Your little house on memory lane

Bruce Bennett

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to eliminate the New York Rangers tonight. Let's go back and see how the Pens have done over the years with chances to finish out series in the Crosby/Malkin era.

Tonight will mark the 22nd time in the Crosby/Malkin era that the Pittsburgh Penguins can win a playoff series by winning a game. "Killer instinct" is often talked about among fans, so let's take a look back and see how the Pens have done when they've had the chance to end series.

Year Opponent Game Result
2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 6 (on road) Pens jump out to a 4-0 lead, hold on to win 4-3
2013 Ottawa Senators
5 (at home) James Neal has hat trick, Pens crush Sens
2013 New York Islanders
6 (on road) Brooks Orpik 's OT goal wins it
2011 Tampa Bay Lightning
7 (at home)
Pens season ends on 1-0 Game 7 loss :(
2011 Tampa Bay Lightning 6 (on road)
Lightning score 2 third period goals to win 4-2
2011 Tampa Bay Lightning
5 (at home)
Tampa crushes Pens 8-2 to plant seeds of comeback
2010 Montreal Canadiens
7 (at home)
Habs close out the Igloo with Game 7 win
2010 Montreal Canadiens 6 (on road)
4-3 win by Montreal forces Game 7
2010 Ottawa Senators
6 (on road) Pens rally from 3 goal deficit, Pascal Dupuis wins it in OT
2010 Ottawa Senators
5 (at home)
Sens win in 3OT to keep their season alive
2009 Detroit Red Wings
7 (on road)
PENS WIN THE CUP
2009 Carolina Hurricanes
4 (on road)
Pens complete sweep over stunned 'Canes
2009 Washington Capitals 7 (on road)
Alex Ovechkin misses, Sidney Crosby doesn't. Pens win 6-2
2009 Washington Capitals
6 (at home) Caps win in OT to force Game 7
2009 Philadelphia Flyers
6 (on road)
Crosby sucks (the life out of Philly) with 2 goal game
2009 Philadelphia Flyers
5 (at home)
Pens fall 3-0 zzz
2008 Philadelphia Flyers
5 (at home)
Pens win convincing 6-0 game to advance to SCF
2008 Philadelphia Flyers 4 (on road) Flyers hold on for 4-2 win to avoid a sweep
2008 New York Rangers
5 (at home)
Marian Hossa scores his 2nd goal of game in OT to win series
2008 New York Rangers
4 (on road)
Jaromir Jagr scores 2 goals to help NYR avoid sweep
2008 Ottawa Senators
4 (on road)
Pens avenge '07 loss to Sens with a sweep

Overall results? A 11-10 record, but if you drop the 2011 season that had Crosby and Malkin both out, the records improves to a more impressive 11-7 mark.

The Penguins have taken a "3 games to something" lead 13 times in this era, and they've won 11 of those series. The only losses where the Pens haven't been able to close out a series after winning three games, of course were in 2010 and 2011.

The Pens have only clinched 3 series at home (two at the Mellon, one at Consol) with 8 series wins coming on the road. In losses, 6 of the 10 have come at home, suggesting that they'll need to buckle down and get ready for tonight's home game against the Rangers.

Another point of evidence is the Pens are 3-3 in Game 5's when they could clinch, they're 4-3 in Game 6's and 2-2 in Game 7's. For potential sweeps in Game 4's, the Pens are 2-2. Overall, that's a pretty even record.

It's also given us some great moments, like Daniel Alfredsson admitting what most of the world knew that his team "probably won't win the series". And he was right, his team rolled over and died the very next game in a 6-2 blowout win.

Also interestingly enough, the Penguins have gotten a hat trick in each of their last two elimination games (Neal in the aforementioned Ottawa series, Malkin last series vs. Columbus).

The Pens are 3-2 in overtime situations to win series, with Orpik, Dupuis and Hossa scoring for the Pens. It could be pointed out that Hossa's goal beat Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers back in '08, the last time the Pens and Rangers met....And that was also a Game 5, just like tonight will be.

Whether we get another new hero, or see another chance to clinch in the following Game 6, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a ton of experience closing other teams out. Let's hope they add another good chapter to the list above.

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