15 years ago today, the Penguins were sent packing from the 2007 NHL Playoffs, but the team’s young core learned a lot from the loss and would bounce back from it quickly.
Flash back to April 19, 2007 — and the lasting image from Game 5 in the first round series between the Penguins and Senators is of a young Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal, sitting in defeat.
One year prior, the Penguins finished the season with 22 wins and a mere 58 points in the standings. Flash forward to the next season and a young Pens team entered the postseason with 105 points, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Despite being an upstart team with a ton of talent, the Pens clearly had a lot to learn, as the series had a David vs. Goliath feel to it.
The Senators were loaded with veteran talent in players like Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, and Jason Spezza.
The Pens evened up the series at 1-1 after a Game 1 loss — but were defeated in the next three games and were sent home with a 3-0 loss on the road in Ottawa.
The Penguins would learn a lot about postseason hockey in the quick 5-game series, coming back a year later to get revenge with a 4-0 first round sweep of the Senators en route to a Stanley Cup Final appearance of their own.