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Big-Time Penguin Playoff Goals

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Back in our infancy in 2006,
we made a list of the top 10 Penguin playoff goals and playoff killers.
Looking back on it in preparation for this post,
we can’t even fathom why people started reading our crap.
The link that post can be found is in our Best-Of Section, or right HERE.
There is limited video, audio, and even pics for those goals.
But since then, the internet has gotten bigger than God.
YouTube is its own planet.
It was time to update.
Top-ten lists and numbering never works, so we removed the numbering, as well.
Do it.
BONUS! 1995 Stanley Cup Finals: Chicago Blackhawks – Game 7
Luc Robitaille Sends The Game Into Sudden Death Overtime
While the Vice President was being held hostage in a private box, the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins played an enthralling Game 7 to decide the Stanley Cup championship. The biggest highlight of this game, besides a helicopter crashing onto the ice, was the story of Penguin goaltender Brad Tolliver. He was questionable coming into the game because he had the flu. He had to leave the game in the third period but came back a little while later to an immense roar from the crowd. He later made a save on a breakaway and proceeded to punch a Blackhawks player. He was given a game misconduct, and the Pens seemingly had no chance. With ten seconds remaining and the Pens down by one, Luc Robitaille is sprung on a breakaway. He releases the puck with 0.3 seconds left, and it goes in just before the buzzer. After a few minutes of overtime play, the game was suspended due to a terrorist threat. A victory in this game would have assured the Pens place as the dominant team in the 90′s.
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2008 Stanley Cup Finals.
Max Talbot and Petr Sykora.
The Pens coasted through the Eastern Conference in 2007-2008. It was almost too easy. It wasn’t in the Pens favor that it was so easy because a roadblock was waiting in Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals. Marc-Andre Fleury falls on his face coming out for the national anthem. Unreal. What an omen.

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By the time the Pens wiped the vomit off their jersey, they were headed back to Pittsburgh down 2-0. With some help from The Shift™ by Orpik, the Pens clawed back to make it 2-1. The Red Wings were lights-out in Game 4, setting the stage for Game 5.

The Pens pushed out to a 2-0 lead in the game. But it wasn’t comfortable. The Red Wings had the Cup in their peripheral vision all game. They eventually take a 3-2 lead.

As the clock waned, Pens fans were stunned, but they hadn’t lost hope. A frantic scramble at the end of the game with Fleury pulled set the stage for a goal that has the same “I remember where I was” feeling as 9/11.

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Marc-Andre Fleury was his own constellation in the overtimes. He was stealing the show, treading water for a beaten-down blue line that saw Sergei Gonchar leave the game earlier with a shoulder injury.

In the third overtime, an errant stick caught Rob Scuderi in the face. Blood city. The Pens get put on a 4-minute power play. Sergei Gonchar, sitting on the bench for morale support, throws his legs over the boards and his blades clack against the worn ice surface.

Petr Sykora, who, in one of the earlier overtimes, told television analyst Pierre McGuire that he would score the game-winner, literally stepped up to the plate:

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1991 Stanley Cup Finals: Minnesota North Stars – Game 2
Mario Lemieux Goes Coast-to-Coast
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A fairy-tale ride to the Stanley Cup Finals saw the Penguins meet the North Stars, who annihilated the defending Cup champion Oilers in the Campbell Conference Final. The Penguins lost Game 1 of this series, which was in flow with the rest of their 1991 playoff run.
This Lemieux goal came in the second period of Game 2. The momentum of the entire game shifted on this play, and the Pens used it to sail to a 4-1 win. Look at Lemieux turn on the jets at his own blue line. Sickening speed.

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1992 Patrick Division Finals: New York Rangers – Game 4
Ron Francis Saves The Penguins
After beating the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, the Penguins now had to play the best team in the 1992 season – the New York Rangers.
The Penguins shocked everyone in Game 1, winning in New York. Game 2 saw Adam Graves deliver the slash heard ’round the world on Mario Lemieux.
In that same game, Joey Mullen suffered a knee injury and would be out for the rest of the playoffs while Lemieux would be out until Game 2 against Boston. The Rangers came to Pittsburgh and won Game 3 (which was also the last game the Pens would lose in the playoffs that year). We remember watching Game 4 and thinking that the 1992 Penguins just didn’t have enough to beat the Rangers. The Penguins were down 4-2 with 15 minutes left in regulation when they took a 5-minute major penalty. The vaunted Rangers powerplay took the ice, and everyone knew they were going to score and almost assuredly take a three games to one series lead. The crowd cheering on the Penguin penalty killers for the entire five minutes was insane. The wave of emotion that swept through the Arena every time we cleared the puck out of the zone was special. And right after the finals seconds ticked off the penalty, Ron Francis showed up. He blasted a slapshot from the blue line that got past Mike Richter and later scored in overtime to tie the series up at 2.

