Starting with the most recent matchups first, let's look back at Pittsburgh v. Philadelphia throughout the years.
2008: Pittsburgh defeats Philadelphia 4 games to 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals
Player of the series: Marian Hossa (4 goals, 5 assists)
--Say what you will about Hossa, but give the devil his due, he was great that series. Sidney Crosby, public enemy #1 in Philly, was no slouch either with two goals and five assists against the black and orange.
Number of players that will play in 2009 that played in 2008 for Philly: 11 (Briere, Carter, Coburn, Hartnell, Jones, Lupul, Parent, Richards, Timonen plus goalie Biron)
Number of players that will play in 2009 that played in 2008 for Pittsburgh: 13 (Crosby, Dupuis, Gill, Gonchar, Kennedy, Letang, Malkin, Orpik, Scuderi, Staal, Sykora, Talbot plus goalie Fleury)
2000: Philadelphia defeats Pittsburgh 4-2 in the second round of the Eastern conference playoffs
Series recap: Philadelphia was the top seed in the East that season, and rocked through the Buffalo Sabres in five games in the opening round. For the Pens part they came in as the #7 seed and they cast aside the Capitals aside in five games in the first round.
The Pens took the first two games of the series in Philadelphia, powered by Jaromir Jagr. But Philly would strike back winning Game 3 in OT, and then in Game 4 Keith Primeau's goal in the 5OT longest playoff game in NHL history that really broke the Pens back. The Pens would go on to lose the next two games by a combined 8-4.
The next round, you might recall, pitted the Flyers against the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. This was the infamous series that saw Scott Stevens literally TKO Eric Lindros and end his Flyers career.
Interesting fact: Two players from the 2000 Pens/Flyers series are expected to play in the 2009 Pens/Flyers series. They are Simon Gagne and Mark Eaton (Flyer in 2000, Penguin in 2009). Both, coincidentally, missed the 2008 playoff series due to injuries.
1997: Philadelphia defeats Pittsburgh 4-1 in the first round of the Eastern conference playoffs
This, you might remember, was the first season Mario Lemieux announced retirement. The Pens came into the playoffs as the 6th seed, and despite having a lot of top tier offensive talent (Lemieux, Jagr, Ron Francis) didn't have much of a well-rounded team and were overwhelmed by the much deeper Philadelphia team.
Philly would go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals this season, before Detroit unceremoniously swept them in the Finals.
Interesting fact: The Pens big three combined to score 8 goals and 17 points in the five game series...The rest of the team combined for just 5 goals and 17 points.
1989: Philadelphia defeats Pittsburgh 4-3 in the Patrick Division finals
Mario Lemieux set a franchise record by scoring nine goals in a single series, but it wasn't enough to take the Pens past the Flyers in the first ever post-season meeting of the cross-state rivals. Philly's joy would be shortlived, however, as they lost the next round to Montreal.
Interesing fact: The final score of game five in this series was 10-7 Penguins. Lemieux (pre-cancer and pre-back surgery) scored 5 goals and added on 3 assists in this contest. Unreal.