Pittsburgh PenguinsDownload App

The 25 Greatest Penguin Games Since Crosby's Rookie Season

Daniel HarmonContributor IJuly 28, 2016

The 25 Greatest Penguin Games Since Crosby's Rookie Season

1 of 27

    Crosby in his rookie season.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    18 year old Sidney Crosby played his first game in a Pittsburgh Penguins uniform on October 5, 2005. Although a -2 in that night's 5-1 loss to New Jersey, Crosby registered his first point in his NHL career on a goal by Mark Recchi.

    Every fan had hopes that Crosby would be the answer that not only Pittsburgh, but the NHL was looking for. Even with a terrible team record that began with an 0-4-5 start, Crosby was able to make the highlight reel.

    When he put on the No. 87 for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he brought a new element that fans had not seen since Mario Lemieux's prime.

    Since his arrival, Penguins fans have seen many great games and great moments. In this slideshow, we count down the top 25 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins since the lockout ended in 2005-2006, Crosby's rookie year.

Honorable Mentions

2 of 27

    Final game at the mellon.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The following games didn't crack the top 25, but are in the "top 30".

    October 26, 2006- Pens 8, Flyers 2- Crosby's first career hat trick

    April 8, 2010- Pens 7, Islanders 3- Final Game At Mellon Arena

    May 13, 2009- Pens 6, Capitals 2- Penguins defeat Washington in 7 games

    January 3, 2008- Pens 6, Maple Leafs 2- 3 goals in 48 seconds, Malkin's first hat trick

    October 4, 2008- Pens 4, Senators 3 (OT)- Pens win in Stockholm

No.25: October 27, 2005

3 of 27

    Pittsburgh had dropped its first nine games of the 2005-2006 NHL regular season. Against the Atlanta Thrashers it looked as if it would become ten straight losses.

    In the first 9:50, Ilya Kovalchuck collected four points (1 G + 3A), and chased starting netminder Jocelyn Thibault from the contest.

    18 seconds after going down 4-0, Mario Lemiuex scored on the powerplay. Nine minutes later, Lemiuex scored again.

    Halfway through the game it was a 4-2 lead for Atlanta, until a pair of Sergei Gonchar power play goals tied the game at 4-4.

    31 seconds after the tying goal, John Leclair scored, giving the Penguins a lead that seemed impossible after the first nine minutes. Less than a minute after that? Ric Jackman scored giving the Penguins a 6-4 lead.

    In the third, Leclair would score again, giving the Penguins enough for a 7-5 win over the Thrashers, their first win in 10 games.

    Crosby notched two assists, but was overshadowed by the 40 year old Lemieux who notched five points ( 2 G + 3 A) in the victory.

    Note: Six of the Penguins seven goals were scored on the power play.

No.24: April 22, 2010

4 of 27

    The Penguins had a chance to close out the Ottawa Senators in game five of the 2009-2010 playoffs. The game looked to be a good one as Ottawa fought for survival.

    The Senators jumped to a 2-0 lead early on goals from Jarkko Ruutu and Mike Fischer. Kris Letang got the Pens on the board for the first time, and Ottawa held a 2-1 lead after two.

    In the second period it was Chris Kunitz who notched the only goal of the period to tie the game 2-2.

    Sidney Crosby's goal halfway through the third period gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead. Just a minute later though, Peter Regin scored to tie the game at three.

    The game headed to the first overtime, as both teams looked to score. Though shots went back and forth, neither team scored. The game headed to overtime number two. Again, the teams swapped scoring chances, but neither team could beat the others goaltender.

    In the third overtime, it took a Matt Carkner shot deflected off of Matt Cooke to beat Marc-Andre Fleury. The goal forced a game six in Ottawa, but the three overtime periods allowed for a thriller.

    Though the Penguins lost, it was a memorable game.

No.23: December 6, 2007

5 of 27

    Heading into the game against Calgary, the Penguins looked to be heating up. The Penguins were following up a stretch of games in which they had a 1-6 record with a new stretch in which they were 5-1. A big reason to their success was Marc-Andre Fleury who was on a winning streak.

