Record: 34-35-10 (11th in the East)
At long last the regular season at Mellon Arena come to an end. Sure, there will be playoff hockey for one last run. Maybe even a Cup to close out the barn and send things across the street. But by the end of tonight's game, win or loss, the Pens will never play another regular season game at Mellon. Right now that might just bring a shrug of the shoulders, but come the conclusion of the playoffs (wherever they may lead Pittsburgh) I'm sure we'll be hearing a different song.
Before the season even started I was pretty confident John Tavares would pick up at least 50 points in his inaugural season. I think I put the ceiling at something like 65, but I was pretty confident he'd at least reach the 50 point plateau. As of right now, Tavares stands just one point shy of that mark and, in all likelihood, will pick up his 50th point some time over the next three games. Seeing as how he recorded his first point ever against the Pens, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he did it tonight.
In any case, the Islanders are out of the playoff picture, but you wouldn't know that from their recent string of games. You know, the three in a row they've won since the start of the month. Philly, Ottawa, Montreal - all are teams bound for the postseason (we include Philly for now) and all three have lost to Islanders over the past week. Hopefully the Pens don't throw themselves into that mix as well.
So how about it? Let's see the Penguins close out this last regular season game with a 'W.' No kiddin around. No playing two of the three periods. I want 60 minutes of hockey. Nonstop hitting. If the Pens get the lead I want them to keep putting their top players out there. No mercy. No surrender. Make a memory and etch it into the Islanders' brain till next season and smack them around again at Consol Energy Center. Who knows when or where the road comes to an end? All I know is that the Pens still have more hockey to play and there's still a chance to claim that big, shiny cup waiting at the end of it.
Puck and thread at 7:30.