2:30 mark.
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1992 Patrick Division Semifinals: Washington Capitals – Game 7
Jaromir Jagr Begins His 1992 Playoff Romp
So, there were the Pens. Down three games to one against the Caps…going into Washington for Game 5. According to Against The Odds, the Pens devised their own version of the neutral zone trap before that game (called the 1-4 delay). The objective was to shut down the offensive defensemen of the Caps while making them dump and chase. It resulted in a 3-1 victory, sending the series to Pittsburgh. The Penguins had to come from behind in Game 6, with Lemieux tallying 2 goals and 3 assists in a 6-4 win.
Game 7: A tightly contested affair. Lemieux got the first goal, shorthanded. The Capitals later tied it. It stayed that way until the third period. On a powerplay late in the third, Francis squeaked it behind the net to Lemieux, who found Jagr in front of the net. Jagr backhands it past goalie Don Beaupre. Our recap of the moment does not do it justice. Listen to the Pens fans in attendance.
Audio:

Video from “Against The Odds.”
6:06 mark:

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1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Washington Capitals – Game 4
Petr Nedved Scores at 2:22 in the Morning
1995-96 saw the Penguins have 3 of the top 4 point-getters in the regular season. They ran away with the division title and had a juggernaut offense…bitch.
The 1995-96 season will always be on our list of what-ifs. Like, what if the Florida Panthers were called for penalties when they tackled Lemieux and Jagr right off the faceoffs. Anyway, the Capitals came into Pittsburgh and won the first two games of the series. Very interesting. The Penguins managed to win Game 3, which brings us to an emotional Game 4. The highlight of this game could have been a bunch of things. It could’ve been Lemeiux receiving a game misconduct for slashing Todd Krygier. It could’ve been Chris Tamer solidifying his spot in Penguins history as a goat for intentionally dislodging the net in the second overtime which led to a Joe Juneau penalty shot. The real goat turned out to be some guy who threw a beer onto the ice earlier in the game…on the exact spot where the puck bounced off Joe Juneau’s stick on said penalty shot. Ken Wregget’s performance in this game is the thing of legends. The Pens went on to beat the Caps in six, the Rangers in five, losing to Florida in 7.

Jeff Daniels on the powerplay. Vomit.
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1997 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Philadelphia Flyers – Game 4
Mario Lemieux Goes Out In Style
It just wasn’t meant to be in what we thought was Lemieux’s final season. We played the Flyers in the first round of the playoffs, and they had jumped out to a three games to none lead.
Pensblog Adam’s personal story:
My birthday is in late April, and my jaw dropped when my dad presented me tickets to this game right before the playoffs started. I ALMOST rooted against the Pens in game 3, selfishly wanting to be at Lemieux’s last game. I remember a few things about this game. Dan Marino was in attendance, Petr Nedved scored, and oh yeah, by the way, it was Joe Mullen’s last game, too. We were all standing on our feet during the last three minutes of the game, chanting MARIO MARIO. You can feel it when you check out the video link below. What I remember most about this game was watching Lemieux on that final shift and suddenly, Ian Moran springs him on a breakaway. Being only 12 years old, and still tiny, I was getting ready to time my jump to see Lemieux’s goal. But before I could, my dad sacrifices himself by lifting me up in front of him so I could see the entire breakaway while he maybe saw the footage on the JumboTron. It still gives me chills.
2009 edit: Adam is gay

