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This day in Pens’ playoff history: Kevin Stevens works to back up his guarantee against Boston in 1991

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If you’re gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk and Kevin Stevens did both in a big way back in 1991 against the Boston Bruins.

Kevin Stevens

Welcome back to our ongoing spring series about looking back to the past to check out what happened this day in Pittsburgh Penguins history. It’s more fun to remember the past when there’s no games left on the schedule, and over the years this team has provided no shortage of moments..

Pittsburgh Penguins May 7th all-time record: 4-5

Wins

  • 4-1 Game 4 vs Boston in 1991
  • 3-2 Game 3 vs NYR in 1996
  • 2-0 Game 1 vs Toronto in 1999
  • 4-2 Game 4 vs NYR in 2014

Losses

  • 6-5 OTL Game 3 vs NYR in 1992
  • 6-3 Game 3 vs Phily in 2000
  • 6-4 Game 4 vs NYI in 2013
  • 3-1 Game 3 vs Washington in 2016
  • 2-1 OTL Game 6 vs Washington in 2018

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May 7th is a busy, but not particularly good day in recent Penguins’ franchise history. The Pens have lost four of their last five outings on this day, and the only win in the stretch back in 2014 was to take an ill-fated 3 games to 1 series lead over the Rangers that Pittsburgh would eventually blow.

The game we will highlight will throw it back all the way to 1991. A talented Pens team fell behind 2 games to 0 in the Wales Conference Finals, the first time Mario Lemieux had ever been so deep in the playoffs. After a tough Game 2 overtime loss, Pens forward Kevin Stevens defiantly guaranteed that Pittsburgh would win the series. Dave Molinari, then of The Pittsburgh Press, wrote:

It was a numbing defeat for the Penguins, who outplayed and outshot the Bruins but were outscored for the second consecutive time. But the loss seemed to strengthen their resolve.

“We’re confident we can beat this team,” left winger Kevin Stevens said. “And we will beat this team … We’ll beat this team. I’ll say it right now, we’ll beat them.”

The Pens did end up winning the next four games, of which May 7th’s Game 4 was the series-tying 4-1 win. Stevens was virtually unstoppable, scoring 10 points (six goals and four assists) overall in the series against his hometown Bruins.

The Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in this game, courtesy of goals by Bob Errey and Joe Mullen.

Boston’s Dave Christian scored to bring the B’s within one goal 8:23 into the game, but less than two minutes later Lemieux would scored to re-establish the two goal lead. Later in the period Stevens would salt the game away with a power play goal to

Pittsburgh would go onto win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, in large part because of this Game 4 win against Boston. Lose here and they would have been in a 3-1 hole with Game 5 back in Beantown. Does history play out the same way if so? Luckily, we’ll never have to know.