    4:39 into period number one, Fleury left the game with a high ankle sprain after an awkward fall on the ice. It was up to Dany Sabourin to earn the win in Calgary.

    After falling behind 1-0 at the end of the first period on a goal by Jarome Iginla, the Pens bounced back on a goal from Evgeni Malkin in the second.

    Another Iginla goal left Sabourin and the Penguins trailing heading into the third period. That's when Pittsburgh's own Ryan Malone scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game.

    With the help of Dany Sabourin's late saves, the Penguins and Flames headed to a shootout.

    Kristian Huselius and Petr Sykora, the first shooters, both scored in the shootout. The next shootout goal came in the fourth round of the shootout, as Pittsburgh's Kris Letang scored on Miikka Kiprusoff to earn the victory.

    It was Letang's first shootout attempt and his first shootout goal.

No.22: January 21, 2008

6 of 27

    With Sidney Crosby out of the lineup recovering from a sprained ankle, Evgeni Malkin was the man everyone turned their eyes to. Malkin took his game to a new level, and seemed Crosby-like in his own game.

    On January 21, 2008, the Washington Capitals and Penguins faced off at Mellon Arena. The two Russians, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin faced off against one another.

    Max Talbot earned the Penguins first goal four minutes into the game. Minutes later, Tomas Fleischmann tied the game. Viktor Kozlov followed up with another goal, giving Washington the lead.

    Malkin scored on a backhander at 16:49 to tie the game 2-2 heading to the second.

    In the second period, Ovechkin quickly notted a goal less than two minutes in. Two minutes later, Malkin scored to tie the game again.

    A goal by Petr Sykora gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead, but shortly after Ovechkin scored again to tie the game.Dany Sabourin was pulled, and Ty Conklin took his place.

    Ryan Malone and Viktor Kozlov traded goals in the third, and the Pens and Caps were forced into a shootout.

    Jarkko Ruutu scored for the Penguins in the shootout, but Ovechkin and Alexander Semin scored to give the Capitals the victory and the extra point. Malkin led the Penguins effort with a three point night. (2 G + 1 A)

    Note: This game may be most remembered for Ovechkin trying to lay out Malkin, and Malkin turning away sending Ovechkin flying into the boards all alone.

No.21: March 12, 2008

7 of 27

    Just two games after his initial return to the ice from his ankle sprain, Crosby again was out of the lineup due to soreness from his injury.

    The Penguins had an astonishing 39-24-7 record on the season, despite not having Crosby nor starter Marc-Andre Fleury in the lineup.

    The Penguins started the game with Ty Conklin in net. Conklin was 3-0 against Buffalo that year with a stunning 0.65 goals allowed average. He notched a shutout against the Sabres on December 29th.

    The Penguins were without Crosby, Marian Hossa and others. Players such as Ryan Stone, Chris Minard, Jeff Taffe and Connor James all had opportunities to play.

    At 3:30 in the first period, Tyler Kennedy scored to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

    Goals by Taffe and Sergei Gonchar gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead heading into the third period. A goal by Petr Sykora put the Penguins up 4-0 early in the third.

    Buffalo tried to come back in the game, scoring two quick goals to make the score 4-2.

    That was when Evgeni Malkin scored, followed by Chris Minard's first NHL goal to make it 6-2, chasing goalie Ryan Miller from the game.

    The final score was 7-3. The Penguins swept the season series 4-0 for the first time.

    After the game, Malkin trailed Alexander Ovechkin's scoring lead, 97 points, by four.

No.20:March 9, 2008

8 of 27

    After missing 21 games with a sprained ankle, Sidney Crosby was back in the lineup against the Washington Capitals to play in NBC's game of the week.

    The rivalry between Crosby and Ovechkin continued as the two teams played a tight game early on.

    With no scoring in the first period, the scoreless tie was broken in the second by Brooks Laich on a power play goal. The lead was short-lived though as just over a minute later the Penguins tied the game on a goal by Petr Sykora.

