In their way in the first round was the latest installation of the Battle of Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Flyers.
After a Game 1 in which the Penguins shut out the Flyers 7-0 and a Game 2 where the Flyers handedly won 5-1, the Penguins made easy work of the two road games in Philadelphia winning 5-1 and 5-0 themselves.
Looking to clinch the series at home in Game 5, the Penguins came up short, losing 4-2, as the Flyers forced a sixth game back at the Wells Fargo Center.
In Game 6, the Flyers and Sean Couturier stormed out to an early 1-0 start before the Penguins clawed right back with two goals of their own, before the first period ended tied 2-2.
The second period started in similar fashion with a very quick goal from Sean Couturier, his second go the game. Scott Laughton would stretch the lead to 4-2 midway through the period. At this point, things felt kinda dire, with a 7th game on the back burner of the radar.
Patric Hornqvist would get the Penguins within a goal, and Jake Guentzel would score his first of the afternoon, tying things at 4-4 late in the second period. This was just the beginning of his big day, however.
30 seconds into third period, it’s Jake Guentzel again. 5-4 Penguins.
We mic'd one player in Game 6.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 23, 2018
We think we hit the Jakepot. pic.twitter.com/IGbEVBdQMP
Midway through the third, who is it? Jake Guentzel with the hat trick.
10 seconds later, it’s Jake Guentzel again. 7-4 Penguins.
Sean Couturier would score a garbage time hat-trick goal to make it 7-5 before Bryan Rust put the final nail in the coffin with an empty net goal to finish the Flyers off in the series.
This would be the Penguins ninth consecutive playoff series win in a row, as they would fall to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals a couple weeks later.