2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins season
Team= Pittsburgh Penguins
Sergei GoncharGary Roberts Mark Recchi(Oct–Dec) Ryan Malone(Dec) Darryl Sydor(Dec–Mar) [Malone and Sydor served in the absence of Crosby and Roberts. Upon Crosby's return they alternated. When Crosby, Roberts, and Gonchar were active, neither served. Malone served through the Stanley Cup Finals, as Roberts saw limited playing time during the playoffs.]
Attendance= 17,089 (100.7%)
AssistsLeader= Evgeni Malkin (59)
PointsLeader= Evgeni Malkin (106)
PlusMinusLeader= Sidney Crosby (+18)
WinsLeader= Marc-Andre Fleury (19)
GAALeader= Marc-Andre Fleury (2.33)
The 2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins season was the
Pittsburgh Penguins40th season in the National Hockey League. The regular season began on October 5, 2007 against the Carolina Hurricanesand concluded on April 6, 2008 against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins looked to improve upon their progress in the 2006–07 season after being eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Ottawa Senators. During the season, the Penguins wore gold patches with "250" on them, honoring the city of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary in 2008. Evgeni Malkinscored 106 points in the regular season, helping to offset the gap left while Sidney Crosby was injured. Goaltender Ty Conklinreplaced Marc-Andre Fleury, who was also injured, to win 18 games. The team surpassed their record for total attendance, selling out all 41 home games for the first time in franchise history. The Penguins also participated in the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic—the outdoor game set the NHL single-game attendance record.
During the regular season, the Penguins finished second in the Eastern Conference, behind the
Montreal Canadiens. With a 12-2 record in the playoffs, the team eliminated the Senators, the New York Rangers, and the Flyers, on their way to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, the franchise's first in 16 years. The team was defeated in the Stanley Cup Final by the Detroit Red Wingsin Game Six.
The Penguins offseason activities began in May 2007, with the team naming
Sidney Crosbyits captain. At just 19 years old, Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history. [cite web |title=Penguins name Crosby as captain |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=316686&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-05-17 |accessdate=2008-09-29] Crosby became the first Penguins captain since the retirement of Mario Lemieuxin January 2006; Crosby, Mark Recchi, Sergei Gonchar, and John LeClairserved as alternate captains after Lemieux's retirement. Veteran Gary Roberts was named as an alternate captain for the new season, joining Recchi and Gonchar. The Penguins also extended head coach Michel Therrien's contract through the 2008-09 season. [cite web |title=Penguins extend Therrien's contract |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=334523&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2007-07-16 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
On September 17, the NHL announced that on January 1, 2008, the Penguins would travel to
Orchard Park, New Yorkto play the Buffalo Sabresoutdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadiumin the " AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic". [cite web |title=Sabres and Penguins to play outdoors on New Years Day |url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=337541 |publisher=National Hockey League |date=2007-09-17 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The event marked the first time a regular-season contest was played outdoors in the United States.
The Penguins began the regular season on October 5 visiting the
Carolina Hurricanes. The team played their home-opener against the Anaheim Duckson October 6 in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,132, the first of 41 sellouts over the course of the season. Through November 21, the Penguins acquired an underachieving record of 8–11–2, going a dismal 2-6-1 against Atlantic Division teams in November including a four-game losing streak, their longest of the season. Commencing with a pivotal Thanksgiving Day shootout victory against the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins then won seven of the next eight games, including the franchise's first sweep of a Western Canada road trip. Beginning on December 23, the Penguins compiled a point streak of ten games, including eight consecutive victories, the longest winning streak for the Penguins in nearly ten years. In January and February, the team was 16–6–5, climbing the conference standings with the help of goaltender Ty Conklinand center Evgeni Malkin. During the final full month, in March, the team was 10–4–1, and 7–0–0 at home in Mellon Arena. The team concluded the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers, with each team winning a game.
The Penguins suffered from several injuries during the season. Many of the injuries were long-term. By the end of the season, the team had missed a combined total of over 280 man games due to injury.