    With 2:52 remaining in the second period, Crosby notched a goal, his first since his return. The Capitals followed with a goal from Alexander Semin with just 14 seconds to play in the second period.

    The game looked destined for overtime, until rookie Nicklas Backstrom tried to clear the puck from the crease and shot it into his own net with just 28 seconds remaining in regulation. The goal was given to Crosby, who touched the puck last.

    Followed by a Jordan Staal empty net goal, the Penguins defeated the Capitals 4-2.

No.19: January 25, 2006

9 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins were playing with sorrow against the Washington Capitals. This game marked the first game since Mario Lemieux announced his retirement. There would be no more comebacks, Super Mario was gone for good.

    Fans looked to the Penguins for something to cheer about. The Penguins lost their captain, and were on a 10 game losing streak.

    A close game turned into a 1-0 lead late in the first period for the Penguins as John Leclair scored.

    The second period started with a goal by Alexander Ovechkin. The game was tied at one, but that was all the Capitals would score.

    Looking as if they were playing with all of their heart, the Penguins launched an attack.

    Mark Recchi scored two goals. Then John LeClair scored again. Thomas Surovy buried one. Followed by Crosby's goal. Eric Boguniecki scored to make it 7-1. And finally, on a shorthanded penalty shot, Ryan Malone tallied the Penguins last goal in an 8-1 victory.

    The Penguin fans enjoyed a bittersweet victory. It was their only victory over a stretch of 18 games. Crosby notched four points in the game. (1 G + 3 A)

No.18: April 9, 2009

10 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins, playing to collect home-ice advantage in the playoffs, looked to their final home game as a chance to move up in the playoff seeding. Evgeni Malkin was also trying to extend his scoring lead on Alexander Ovechkin.

    The New York Islanders, out of the playoffs, looked to play spoiler, and got on the board early on a power play goal from Frans Nielson. From that point on, the scoreboard would read all Pittsburgh.

    Goals from Philippe Boucher, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Bill Guerin, Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy gave the Penguins a 6-1 victory, and tied them for home ice advantage in the playoffs with one game remaining against Montreal.

    What about Malkin? Two assists gave Malkin a four point lead on Alexander Ovechkin in the scoring race with just one game remaining.

No.17: December 13, 2006

11 of 27

    Sidney Crosby was close in the scoring race behind points leader Jaromir Jagr and needed a big game if he wanted to take possession of the scoring leader.

    The game was against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Pittsburgh Penguins were 4-0 against their cross-state rivals in their season series thus far, and looked to continue their streak against Philly.

    The first three shots of the game, combined, went in. Chris Thorburn scored on a wrist shot, Crosby made a pass that went into the net and then Philadelphia's Ryan Potulny scored making the score 2-1.

    The Flyers tied the game at two apiece thanks to a goal from Todd Fedoruk, but trailed after Crosby and Mark Recchi set up a goal by Sergei Gonchar to make it 3-2.

    The second period was all Penguins, as Ryan Malone scored his first of the year, along with another from Gonchar and a goal from Mark Recchi. Crosby recorded assists on each goal.

    After a shorthanded goal from Kyle Calder made the score 6-3, Crosby and Malone set up Michel Ouellet for a goal to make it 7-3. Crosby recorded his sixth point of the night.

    With just seven seconds remaining, Jordan Staal deked around the Flyers defense for an amazing goal to close out the Flyers 8-4.

    The Penguins were 5-0 against the Flyers, and thanks to his six point night, Crosby was now atop the scoring race.

No.16: March 4, 2007

12 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins had the opportunity to do something they had never done before: sweep an eight-game series against the Philadelphia Flyers. 7-0 against the Flyers heading into the Sunday afternoon matchup, the Penguins looked to win their eighth.

    It didn't look likely that the sweep was possible after the Flyers scored twice in the first period. Mike York and Braydon Coburn scored to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead after one period of play.

    The Penguins came back strong in the second period on a goal by Gary Roberts at 10:47. Another goal by Erik Christensen at 17:20 tied the game 2-2.

