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
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.