GoaltenderMarc-Andre Fleury sustained a high-ankle sprain against the Calgary Flameson December 6. Following the injury, Fleury was ruled out for six to eight weeks. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=346332&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Fleury, Talbot out with high ankle sprains |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2007-12-17 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Penguins recalled Ty Conklinfrom the AHLto serve as a back-up to Dany Sabourinon an emergency basis. Conklin started for the first time on December 20, winning the game 5–4 in a shootout. After winning his first nine starts and supplanting Sabourin as the starting goaltender, Conklin lost his first game, a shootout, on January 12 against the Atlanta Thrashers. Before Fleury's eventual return as a starter on March 2, Conklin recorded a record of 17–6–5, while Sabourin went 4–6–0.
Sidney Crosbyalso sustained a high ankle sprain on January 18 against the Tampa Bay Lightningand was ruled out for six to eight weeks. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=350811&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Crosby out 6-8 weeks |date=2008-01-22 |accessdate=2008-09-29] Crosby returned on March 4, playing in three games before being removed from the lineup again on March 12. After missing the next seven games, Crosby returned against the New York Islanderson March 27, after missing 28 games. [cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title=Crosby to return Thursday night |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=358184&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-03-26 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The injury forced Crosby to miss the All-Star Game, where he was the leading vote-getter for the second year in a row. [cite web |title=Penguins Crosby to miss All-Star Game |url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=350816&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher= Associated Press|date=2008-01-22 |accessdate=2008-09-29] Teammate Evgeni Malkinwas selected to play for the Eastern Conference team in place of the injured Crosby. [cite web |url=http://www.nhl.com/allstar/2008/east_roster.html |title=2008 Eastern Conference All-Star roster |publisher=National Hockey League |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Following the release of Recchi in early December and injuries to Crosby and Roberts (Recchi's replacement),
Sergei Goncharremained the Penguins only active captain. The team assigned two new alternate captains with Ryan Maloneand Darryl Sydorserving during the injuries.cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title=Malone, Sydor Emerge As Leaders |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=353467&page=NewsPage&service=page |date=2008-02-14 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
After the injury to Crosby on January 18, a make-shift line composed of
Evgeni Malkin, Petr Sykora, and Ryan Malonedubbed the “Steel City Line” [cite news |first=Michael |last=Farber |title=Pens' Malone has seen highs and lows |url=http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/194316 |publisher=Sports Illustrated |date=2008-05-18 |accessdate=2008-09-29] helped sustain the Penguins standing. Malkin scored 46 points during Crosby's absence.
With an attendance of 71,417, the Winter Classic on January 1, 2008 at
Ralph Wilson Stadiumsurpassed the NHL single-game attendance record set on November 22, 2003, when the Edmonton Oilershosted the Montreal Canadiensat Commonwealth Stadium in Edmontonbefore 57,167 fans in the Heritage Classic. The New Years Daygame between the Penguins and the Buffalo Sabreswas broadcasted nationwide on NBC in the United States, CBC in Canada, all Westwood Oneaffiliates in the US and Canada, and on XM satellite radio. The Penguins defeated the Sabres, 2-1, on a shootout goal from Sidney Crosby.