People ask where the phrase “Buries It,” was started.
That says it all.
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1999 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: New Jersey Devils – Game 6
Jaromir Jagr Forces Game 7 On One Leg
The Penguins entered the playoffs this year as the eighth seed, forced to play the number-one seed New Jersey Devils in the first round. The Pens had no chance.
It looked to be true as the Pens were down three games to two, and down 2-1 with 3:00 left in Game 6. German Titov feeds Jagr a pass from behind the goal line and Jagr somehow gets it past Brodeur. The goal tied the game with 2:12 left. It sent the game into overtime. In overtime, Straka works his way into the Devils’ zone and dishes a cross-ice pass to Jagr, who one-times it over Brodeur’s extended left pad. Unbelievable. The goal catapulted the Pens to New Jersey for Game 7. The Pens managed only 13 shots in Game 7, but 4 went in. The biggest goal came with about 5 minutes left, and the Pens leading 3-2. Straka put in a Jagr rebound and proceeded to slide all the way to the Penguins bench. Straka always had the best goal celebrations.

Easily one of the gutiest performances in Penguin history.
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2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Buffalo Sabres – Game 7
Darius Kasparaitis Owns Hasek
After a stirring 6-game Capitals series that ended on Marty Straka stealing the puck from Capital defenseman Sergei Gonchar, closing in on Olaf Kolzig, roofing it, and diving onto the ice, the Pens faced the Buffalo Sabres.
The 2000-2001 season had Lemieux return to the NHL and help this talent-laden team go further than anyone thought was possible. This Buffalo series was crazy as hell, with the Pens winning the first two games in Buffalo…then proceeding to lose the next three. Facing elimination in Game 6, the Penguins were down 2-1 late in the third. Mario Lemieux scored on The Immaculate Deflection play to tie it, and Marty Straka (who else?) scored in overtime to force Game 7. Game 7 was a very timid affair. Johan Hedberg standing on his head to keep the Pens in the game. Robert Lang scored with about 8 minutes left, tying the game at 2. Overtime was next…where the great players step up. 13:01 into the only overtime period, Darius Kasparaitis jumps into the rush, Lang hits him with a pass, and the lights go out on the Sabres’ season. There is nothing better than an away team scoring a playoff OT goal, as is proven with the exclamatory “Mmmeeeyyyaaahhh!!!!” (Pensblog friend Bryan Bell confirmed the spelling.)
For many of us still, we can remember exactly where we were when this happened.

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1993 Patrick Division Finals: New York Islanders – Game 7
Rick Tocchet Delivers
If we started typing about the 1993 season and what should have been, our hands would fall off. We can’t go into excessive detail, but this Penguins team was insane. Even the New York Islanders’ coach said his team had no business beating the Penguins.
This Game 7 was gut-wrenching. It started out with Kevin Stevens breaking bones in his face as a result of delivering a huge hit on Islanders defenseman Richard Pilon. Not saying that was the reason the Penguins lost this game, but what happens if Stevens plays the rest of the game… After an Ulf Samuelsson goal, the Islanders scored 3 times (once on a Benoit Hogue slapper from the parking lot). Trailing 3-1 with about 7 minutes left, Ron Francis shows that he has a penchant for sparking comebacks against teams from the Empire State. He scores a goal on a quick tip-in on a nice feed from Larry Murphy. Later, with about 1:20 left, the Penguins pull Barrasso. Murphy deftly keeps the puck in the zone and sends a floating wrister to the net…a wrister just waiting to be deflected. Ron Francis gets his stick on it, and as it flutters toward goaltender Glenn Healy, Rick Tocchet makes a miraculous play by bring his stick down to redirect Francis’ deflection into the net with exactly 1:00 remaining. Few goals have made the Mellon Arena erupt like that. The Penguins on the ice for this goal: Lemieux, Francis, Jagr, Mullen, Tocchet, Murphy.
What happened next has been a thorn in our balls.
Lange’s call of the goal fingers Francis as the goal scorer.
Seth from EMPTY-NETTERS dug up the box score and saw Rick Tocchet was given credit for it.
Let’s go to the videotape, specifically the 3:30 mark.
And then 3:50.


