By: Patrick Damp/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins’ postseason streak is now the longest active streak in North American professional sports.
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The team’s 6-3 win over the Islanders on Thursday night earned the Pens their 16th consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff ticket.
Putting streaks into perspective, it’s by far the longest active streak in the National Hockey League.
Closest to the Penguins are the Capitals, who are likely to make their eighth straight appearance in the postseason, and the Nashville Predators, who are also likely to make their eighth straight appearance.
While not the longest in NHL history, the streak ranks eighth with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames.
Since the streak began, the Penguins have risen to become one of the top franchises in the NHL.
The Penguins have won 100 playoff games, trailing only Boston with 90.
At the head of the penguins, of course, is the “Two-Headed Monster” by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Crosby has 191 points and Malkin has 174 points in the postseason.
These last 16 postseasons have seen pretty much everything a fan base and franchise can: three championships, four Stanley Cup Finals appearances, two different home arenas — that’s right, the series started at Civic Arena — and even a postseason without that both of the franchise icons, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
In the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the team was without the duo as Crosby battled a concussion and Evgeni Malkin was recovering from knee surgery.
That year, the team took the Tampa Bay Lightning to seven games but ultimately lost game seven 1-0.
The Penguins made the playoffs for the first time in the Crosby-Malkin era in 2007 when they faced the Ottawa Senators, but were quickly dealt with in five games.
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The Young Penguins took the loss as a lesson because within the next year they would be storming through the Eastern Conference, sweeping the Senators in a first-round rematch, and then finishing off the Rangers and Flyers both in just five games.
However, their magic ride would end in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Civic Arena as the Detroit Red Wings would capture the Stanley Cup over the Penguins.
Again, the Penguins took the loss as a lesson and returned to the postseason in 2009, where they defeated the Flyers, Capitals and Hurricanes en route to a rematch in the Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit.
The Penguins reversed the script this time, winning game six on home ice to force game seven.
On June 12, 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the franchise’s third Stanley Cup by defeating the Red Wings 2-1 in Detroit.
After the championship, it would take the Penguins seven years to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, which they came closest to in 2013 when they were eventually defeated by the Boston Bruins in the Conference Finals.
With doubts at the core of the team consisting of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury, the 2016 quartet silenced those who wondered if they could ever win the back-to-back Stanley Cup again.
The Penguins caught fire throughout the 2015-16 season, clinching a playoff berth and never looking back.
During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Pens defeated the Rangers, Capitals, and Lightning and set up a date with the San Jose Sharks.
Seven years to the day, on June 12, 2016, Sidney Crosby again clinched the Stanley Cup as captain of the Penguins when they defeated the Sharks in game six in California.
The team defended their championship the next year, bringing back a largely unchanged roster. The Penguins were able to defeat the Blue Jackets, Capitals, Senators and Predators, becoming the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-1998 to win back-to-back Stanley Cups and the first team in the salary-cap era of the NHL that accomplished this feat.
Since back-to-back championships, the team has only been knocked out of the first round once, and that was in 2018, when they lost to the Capitals in the second round.
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The Penguins have lost two of their last three postseasons in the first round to the Islanders.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/04/15/perspective-of-the-penguins-playoff-streak/ The Penguins’ postseason streak is now the longest activity in North American sports – CBS Pittsburgh