On December 21, 2007, at a game against the
New York Islanders, the Penguins tied a franchise record with 30 straight regular-season sellouts, dating to the second half of the 2006–07 season. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=347465&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Pens Tie Regular Season Sellout Streak |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2007-12-21 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The record was surpassed at the next home game against the Boston Bruinson December 23, with the 31st consecutive sellout of the regular season. [cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title= Pens fans set sellout record |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=347571 |date=2007-12-23 |accessdate=2008-09-29] On March 12, against the Buffalo Sabres, with a standing-room-only crowd of 17,132, the Penguins set a franchise record after selling out all 35 games to date, surpassing the record set during the 1988–89 and 1989–90 seasons when the Penguins sold out 34 of 40 home games. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=355978 |title=Pens website #1 |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-03-05 |accessdate=2008-09-29] For the first time in the franchise's 41-year history, the team sold out all 41 home games, concluding with their Atlantic Division-clinching victory over the Philadelphia Flyerson April 2. [cite web |title=Game recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=1199&gameType=2&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-04-02 |accessdate=2008-09-29] At 17,089, the average attendance for a home game was greater than Mellon Arena's seating capacity of 16,940, causing the team's season attendance to exceed 100% capacity. The 67 consecutive sellout attracted 888,653 total fans, a record for home attendance for the franchise.cite news |title= Penguins set attendance record |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08157/887696-100.stm?cmpid=sports.xml |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2008-06-05 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
The March 27 game against the Islanders received a TV rating of 10.7, the second highest rating all-time for a Penguins game. The only game to draw a higher rating, at 15.9, was the comeback of
Mario Lemieuxagainst the Toronto Maple Leafson December 27, 2000. The flagship station for Penguins televion broadcasts, FSN Pittsburgh, had the highest-rated NHL broadcasts of any of the Fox Sports Netregional affiliates for the second year in a row. [cite news |title=Pens-Isles game draw huge ratings on FSN |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=358423 |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-03-28 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Strong support from fans continued into the playoffs, as the Penguins sold out their first two home games in 11 minutes. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=358421&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=1st 2 Playoff Game Tickets Sold Out |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-03-28 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The team erected a 12 by 16 foot LED screen on the lawn directly outside Mellon Arena, allowing fans to watch all playoff games outside of the stadium, free of charge. [cite news |first=Robert |last=Dvorchak |title=The fans: It's a playoff night in Pittsburgh |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872034-61.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date=2008-04-10 |accessdate=2008-09-29] A rally scheduled by
Allegheny Countyexecutive Dan Onoratoand Mayor Luke Ravenstahltook place in front of the Allegheny County Courthouseprior to Game Two of their first-round series on April 11. [cite news |first=Chico |last=Harlan |title=Downtown Penguins fans rally in support of team's first playoff game |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07102/777314-53.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date=2008-04-12 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Penguins' third game of the playoffs attracted the third-highest regional viewing audience all-time for a Penguins game. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=360557 |title=Pens Telecast Draws Record Audience |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-04-15 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The 4,200 tickets offered for the team's first two home games of Round Two sold out within 10 minutes. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=360883&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Tickets sell out in 10 minutes |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-04-18 |accessdate=2008-09-29] As the playoffs advanced into the later rounds, the team had growing support from players and coaches of other teams in Pittsburgh, including the Steelers and Pirates, and many of the players attended games. [cite news |first=Ed |last=Bouchette |title=Steelers and Pirates supporting Penguins in big way |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08143/883866-66.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date= 2008-05-22|accessdate=2008-05-22] [cite news |first=Ed |last=Bouchette |title=Steelers Notebook: Big Ben gets Stanley Cup fever |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08142/883440-66.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date=2008-05-21 |accessdate=2008-05-22 ] Steelers head coach Mike Tomlinwatched Game Six of the finals outside Mellon Arena, along with 3,000 other fans. [cite news |first=Dan |last= Majors |title=Penguins' faithful assemble at arena |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08157/887600-61.