After a disappointing season, the Pittsburgh Penguins have made their way back into the playoffs for 16th straight year. They are currently leading series 2-0 against Columbus which is expected to be over within 3 games and will face off with Washington in round two of playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in the playoffs for the 16th straight season. They are one of only two teams to make it to every single playoff round since their last missed playoff appearance in 2006-07. They have also won a total of four Stanley Cups and six championships.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a picture of consistency, but they are well aware of the challenges of making the playoffs.
For a team that prides itself on attempting to win the Stanley Cup each season, it’s still an annual expectation.
With a 6-3 win against the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the Penguins secured a playoff spot for the 16th consecutive season. Jake Guentzel scored twice, Sidney Crosby added a goal, and the Penguins won a postseason berth for the 16th consecutive season.
Kris Letang, a Penguins defenceman, stated, “You expect that.” “Every year, the ownership tries to put together the greatest squad possible on the ice, and it’s our job as players to bring us into the playoffs.”
As the Penguins extended the greatest current playoff run among teams in major North American professional sports, Guentzel scored his 36th and 37th goals, while Crosby scored his 29th.
Crosby stated, “Every year is a struggle.” “To have a chance to play in the playoffs, you need a lot of things to go right. It isn’t handed to you. It’s not an easy task. You value such possibilities, and everyone works hard to provide us with the opportunity to do so.”
With his 16th goal, Danton Heinen matched his career best, while Letang and Brock McGinn also scored for Pittsburgh, which tied Calgary for the NHL’s seventh-longest postseason run since 1967. The Penguins, who have won two of their last three games, were led by Tristan Jarry’s 36 saves. In 15 of Pittsburgh’s previous 17 meetings with the Islanders, the Penguins have won 11 games and scored points.
The Islanders have lost three of their last five games after a four-game winning run. Zach Parise, Anders Lee, and Zdeno Chara scored for them. Ilya Sorokin came up with 22 saves.
“You can’t trade opportunities with this squad,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “You must put your plan into action. They can and will leap on you if you don’t.”
Pittsburgh took an early lead by scoring twice in the opening nine minutes of the contest. At 4:59, Letang beat Sorokin with a wrist shot from the left point, and at 8:52, Heinen scored on a breakaway.
When Heinen collected a lead feed from Brian Boyle and beat Sorokin with a shot between the legs, he had just gotten out of the penalty box following a cutting call. In his career versus the Islanders, Heinen has points in seven of ten games. Teddy Blueger set a career best in points with a secondary assist, and Boyle has scored in nine of his past ten home games.
At 5:51 of the second quarter, Parise sliced the deficit in half. He collected a feed off the rush from Mathew Barzal and sent a shot past Jarry to put the Islanders on the board.
At 12:10 of the second period, Guentzel restored Pittsburgh’s two-goal advantage. On a two-on-one situation, Guentzel received a feed from Crosby and beat Sorokin with a blocker-side wrist shot.
Following a neutral-zone mistake by New York, Crosby and Guentzel connected for Pittsburgh’s fourth goal at 10:44 of the third period. On a two-on-one, the two exchanged silky passes before Crosby sealed the deal with a slap shot from close range, ensuring Pittsburgh’s return to the playoffs.
“Making the playoffs is difficult,” Sullivan added. “Every season, a large number of excellent clubs fail to reach the playoffs. It’s a great feat that this group has done it for 16 years in a row.”
The Penguins have Stanley Cup ambitions, but Sullivan believes that qualifying for the playoffs “sooner rather than later” is critical.
“It’s a crucial box to tick,” Sullivan said. “However, it has only served to provide us with a chance to fight for the ultimate prize. It’s undeniably deserving of praise, but we have high standards in our locker room.”
This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.
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