    In the third, a tip in by R.J. Umberger put the Penguins behind with just 14 minutes to play. Christensen tied the game with just five minutes remaining, keeping the attempt at the sweep alive.

    The score tied through overtime, the game then went to a shootout. In the shootout it was goals by Christensen and Crosby that locked up the sweep.

    8-0 against the Flyers, the Penguins put away their cross-state rivals once and for all.

No.15: May 18, 2008

13 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins had what seemed to be an easy ride through the Eastern Conference teams in their quest for their first Stanley Cup since 1992.

    One win separated the Penguins from the Eastern Conference Championship. Game 5 against the Philadelphia Flyers came on home ice, and the Penguins wanted to clinch.

    The game was no contest. Goals from Ryan Malone and Evgeni Malkin highlighted a 2-0 Pens lead after the first period.

    The second period saw goals from Marian Hossa, Malone and Jordan Staal. With a 5-0 lead heading into the third period, the Penguins looked well on their way to a Stanley Cup berth.

    Pascal Dupuis scored the Penguins sixth goal and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 21 shots that came his way in the 6-0 victory over the Flyers. The Penguins were heading to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 16 years.

No.14: March 6, 2007

14 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators faced off in Ottawa in what turned out to be a preview of the Penguins first round playoff matchup.

    The game began with a goal by Colby Armstrong 5:56 into the first period. After that, Ottawa chased away Marc-Andre Fleury with three unanswered goals.

    The Senators took a 4-1 lead, as Dany Heatley beat backup goaltender Jocelyn Thibault on the power play.

    In the third, it looked like the Senators would hold the victory, but a shorthanded goal by Jordan Staal changed the momentum. It was 4-2 Sens.

    1:40 later, it was Gary Roberts scoring for the Penguins. Then 1:08 after that, Ryan Malone tied the game 4-4, beating Ray Emery.

    The game went to a shootout, where Jocelyn Thibault who did not start the game saved the first two shots he faced after Erik Christensen got the Penguins on the board. Dean McAmmond scored to tie the shootout score, but Sidney Crosby put the Senators away with his shootout goal.

    The final score: 5-4

No.13: May 4, 2008

15 of 27

    Game 5 of the second round playoff series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. The Rangers had won Game 4, and were looking to force a game 6 at Madison Square Garden.

    If the Penguins wanted to put away the Rangers, they knew they had to do it on home ice.

    The game was scoreless through the first period, as both goaltenders put on a display of saves.

    The ice was broken at 8:45 of the second period. as Marian Hossa notched a power play goal to put the Penguins up 1-0.

    Four minutes later, it was Evgeni Malkin's turn to score. Malkin's backhander gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.

    The Rangers desperation to stay alive showed up in the third. Two goals in the first 3:25, one by Lauri Korpikoski and one by Nigel Dawes, tied the game at two. The rest of the third period saw the teams battling to get the next goal.

    Both teams took their battle into an overtime period. New York needed to win to play another day. Pittsburgh needed to win to avoid a game six.

    7:10 into overtime, a play developed from the Penguins own end, as Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis found their way into the Rangers zone. Dupuis tried to pass the puck to Crosby, but instead it was picked up by a streaking Hossa who ripped a shot behind goaltender Henrik Lundqvuist to send the Penguins to the Eastern Conference Finals.

No.12: November 14, 2009

16 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins were hurting for defensemen heading into their matchup against the Boston Bruins. Brooks Orpik, Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang were unable to play. Who got into the lineup? Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Marty Skoula.

    The game against the Bruins was a back-and-forth one.

    1:42 into the game, Jay McKee scored his first goal as a Penguin. The Pens took a 1-0 lead. The goal was followed by a fight between Deryk Engelland and Byron Bitz.

    The second goal of the game was scored by Boston. Blake Wheeler was able to beat goaltender Brent Johnson to tie the game at one.

    At 16:24, it was Pascal Dupuis beating Tim Thomas with a shot to put the Penguins back up 2-1 heading into period number two.