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date= 2008-06-05 |accessdate=2008-06-06] Prior to the Stanley Cup Final, Mayor Ravenstahl led a rally in the city's Market Square which featured chanting by the several hundred people in attendance; cooked octopus was also served by Wholey's Fish Market, in reference to the Detroit tradition of throwing octopi onto the ice. [cite news |first=Anya| last=Sostek |title= Octopus devoured at Penguins rally in Market Square |url=http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/pg/08144/884354-100.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date= 2008-05-23 |accessdate=2008-05-24] The team also opened up Mellon Arenafor fans to watch away games on the JumboTronduring the Stanley Cup Final; over 13,500 people attended Game One. [cite news |first= Joe |last= Sager |title=Fans Pack Mellon Arena For Game 1 |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=364294 |publisher=PittsburghPenguins |date=2008-05-25 |accessdate=2008-05-26] Fans who visited the Igloo to watch the three games played in Detroit raised over $85,000 for the Mario Lemieux Foundation for cancer research. The Penguins also ranked first in the league in merchandise sales. [cite news |first= Ray|last= Fittipaldo|title= Penguins' rabid fan base starting to rival that other black-and-gold team|url= http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08275/916425-13.stm?cmpid=sports.xml|publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2008-10-01|accessdate=2008-10-01]
In an annual survey of over 80,000 fans conducted by
ESPN The Magazinetitled "Ultimate Standings: Fan Satisfaction Rankings," the Penguins ranked as the best National Hockey Leagueteam in terms of fan relations. The team also ranked third in that category, out of all 122 major sports franchises of the NFL, NBA, MLB and the NHL. In the overall standings, the Penguins ranked seventh in the NHL, and 24th of the 122. [cite news |title=Ultimate Standings: Fan Satisfaction Rankings |url=http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/mag/franchiseRanks |publisher=ESPN The Magazine |accessdate=2008-09-29] During the 2006-07 season, the team ranked 11th in the NHL, and 35th overall. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=361565 |title=Pens Rank 1st in Fan Relations |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-04-24 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Plans for the future
During the All-Star break, the league announced that the Penguins would open the 2008–09 season with games on October 4 and 5 against the
Ottawa Senatorsat the Globe Arenain Stockholm, Sweden. Also, the New York Rangerswould open against the Tampa Bay Lightningin Prague, Czech Republic. [cite news |first=Adam |last=Kim Elman |title=Lightning, Senators, Rangers, Penguins open in Europe |url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=351340&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |date=2008-01-26 |accessdate=2008-09-29] Later, on March 12, the league and the NHL Players Associationannounced that the Penguins would play an exhibition gameagainst Jokeritof the SM-liiga, the top professional league in Finland, on October 2, at Hartwall Arenain Helsinki. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=356628&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Pens to play exhibition in Finland |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-03-12 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Progess was made towards the team's new arena on March 22, when the former St. Francis Hospital, across the street from
Mellon Arenawas imploded. [cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title=Building successfully imploded |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=357794&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-03-22 |accessdate=2008-09-29] Following debris removal and site preparation, groundbreaking for construction began in the summer. [cite news |first=Bob |last=Smizik |url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08228/904529-61.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |title=Arena groundbreaking is great day for hockey |date=2008-08-15 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
The Penguins clinched their second consecutive playoff berth on March 25 in a 2–0 victory against the
New Jersey Devilsand earned the second-seed in the Eastern Conference. [cite news |first=Brian |last=Compton |title=Penguins Fleury steals the show |url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=358160&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |date=2008-03-26 |accessdate=2008-09-29] Two years removed from their last-place Eastern Conference finish in 2006, [cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title=Penguins resilience pays off with title |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=359000 |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-04-03 |accessdate=2008-09-29] the Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division for the first time ever, when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4–2. [cite news |first=Brian |last=Compton |title=Pens clinch Atlantic |url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=358997 |publisher=National Hockey League |date=2008-04-03 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The division championship was the first for the Penguins since winning the Northeast Division in 1998. It was the best finish by the team since finishing second in the 1997–98 season. The 102 points the Penguins gained during the season was the team's fifth 100-point season. The Penguins raised banners for their top finishes in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division prior to their first game at Mellon Arenaduring the 2008–09 season. [cite news |title= A "Banner" Night In Pittsburgh |url= http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=385671|publisher= PittsburghPenguins.com|date= 2008-10-09|accessdate=2008-10-11]
chedule and results
* Green background indicates win (2 points).
* Red background indicates regulation loss (0 points).
* White background indicates overtime/shootout loss (1 point).
