He pittsburgh penguins‘ The historic playoff run officially came to an end Wednesday night after the New York Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 to clinch the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
Wednesday’s victory over the Habs, along with Pittsburgh’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last night, they have ended the Penguins’ 16-year playoff streak, which was the longest active playoff streak in major North American professional sports.
«Obviously, we’re all disappointed that we missed an opportunity last night,» head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters after practice Wednesday morning. «And from that point of view, we are all human. We all have emotions and we have to live with them.»
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The last time the Penguins missed the postseason was in 2006, Sidney Crosby’s rookie season. Star forward Evgeni Malkin and veteran defenseman Kris Letang have never missed the playoffs.
According to NHL.com, Pittsburgh has a 103-87 postseason record from 2007 to 2022 and three of those playoff runs have resulted in the Penguins lifting the lead. stanley cup (2009, 2016, 2017).
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The Penguins took a major blow to their playoff hopes with a 5-2 loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday night. Instead, his future was in the hands of the islanders, which would have clinched the wild card spot with a win or loss in overtime.
«You knew it was going to come down to the last game or two and we had an opportunity tonight to control our own destiny and it didn’t work out,» Crosby told reporters after the game.
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Sullivan said Wednesday that he still hoped to play a «significant» game in Columbus when the Penguins close out the regular season against the Blue jackets.
Now that his season is over, the head coach said his lineup for Thursday’s game will «more than likely» be influenced as a result of the Islanders’ game.
Associated Press contributed to this report.