and begin preparing for next season.