tanley Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
The Penguins opened the playoffs against the 7th-seed
Ottawa Senators, in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. In the opening game on April 9 in Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena, the Penguins defeated the Senators 4–0. In the game, Evgeni Malkinscored his first career playoff goal, Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his first career playoff shutout, Petr Sykoraadded a goal, and Gary Roberts scored twice.cite news |title=Game One recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=121&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] In Game Two, the Penguins took a lead of 3–0 following a goal from Sergei Goncharand two from Petr Sykora. The Senators came back to tie the game in the third period, before Ryan Malone scored twice to give the Penguins their second victory in the series.cite news |title=Game Two recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=122&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Pens got four unanswered goals from Max Talbot, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, and Marian Hossato defeat the Senators 4-1 in Game Three, the first game in Ottawa's Scotiabank Place.cite news |title=Game Three recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=123&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] Two days later, the Penguins managed to eliminate the Senators in four games, the only team to do so in the first round. The team got goals from Malkin, Crosby, and the series-winner from Jarkko Ruutuin the second period to defeat the Senators, 3-1.cite news |title=Game Four recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=124&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Penguins were the first team to advance from the opening round. The series win was the team's first since the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the first sweep of a playoff series in 16 years. [cite news |title=Penguins eliminate Senators in first sweep in 16 years |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/sports/hockey/17nhl.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Pittsburgh+Penguins&st=nyt&oref=slogin |publisher=New York Times |date=2008-04-17 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Eastern Conference Semifinals
The Penguins began the Eastern Conference semifinals against Atlantic Division rival
New York Rangerson April 25. The team overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Rangers, 5-4. Marian Hossa tied the game 4:40 into the third period, and Petr Sykora took the lead twenty seconds later. After Scott Gomeztied the game at four, Evgeni Malkin scored the game-winning goal, tipping in a shot by Sidney Crosby with 1:41 left.cite news |title=Semifinals: Game One recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=221&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] In Game Two, Jordan Staal scored a powerplay goal to take a 1-0 lead. In the last minute, Adam Hallshot the puck down ice, and it drifted into the empty net. Marc-Andre Fleury saved all 26 shots, and the Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the series.cite news |title=Semifinals: Game Two recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=222&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Penguins entered Game Three after going 0-3-1 in Madison Square Gardenduring the regular season. They led 3-1 after the first period, before Jaromir Jagrtied the game. Malkin scored on the powerplay with 2:07 left in the second period to take the lead, and Malone added a goal in the third to give the Pens a 5-3 win, and a 3-0 series lead.cite news |title=Semifinals: Game Three recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=Recap&seas=20072008>ype=3&gnum=223 |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Penguins lost their first game of the post-season in Game Four against the Rangers. Jaromir Jagrscored in the second period, Brandon Dubinskyin the third, and Jagr scored an empty net goal in the last minute to force Game Five.cite news |title=Semifinals: Game Four recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=Recap&gameNumber=224&season=20072008&gameType=3 |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] In Game Five, the Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the second period after goals from Malkin and Hossa, before the Rangers tied in the third. The game entered overtime, the first of the playoffs for the Penguins, where Hossa scored his second goal of the game 7:10 in. With the goal, the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.cite news |title=Semifinals: Game Five recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=225&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Eastern Conference Finals
The Eastern Conference finals began between the Penguins and the
Philadelphia Flyerson May 9. Evgeni Malkin scored with 7 seconds left in the first period to take a 3-2 lead, and extended the advantage with a shorthanded goal in the second period, giving the Penguins a 1-0 advantage in the series.cite news |title=Eastern Finals: Game One recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=311&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] In Game Two, Max Talbot scored to take the lead in the third period, and Jordan Staal added an empty-net goal to give the Penguins a 4-2 win, and a 2-0 series lead. The win was the Penguins seventh consecutive home playoff win, a franchise record, improving on a six-game streak in the 1991-1992 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins also became only the fifth team to start the playoffs with a 10-1 record, and the first since the Detroit Red Wingsin 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs.cite news |title=Eastern Finals: Game Two recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=312&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] Game Three saw the series move across state to Philidelphia, the Penguins struck quickly getting goals from Ryan Whitneyand Hossa within the first eight minutes.cite news |title=Eastern Finals: Game Three recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=Recap&seas=20072008>ype=3&gnum=313|publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] Hossa added his second goal on an empty net to seal the victory. With the win the Penguins become the first team since the 1983 Edmonton Oilers to start the playoffs 11-1. The Penguins failed to close out the Eastern Conference Finals with a sweep of the Flyers in Game Four, losing 4-2. The Flyers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. The Penguins fought back getting two goals from Jordan Staal in the third period, but Joffrey Lupul's second goal on an empty net sealed the win for the Flyers.cite news |title=Eastern Finals: Game Four recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=Recap&seas=20072008>ype=3&gnum=314|publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29] The series returned to Pittsburgh for Game Five, where the Penguins won their eighth consecutive home game by a final score of 6-0, the Prince of Wales Trophy, and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.cite news |title=Eastern Finals: Game Five recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=315&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page|publisher=Associated Press |accessdate=2008-09-29]
tanley Cup Final
The Penguins faced the Western Conference Champion
Detroit Red Wingsfor the Stanley Cup. The best-of-7 game series began in Detroiton May 24, the first series the Penguins opened on the road. It was the third Stanley Cup Finals appearance for the Penguins franchise, the first since consecutive victories during the 1991 Stanley Cup Finalsand the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Wings made their 23rd appearance, and first since the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. The series ended on June 4 with the Red Wings winning in six games.