    After Michael Ryder tied the game 2-2, Sidney Crosby scored to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead halfway through the game. Just five minutes later, however, Derek Morris scored to bring Boston all even with Pittsburgh.

    In the third period, Mark Eaton gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead with his second goal of the season. Two bad breaks resulted in goals late in the period by David Krejci and Marco Sturm. The Bruins held a 5-4 lead with under a minute to play.

    The Penguins were trapped in their own zone with 10 seconds to play. A puck came to the stick of Bruin Patrice Bergeron, and when he went to play it his stick broke. Evgeni Malkin stole the puck and dished it to Bill Guerin in the Bruins' zone. Guerin scored to tie the game at five goals a piece with just 0.4 seconds remaining on the game clock.

    The Penguins had all the momentum, and a turnover by Thomas led to Dupuis' second goal of the game, and the game-winning goal in overtime. Dupuis 100th career goal gave the Penguins a 6-5 OT victory.

No.11: January 1, 2008

17 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres found themselves playing the game as if they were kids again. The first NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day has become a tradition since being played in Buffalo.

    The Penguins, and magic man Ty Conklin, were coming off a 2-0 shutout against the Sabres in their last game.

    Almost immediately after the puck dropped, the Penguins had a 1-0 lead thanks to Colby Armstrong's goal 21 seconds into the matchup.

    The only other goal scored in regulation was scored by Brian Campbell early in the second period. Both Conklin and Sabres' goalie Ryan Miller played strong, forcing the game into overtime.

    Scoreless in overtime, the winter classic headed to a shootout. All the delays to fix the ice, and the sometimes awful camera angles seemed worth it for this moment. A shootout in the snow.

    Ales Kotalik was up first against Conklin in the shootout. He scores.

    Erik Christensen shoots first for the Penguins. He misses.

    Tim Connolly is up next for the Sabres. He is stopped.

    Kris Letang, Pittsburgh's second shooter scores to tie the shootout.

    Buffalo's third shooter Maxim Afinogenov is unable to beat Conklin. Sidney Crosby has the chance to win it.

    "Crosby, the game on his stick right here. Score! Penguins Win!" The Penguins, in a shootout, win the first Winter Classic by the score of 2-1.

No.10: December 11, 2008

18 of 27

    In his entire career, Petr Sykora had put together the NHL's longest streak without a hat trick for players who have scored two goals in a game. Sykora entered the game against the New York Islanders with the same chance to do so that he had every game in his career.

    In goal for the Penguins was rookie John Curry, playing due to an injury to Marc-Andre Fleury.

    Pascal Dupuis started the scoring with his fourth goal of the year. He was followed by Miroslav Satan, who scored his eleventh goal of the season. The Penguins had an early 2-0 lead in the first period.

    Then, at 17:29, the Islanders got on the board with a power play goal from Mark Streit. Just eleven seconds later at 17:40, Sykora scored his eighth of the season. At 18:19, Phillppe Boucher scored his first of the season. The Penguins led 4-1 after the first period.

    In the second period, Evgeni Malkin scored his twelfth of the season at 2:02. The sixth goal was scored by Petr Sykora on the power play, his ninth goal of the year. Sykora had two goals, and was looking for his first career hat trick.

    At 15:42 in the second period, the streak was over. On the power play, Sykora scored his tenth goal of the season and third of the game. A hat trick, finally.

    The parade was not over, however, as Pascal Dupuis scored his second of the game to make the score 8-1 in favor of the Penguins with one period left to play.

    A goal by Andy Sutton made it 8-2 Pittsburgh, and that was the last time the Isles would score. The Penguins had one goal left in their game. That goal came from Dupuis, his third of the game.The hat trick was the first of his career.

    Sykora and Dupuis first career hat tricks were the amazing highlight of this blowout win versus the New York Islanders.

No.9: April 25, 2008

19 of 27

    The Pittsburgh Penguins were set to take on the New York Rangers in round two of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Fresh off their sweep of the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins looked to jump on the Rangers early.

