Penguins' Kris Letang Ties Franchise Record for Playoff Goals by a Defenseman

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffMay 15, 2014

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 4:  Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins shoots and scores in front of Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 4, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Kris Letang may walk away from the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs with a bitter taste in his mouth, but he also exits the tournament as the co-leader in career postseason goals by a Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman, per the team's official website.

Letang scored his 14th career playoff goal in a first-round Game 5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, finding an empty net to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead with just over one minute remaining. 

His second goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs required a bit more effort, though it was hardly a thing of beauty. In the second period of a Game 2 win over the New York Rangers, Letang attempted a centering pass to teammate Chris Kunitz, only to see the puck deflect into the net off Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.

The lucky mark pulled Letang's tally to 15 career postseason goals, matching the number accumulated by retired defenseman Larry Murphy in a Penguins jersey.

In the wake of Tuesday's crushing Game 7 loss to the Rangers, Letang probably isn't in the mood to celebrate milestones. Not only did his Pens fail to meet expectations, but the scoring-minded defenseman tallied a modest six points in 13 playoff games after piling up 16 points in 15 postseason games last year.

Furthermore, half of his six points during this year's playoffs came in one contest, that aforementioned Game 2 against the Rangers.

Still, the fact that Letang was able to play at all bodes well for his odds of regaining top form next season. The 27-year-old blueliner missed 26 games during the regular season due to a stroke that he suffered on Jan. 29. Overall, the talented defender suited up for just 37 regular-season games in 2013-14, recording 11 goals and 22 points in the process.

Letang has an impressive 15 goals and 38 assists in in 93 career playoff games, but he'll have to wait 11 months before adding to the total.