Penguins aim higher after extending playoff streak to 15 consecutive seasons
The Pittsburgh Penguins qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 15th straight season, but said there was more to do.
“None of us are happy,” said coach Mike Sullivan after a 5-4 overtime win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday. “We understand there’s a lot of work to be done here. But we’re going to take a deep breath tonight and just enjoy it.”
The victory saw the Penguins advance to the Penguins, who have the longest active streak to reach the playoffs among teams in North America’s four major professional sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA). The 15 consecutive seasons are a record for the Penguins.
Video: Pittsburgh Penguins win playoff berth
It’s the 11th time an NHL team has made at least 15 consecutive playoff trips and it’s the longest run since the Detroit Red Wings qualified for the last of their 25 straight appearances in 2016.
Centers Sidney crosby, Evgeni malkin and defender Kris Letang are the only players left since the streak began in 2006-07. Crosby was in his second season, and Malkin and Letang were rookies. In 15 seasons, Pittsburgh has won the Stanley Cup three times (2009. 2016, 2017).
The Penguins (33-15-3) have reached the playoffs without having Malkin in the lineup for the past 22 games. They are 15-5-2 without their second-row center, whose status is uncertain for the second of two games on Saturday in Washington (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV ).
“If you’re on the ice with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang, you don’t want to let them down,” the defender Mike Matheson mentionned. “Not because they’re going to yell at you or anything like that. [those] Type of [guys], but they make you raise your level to catch up with them. I think our leadership is the main reason. ”
Attackers Jake guentzel and Bryan rust are the only Penguins not to have missed a game this season.
“Our management is doing a great job of managing this,” said Matheson. “Our main guys who have been our leaders for a long time are so good at making sure that everyone who comes into the roster knows they are there for a reason and that they are there to contribute. world is coming. feels comfortable knowing that and wants to do their best. “
Pittsburgh is tied with Washington for first place in the eight-team MassMutual East division. The Capitals, who also clinched a berth on Thursday, have played one game less.
“This is our 15th consecutive year in the playoffs,” said the goaltender Tristan Jarry mentionned. “I think it’s a huge accomplishment for Pittsburgh. It says a lot about the city and the teams that have been brought together here. I think it’s great. Obviously it’s exciting for us to be. again in the playoffs. I think now it’s just trying to put yourself in the best possible position. ”
The Penguins have won a playoff series since winning the Stanley Cup in 2017.
“It’s a start,” Guentzel said. “That’s what we wanted to do at the start of the year, qualify for the playoffs. Our division is tough. So we took our first step there. Now we have to keep grinding these last five games. to see where we can … end up in the division here. “