    It didn't happen.

    In the first period, Martin Straka scored to give the Rangers a lead of 1-0.

    1:52 into the second period, Chris Drury scored making it 2-0. Then at 3:37, Sean Avery made it 3-0 Rangers. The Penguins were in deep trouble, they had not come back from a three goal deficit all season long. They would need bounces to go their way if they wanted to climb back into the game.

    At 8:13, they got their first break. Jarkko Ruutu shot a puck that caromed in behind goaltender Henrik Lundqvuist to make the score 3-1. Just 14 seconds later, Pascal Dupuis ripped a slapshot into the twine for the Penguins' second goal. Heading into the third period, the Penguins trailed 3-2.

    The third period looked strikingly like the second period. At 4:40, Marian Hossa's zero angle shot found its way into the net, tying the game at 3-3. 20 seconds later at five minutes exactly, Evgeni Malkin found Petr Sykora on a one-time shot to give the Penguins the lead for the first time all game, 4-3.

    The Rangers would fight back, however, as Scott Gomez would score to tie the game yet again. With the score 4-4, both teams wanted the next goal.

    An interference call on Martin Straka gave the Penguins a power play with 3:20 left to play in regulation. With that power play, Sidney Crosby ripped a slapshot from the point that was tipped into the net by Malkin. The Penguins took the victory 5-4, coming back from a three goal deficit to win.

No.8: November 11, 2008

20 of 27

    In the 2007-2008 Stanley Cup Finals, the Penguins fell short of winning the Stanley Cup with a loss to the Detroit Red Wings on home ice.

    On November 11, 2008, the two teams met again in Hockeytown. For many Penguins fans, this was the chance to beat Detroit after the bad taste in their mouths after the Stanley Cup Finals. Some even said that this game represented what would have happened had the series gone seven games.

    This also was the Penguins first time playing Marian Hossa since he left them to join the Red Wings to "win the Stanley Cup".

    Needless to say, the Penguins and their fans wanted this win badly.

    4:34 into the first period the Penguins jumped out to a lead on a goal by Sidney Crosby. The lead stood for ten minutes before a pair of goals in two minutes put Detroit up 2-1.

    1:09 into the second period Detroit went ahead 3-1 on a goal by Johan Franzen.

    The Penguins made it 3-2 on a goal by Max Talbot. With 1:58 left in the second, however, Pavel Datsyuk made it 4-2 Red Wings.

    It was much of the same early in the third period as Henrik Zetterberg scored to make it 5-2.

    With a five-on-three power play, Evgeni Malkin tallied one to make it 5-3. The goal was enough to keep the Penguins within striking distance. 1:12 later, they were even closer as Jordan Staal made the score 5-4.

    After Jiri Hudler responded, putting the Red Wings up 6-4 time was running out.

    Staal didn't care how much time was left, he just wanted to score. A goal with 4:09 left in the game brought the Penguins within one goal again.

    Just as seen in game five of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Penguins pulled their goaltender, down by one with under a minute to play. A face-off win by Mike Zigomanis gave the Penguins possession with 30 seconds left.

    Staal buried the puck in the net for a game-tying hat trick with just 23 seconds remaining.

    Staal was not done yet though. On a turnover, at 3:49 in overtime, Staal found Ruslan Fedotenko for the game-winning goal.

    In one of the most dramatic games in Penguins regular season history, the Penguins won their first meeting against Detroit since losing the Stanley Cup.

No.7: May 4, 2009

21 of 27

    After losing game one against the Washington Capitals 3-2, the Penguins looked to win game two in Washington.

    The game saw a fantastic performance by the sports two biggest rivals: Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.

    The Penguins held a 1-0 lead after the first period thanks to a goal from Crosby. The goal was Crosby's sixth of the playoffs.

    The second period saw Washington increase their strong play. Ovechkin tied the game 1-1 just two minutes into the second period. Crosby would counter with his second of the game eight minutes later, giving the Penguins the lead again. Shortly thereafter, the Capitals would tie the game on a goal by David Steckel. The score was 2-2 heading into the third.