In Game One at Detroit's
Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings opened scoring in the 2nd period with a goal from Mikael Samuelssonbefore finishing with three goals in the 3rd period from Samuelsson, Dan Cleary, and Henrik Zetterberg, shutting the Penguins out 4-0.cite news |title=Stanley Cup Finals: Game One recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=411&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |accessdate=2008-09-29] In preparation for Game Two head coach, Michel Therrien, revised Pittsburgh's lines; the revision included Gary Robertswho did not play in Game One. [cite news |first= Dave|last= Molinari |title= Moving forward: Therrien shuffles lines hoping to make a difference in Game 2 |url=http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/pg/08147/884953-61.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2008-05-26 |accessdate=2008-05-26]
In Game Two, the Penguins were shut out for a second time. Detroit's
Brad Stuartand Tomas Holmströmscored in the first period and Valtteri Filppulaadded a third goal in the third period. Pittsburgh struggled, failing to direct a shot on goal for the first twelve minutes of the game.cite news |title=Stanley Cup Finals: Game Two recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=412&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League|accessdate=2008-09-29] Pittsburgh shuffled their lineup again prior to Game Three, replacing defensman Kris Letangwith Darryl Sydor. [cite news |first= Dan|last= Rosen|title= Cup winner Sydor jumps back into Pens lineup |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=364556 |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date= 2008-05-28|accessdate=2008-05-28]
Game Three saw the Penguins score their first goal of the Final, when
Sidney Crosbynetted a wrist shot 17:25 into the opening period. Crosby added his second goal of the game early in the second period, on the Power Play. In the third Adam Halladded the game winning goal in the final period with assists from Maxime Talbotand Gary Roberts. The Penguins held off a late charge by the Red Wings to win their first game of the Stanley Cup Final by a score of 3-2.cite news |title=Stanley Cup Finals: Game Three recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=413&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |accessdate=2008-09-29]
Entering Game Four,
Petr Sykorasaid the game was a must-win for the Penguins, "For us, basically, [Game 4] is a do-or-die game". [cite news |first=Dave |last=Molinari |title=Sykora: Penguins face a must-win situation tonight|url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08152/886369-13.stm?cmpid=sports.xml |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |date=2008-05-31 |accessdate=2008-05-31 ] Despite an early goal from Marian Hossa, the Penguins were unable to hold off the Red Wings, who got goals from Nicklas Lidstromand Jiri Hudler. The Penguins inability to capitalize on a 5-on-3 advantage which lasted for 1:26, sealed the third victory of the series for the Red Wings.cite news |title=Stanley Cup Finals: Game Four recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=414&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |accessdate=2008-09-29]
In Game Five of the series, Pittsburgh faced elimination in Detroit where they had not yet won in the series. Down 3-2 with 35 seconds remaining in regulation,
Maxime Talbotscored for the Penguins, who had removed goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to gain an extra skater. The goal tied the game at three, forcing it into sudden-death overtime. In the third overtime period, Petr Sykorascored at the 109:21 mark of the game, to give the Penguins the victory and force Game Six. Sykora's goal was assisted by Evgeni Malkin, who had struggled in the series, and Sergei Gonchar, who was returning for his first shift in fifty minutes, due to an injury. The fifth-longest Stanley Cup game in history, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 55 shots, 24 of which he faced in overtime.cite news |title=Stanley Cup Finals: Game Five recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=415&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |accessdate=2008-09-29] Ryan Maloneplayed in Game Six, despite being hit in the face with the puck in Game Five. It was said the Penguins "seemed almost in awe of the way Malone reacted to a significant facial injury the way most people would a paper cut." [cite news |first= Dave|last= Molinari|title= Penguins again stare at elimination tonight at Mellon Arena|url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08156/887125-13.stm |publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|date= 2008-06-04 |accessdate=2008-06-04]
