Penguins in hole they’ve never climbed out of in Crosby-Malkin era
For the third time since Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin joined the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team has lost the first three games of a playoff series.
The first time, they made it a series. The second time, they were swept.
Which path they take this time will be determined in Game 4 Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena.
In a first-round series with Philadelphia in 2012, an emotionally volatile Penguins team dropped the first three games before rallying for a pair of wins and bowing out in Game 6 on the road.
In the 2013 Eastern Conference finals against Boston, the Penguins scored a grand total of two goals in three losses, then fell in a 1-0 shutout in Game 4.
This year, a mistake-prone Penguins team has fed the opportunistic Islanders routinely in dropping the first three games, including in a 4-1 loss Sunday afternoon.
“Obviously you don’t want to be down 3-0. You guys know that,” winger Phil Kessel said. “It’s not good now.”
In NHL history, only four teams have overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
Toronto did it in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders did it to the Penguins in a second-round series in 1975. Philadelphia (2010) and Los Angeles (2014) have accomplished the feat this decade.
“We’ve just got to worry about one game,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “We’ve just got to focus on winning Game 4. We haven’t left ourselves a lot of room for error, but all we can control is coming in with the right mindset for Game 4 and finding a way to get a win.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .