Igloo-minious end for Penguins
Call it the Meltdown at Mellon Arena.
In the final chapter of their tortured Game 7 history at home — and last game in the only building in the history of the franchise — the Penguins' Stanley Cup championship reign ended with a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night in their Eastern Conference semifinal.
"It's disappointing," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "We all want that perfect ending."
The Penguins finished 2-5 all-time in Game 7s in Mellon Arena, which will be replaced next season by 18,887-seat Consol Energy Center.
The Canadiens were the first NHL opponent to play in the Igloo with a 2-1 victory over the Penguins on Oct. 11, 1967, and built a 4-0 lead to get a bookend victory to close the oldest building in the National Hockey League.
The defeat stunned the standing-room-only crowd of 17,132 — the team's 166th consecutive sellout — that created a whiteout of T-shirts and rally towels and was rocking during the Penguins' second-period rally.
"This is the best Mellon Arena crowd that I can remember," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "I thought we were going to give them a really good story."
Red-hot Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak made the two biggest saves of the series - and possibly the playoffs - by stopping Penguins superstars Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on a pair of point-blank attempts during third-period power plays.
"The crowd, the way that they responded down 4-0, was pretty incredible," Crosby said.
"It isn't the Montreal Forum, but Mario (Lemieux) scored a lot of big goals here," Canadiens winger Michael Cammelleri said. "It's a nice little piece of history for us to close down this building."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Penguins rally in wake of Dupuis injury
- Fleury’s demeanor helps keep Penguins loose, him playing his best
- Penguins make moves in advance of roster deadline
- With a few older players on roster, Penguins hope to get better with age
- Penguins’ prospects could hinge on health of Letang, Maatta
- Penguins notebook: Farnham relishes making opening-night roster
- Penguins give Perron shot with Crosby, Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis ruled out of season opener
- Penguins at a glance entering 2015-16 season
- Penguins star Crosby finding chemistry with new teammate Kessel
- Penguins forwards making their cases for last open spot on roster