On May 1, 2008 the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered through their first playoff loss. A missed breakaway by Ryan Malone, a choppy penalty shot attempt by Evgeni Malkin, and a few other costly errors lost them the game.
Now leading the series 3-1, the Pens are 7-1 in the playoffs. Last night, they could have swept their second series in a row but came up short.
The loss, for better or for worse, might have actually helped the Pens in the overall playoff run. The boys just started to seem like it was getting too easy for them, which really, it is.
This loss is like a wake up call just to remind them that the playoffs are not going to be an easy task. Let’s be honest, the Pens-Rangers series is going to be over on Sunday, game five.
When they win this series, they will go on to play, more than likely, the Flyers. The Pens went 5-3 against them in the regular series and won the last four outings.
So another sweep is still not out of the question. But sweeping the whole Eastern Conference would put too much pressure on the young team.
This loss will fuel the fire for the Penguins, and I do not see them losing another game until the Stanley Cup Finals where anything can happen.
Including Sidney Crosby winning his first Stanley Cup at age 20.