In Game Six, Pittsburgh got goals from Evgeni Malkin, his first in Stanley Cup Final play, and Marian Hossa. Entering the final minute and trailing by one, Pittsburgh pulled Fleury for the second time that game, hoping to score with circumstances similar to Hossa's earlier goal. A tipped shot which passed in between
Chris Osgoodand the goal line as time expired did not enter the net, giving Detroit the victory. Pittsburgh's final defeat of the season was by a score of 3-2.cite news |title=Stanley Cup Finals: Game Six recap |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameNumber=416&gameType=3&page=Recap&season=20072008&service=page |publisher=National Hockey League |accessdate=2008-10-01] [cite news |first= Phil|last= Coffey |title= Wings go wire-to-wire to capture Cup|url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=Recap&gameNumber=416&season=20072008&gameType=3 |publisher=National Hockey League |date= 2008-06-04|accessdate=2008-06-05]
* Green background indicates win,
* Red indicates loss.
"Note: GP = Games Played; GS = Games Started; MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses; GA = Goals Against; GAA =
Goals Against Average; SA = Shots Against; SV = Saves; SV% = Save Percentage; SO = Shutouts"
Milestones and awards
On April 2, following the final home game against the
Philadelphia Flyers, the team announced its award winners for the season. Awards were given by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, the Penguins Booster Club, as well as voted amongst the team. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=359032&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Penguins Awards Winners |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date-2008-04-03 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
On December 5, following talk of the team's future with
Mark Recchi, the team placed the veteran right wing on waivers. After clearing without being claimed, Recchi was assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguinsof the American Hockey Leaguethe next day. [cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title=Recchi clears waivers |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=345546&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2007-12-05 |accessdate=2008-09-29] [cite news |title=Penguins assign Recchi to WBS |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=345621&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2007-12-06 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The following day, before playing a game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Recchi was placed on re-entry waivers, where he could again be claimed by another team. On Saturday, December 8, Recchi was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers, with whom he joined the following Tuesday. The Penguins and the Thrashers would split the remaining cost of his $ 1.75 million contract. [cite news |title=Thrashers claim veteran forward Mark Recchi |url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=345929&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Associated Press |date=2007-12-08 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
On February 26, just minutes before the trade deadline, the Penguins made a deal with the
Atlanta Thrashersto acquire right wings Marian Hossaand Pascal Dupuisin exchange for wing Colby Armstrong, center Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito, and a 1st round pick in the 2008 draft. [cite web |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=355013&page=NewsPage&service=page |title=Pens acquire Hossa, Dupuis from Atlanta |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins |date=2008-02-26 |accessdate=2008-09-29] In another trade, the Pens brought in the 6-foot-7 defenceman Hal Gillfrom the Toronto Maple Leafsfor a second-round pick in the 2008 draft, and a fifth-round pick in the 2009 draft. [cite news |first=Joe |last=Sager |title=Gill brings physical presence to Pens |url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=355004&page=NewsPage&service=page |publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins|date=2008-02-26 |accessdate=2008-09-29]
2007–08 NHL season
* [http://penguins.nhl.com/ Pittsburgh Penguins official site]
* [http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=Stats Regular season statistics]
* [http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?gameType=3&page=Stats&season=20072008&service=page Playoff statistics]
* [http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app Season schedule and results]
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