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Penguins’ playoff troubles when playing in overtime continue

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The team has lost its past five playoff games that have gone beyond regulation.

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

When the Penguins play in the postseason and the game goes into overtime, it’s gotten to the point where not being able to come away with a win has been a reasonable expectation.

Last night’s 3-2 loss to the Islanders in double overtime at PPG Paints Arena is just the latest loss in a series of defeats beyond regulation in the postseason.

Dating back to the 2014 season, the Penguins have lost 17 of their last 23 playoff games that have gone to overtime — including losing the last five in that manner.

Let’s take a look at the past five:

  • Penguins vs. Islanders, Game 5, 2021 East Division First Round — 3-2 Loss (2OT)
  • Penguins vs. Islanders, Game 1, 2021 East Division First Round — 4-3 Loss (OT)
  • Penguins vs. Canadiens, Game 1, 2020 Qualifying Round — 3-2 Loss (OT)
  • Penguins vs. Islanders, Game 1, 2019 First Round — 4-3 Loss (OT)
  • Penguins vs. Capitals, Game 6, 2018 Second Round — 2-1 Loss (OT)

Prior to these five games, the Penguins did win some games in overtime, notably the 2017 Eastern Conference Final Game 7, when Chris Kunitz punched the team’s ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

Four overtime wins came in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, with two big wins over the Washington Capitals, one game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and one game against the San Jose Sharks in the 2016 Cup Final.

Here’s a full look at how overtime games have gone for the Penguins in the Crosby/Malkin era:

Prior to Patric Hornqivst’s game-winning goal in Game 4 of that series with the Capitals in 2016, it was a rough stretch of overtime losses, with eight in a row going against the Penguins from the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinal through the Eastern Conference Final, with five overtime losses in the 2014 and 2015 playoffs.

Losing overtime games in a postseason series isn’t an automatic death blow, as the team lost those sort of games multiple times, but were still able to prevail in a series.

The team is now facing elimination, however, and if Game 6 (or a potential Game 7 were to be played) were to go into overtime, the Penguins may need some puck luck to be able to stay alive this postseason.