Charles Krupa/Associated Press
Perhaps no team has ever entered the Stanley Cup playoffs on as big of a roll as did the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Penguins.
Having walked away with the Atlantic Division title and the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Pens seemed unstoppable as they reeled off 15-straight wins near the end of the season.
After adding Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray at the trade deadline, the Pens were seen as the prohibitive Stanley Cup favorites, and despite the late-season loss of Sidney Crosby to a broken jaw, won eight of their last 10 games.
However, in their first-round matchup against the upstart New York Islanders, the Pens quickly learned the hard way that tenacity and hard work can overcome a talent disparity, as the Islanders twice rebounded from losses to tie the series at two games a piece and drove goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the bench.
With strong goaltending by Tomas Vokoun, the Pens were able to right the ship and close out the Islanders in six games before dispatching of the overmatched Ottawa Senators in just five games.
Facing the Boston Bruins on home ice for the start of the Eastern Conference Final, the Pens seemed to have everything going their way, but facing a physical and disciplined opponent, the Pens lost their focus as well as the first two games of the series by a combined score of 9-1.
Despite much stronger showings in the next two games on the road, the Pens could only muster a single goal and were swept for the first time since 1978-79 Boston Bruins accomplished the feat.