    Ovechkin was a force in the third, scoring twice to complete the hat trick and putting his team up 4-2 with less than four minutes to play. The hat trick was Ovechkin's first in the playoffs.

    Crosby would tally one more for his first playoff hat trick with thirty seconds remaining. The Penguins would fall to the Capitals 4-3 in a game highlighted by the games biggest stars.

No.6: November 10, 2005

22 of 27

    The Montreal Canadiens seemed to have a much better team than the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their record was better, their plus/minus was better, their numbers were better. The Penguins, fresh off a 5-0 loss to Atlanta had to bring their best to beat Montreal.

    In front of a sell-out crowd, due to it being 1991 Stanley Cup DVD night, the Penguins jumped to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. (The goal would turn out to be the last of Lemieux's Hall of Fame career.)

    The Candiens would fight back scoring two unanswered goals to send the game to overtime. Although they had the edge in overtime, the Canadiens could not beat starter Jocelyn Thibault and the game went to a shootout.

    The first shootout in the history of the Montreal Canadiens was underway.

    Michael Ryder skated in on Thibault, but was stopped. Mark Recchi nearly beat Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore, but was unable to.

    The second shooter for the Canadiens was former Penguin, Alex Kovalev. With a high scoring percentage in pre-season shootouts, Kovalev skated towards Thibault, but was unable to beat him.

    Lemieux was the second shooter for the Penguins. Trying to make a move, Lemieux lost the puck before he could beat Theodore. It was now a sudden death shootout.

    Alexander Perezhogin, the third shooter for the Canadiens, was unable to beat Thibault. This set up a chance for Crosby to win the shootout.

    Crosby skated in to the cheers of the crowd. He took the puck, flipped it to his backhand and scored top shelf, knocking the water bottle sky high. Crosby won the shootout on a fantastic move, and the Penguins defeated the Canadiens 3-2.

No.5: April 17, 2006

23 of 27

    For the final home game of his rookie season, Sidney Crosby had a goal in mind: get his 100th point. If Crosby was going to be the youngest player to score 100 points in a season, he wanted to do it in front of the Pittsburgh Penguins faithful.

    In front of another sell-out crowd, Crosby got point number 98 just over a minute into the game on a goal by forward Andy Hilbert. The Penguins gained a 2-0 lead after Ryan Malone's goal in the first period.

    The Islanders cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Miroslav Satan early in the second period, but the Penguins answered back. With five minutes to play in the second period, Crosby set up Tomas Survoy's goal. The assist gave Crosby 99 points on the season.

    Just 30 seconds later, on the start of a five minute major power play, Crosby passed the puck to Ryan Malone. Malone wound up for a slapshot and fired it past netminder Garth Snow. Crosby's assist on the goal made him the youngest player in NHL history to register 100 points. It is a moment that Penguins fans will never forget.

    A shorthanded goal by Josef Melichar and a pretty move by Ryan Whitney on his way to the goal closed out the season at home with a 6-1 victory over the Islanders.

    Crosby would score two more points in the season finale, ending his rookie campaign with 102 points. Crosby's performance was the bright moment in a dark season for Pittsburgh.

No.4: April 25, 2009

24 of 27

    In 2007-2008, the Pittsburgh Penguins knocked the Philadelphia Flyers out of the playoffs. The Flyers wanted revenge. To do that, they would have to force a game seven against the Pens.

    Late in the first period, Mike Knuble and Joffrey Lupul scored to give the Flyers a 2-0 advantage after one period of play. To begin the second period, they extended their lead on a goal by Danny Briere.

    At 4:21 in the second period, Max Talbot fought Daniel Carcillo. Although he lost, Talbot made a gesture to the Flyers fans. He put his finger to his mouth and said "ssh". Was the fight enough to turn the momentum?

    14 seconds after the fight, at 4:35, Ruslan Fedotenko got the Penguins on the board. Two minutes later, Mark Eaton scored to bring the Penguins within one goal of the Flyers. Then, at 16:59 of the second period, Sidney Crosby scored on a wrist shot to tie the game. Heading to the third period, the score was tied 3-3.