Upon further review, it definitely was Tocchet,
unless Newton’s laws of physics are crapped on in the Mellon.
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upward trajectory. Tocchet’s stick in red.
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puck meets stick
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down and to the right.
down……….and to the right.
check out the stunned dude at 4:30
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The guy on the left is wondering why he bought that sweater
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1991 Wales Conference Finals: Boston Bruins – Game 6
Mark Recchi Puts The Pens One Step Closer To Lord Stanley
After Uwe Krupp broke our lives the year before, the 1990-91 Penguins were the reason we existed. We watched and/or listened to every game as intently as a 6 and eight year-olds could. We didn’t realize what was happening back then, but now we know that Stanley Cup runs are to be cherished. Looking back, this Recchi goal was huge. After losing the first two games in Boston, Kevin Stevens came out in the Boston papers and said the Pens would win 4 straight. No one gave the Penguins a chance going into the series, let alone being down two-nil. After the Pens dominated games three and four, the emotional game 5 took place in Bean Town. Barrasso was stellar, and the Pens cruised to a 7-2 win. Game 6: The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Pens fought back and tied the game at 2 before the third period. The third period was insane. It was early in the third period, and gave the Pens a 3-2 lead. The Arena erupted. Boston tied it up shortly thereafter…setting the stage. With not much time left in the game, Gordie Roberts gets the puck just past his own blue line to negate a two-line pass and hits Recchi with a pass off the boards. Recchi flies into the Bruins zone and executes his patented one-legged wrist shot. It gets past goalie Andy Moog. If you’ve ever heard Lange’s call of this goal, you can tell by his voice how big it was.

Looking back on this goal is interesting, especially now, because we hate Recchi.
But imagine the time. Pens had never been to a Cup final, big Game 6.
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1992 Stanley Cup Finals: Chicago Blackhawks – Game 1
Mario Lemieux Does It Again
The Blackhawks came into this series on an 11-game winning streak. Everyone was picking them to sweep the Penguins by using their hard-nosed checking style.
For most of the first period, it was looking that way. They were throwing their checks around and jumped out to an unbelievable 3-0 lead. Penguins fan were in shock while the rest of the NHL world expected this to happen. Towards the end of the first period, Phil Bourque came up with a huge powerplay goal. Early in the second, Chicago scored another goal to make it 4-1. It wasn’t looking good. Watching the ebb and flow of this game, doubt anyone expected what happened next… Paul Stanton directed a shot towards the net that Rick Tocchet deflected past the seemingly invincible Ed Belfour. Less than a minute later, Mario Lemieux performs the behind-the-goal-line, bank-it-off-the-goaltender’s-leg goal to make it 4-3. Every person in Pittsburgh believed. The one thing sometimes lost in talking about this game is Tom Barrasso’s performance in the third period, keeping this a one-goal game. He was making saves that he had no right making. With about 5 minutes left, Jagr scored the biggest goal of his young career. He maneuvered around 4 Blackhawks players before getting a backhand past Ed Belfour. The Arena was going nuts, and no one anywhere expected what we were soon about to witness. The Penguins had to kill a late penalty, which they did. After the penalty expired, a loose puck at center ice sparked Lemieux racing for the puck against Blackhawks defenseman Steve Smith. Smith, who was out for most of the powerplay, was dead tired and had to take down Lemieux to avoid a breakaway chance, giving the Penguins a powerplay. Everyone was already thinking about overtime when the Pens and Blackhawks lined up for a faceoff in the Chicago zone. And, of course, everyone in the place was standing…almost knowing something was about to happen. Ron Francis won the face-off and got it back to Larry Murphy. Murphy gets a quick shot off, Belfour uses his stick and right pad to kick the puck away…right onto Mario Lemieux’s tape. Belfour lunges to the make the save, but Lemieux would not be denied. This goal essentially won the series for the Pens, who went on to sweep the Blackhawks.

Buries it
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HONORABLE MENTIONS

1991 Patrick Division Finals: Washington Capitals – Game 2

Randy Gilhen Jumps Onto The Ice On A Delayed Penalty Call And Ties It Late
1991 Patrick Division Semifinals: New Jersey Devils – Game 2
Jaromir Jagr Scores Electrifying OT Goal (Video)
1992 Wales Conference Final: Boston Bruins – Game 3
Mario Lemieux Beats Ray Bourque, Adam Oates, and Andy Moog (Video)
1992 Patrick Division Semifinals: Washington Capitals – Game 6
Mario Lemieux Stickhandles In A Port-o-John To Beat Don Beaupre
1992 Stanley Cup Final: Chicago Blackhawks – Game 1
Jaromir Jagr Ties It
2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Buffalo Sabres – Game 6
Marty Straka Forces Game 7
2000 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Washington Capitals – Game 2
Jagr Wins It in Overtime On Sick Wrister
go pens
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