    It didn't take long for a goal in the third period. Two minutes in, Sergei Gonchar put the Penguins on top 4-3. An empty net goal by Crosby sealed the game for Pittsburgh.

    From three goals down to a 5-3 victory. Max Talbot's gesture changed the momentum and sent Pittsburgh to the next round.

No.3: May 6, 2009

25 of 27

    Down 2-0 in the series against the Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins headed home to Mellon Arena in need of a victory.

    The first period started quickly, as Alexander Ovechkin scored the games first goal 1:23 in. 1-0 Washington after one period.

    In the second period, Ruslan Fedotenko scored to tie the game with the only goal of the period.

    In the third period, both teams fought for the next goal. The goal went to Evgeni Malkin with five minutes to play.

    Malkin's goal was matched three minutes later by Nicklas Backstrom on the power play. The score was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. To have a real chance to win the series, the Penguins had to score first.

    At 11:23 in the third period, on a set play off a faceoff Kris Letang fired the puck into the net, giving the Penguins the win in overtime. The final score was 3-2, and the Penguins climbed back into the series.

No.2: June 12, 2009

26 of 27

    The story couldn't be more perfect. The Pittsburgh Penguins had forced a game seven against the team that had defeated them for the Stanley Cup the previous year. They had a chance to beat Detroit and Marian Hossa, exactly who the Penguins fans wanted to beat.

    Coming out of game six, the Penguins had the momentum. In the first period, there was no scoring but a high amount of offensive play. Both teams were trying to score the first goal, unsuccessfully.

    1:13 into the second period, Maxime Talbot scored the first goal of the game, beating Chris Osgood. Just nine minutes later, Talbot beat Osgood again, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead. A lead they would have to hold without Sidney Crosby, who left the game with an injured knee.

    The team did its best to shut down Detroit in the third period, but a goal by Jonathan Ericsson gave Detroit new life with just five minutes to play. A goal post by Niklas Kronwall nearly tied the game 2-2.

    The Penguins held on as best they could, and the game came down to a face-off with six seconds left. A shot off the face-off created a rebound opportunity for Lidstrom with time running out. Fleury made a diving save on the shot, and time expired.

    The Penguins had won the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Championship.

No.1: June 2, 2008

27 of 27

    After losing game four in Pittsburgh, the Penguins were in a win or go home situation. A loss in Detroit would hand the Red Wings the Stanley Cup in a 4-1 series win. Pittsburgh headed to Hockeytown needing to win.

    8:37 into period number one, Marian Hossa scored to give the Penguins a quick 1-0 lead. Six minutes later, Adam Hall beat Chris Osgood to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. The Penguins had some breathing room, but had to keep the pressure on to win game 5.

    2:54 into period number two, Darren Helm scored, cutting the lead to one. The Penguins held the Red Wings to one goal in the second, and nursed a one goal lead heading into the third period.

    In period number three, bad luck struck the Penguins. A power play goal by Pavel Datsyuk 6:43 into the third tied the game at two. Three minutes later, Brian Rafalski scored, putting the Red Wings up 3-2. Hockeytown was buzzing, and Detroit was inching closer to the Stanley Cup.

    Penguins fans had to witness NBC showing the Stanley Cup being prepared with just five minutes to go. As time wound down, the Penguins pulled Marc-Andre Fleury in their last breath effort. With just 35 seconds to go, Maxime Talbot stuffed the puck by Osgood, stunning the crowd and sending the game to overtime.

    Up and down the game went in overtime. Fans waiting to celebrate the game-winning goal. The goal didn't come in the first overtime. It didn't come in the second overtime either.

    Petr Sykora told Pierre McGuire, NBC analyst, that he would score the game-winning goal. 9:57 into overtime number three, Sykora became a man of his word. Sykora scored, keeping the Penguins alive in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    In what may be the most dramatic game since Sidney Crosby's rookie season, the Penguins found enough magic to win.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices