Pittsburgh Penguins History: Reexamining Tom Barrasso’s Winning Streak

Pittsburgh Penguins, Tom Barrasso. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Tom Barrasso. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

On Apr. 9, 1993, the Pittsburgh Penguins set an NHL record for the longest winning streak in league history with their 16th consecutive win, in a 10-4 victory over the New York Rangers.

One of the key influencers that drove the Pittsburgh Penguins record-setting streak was the strong play of Tom Barrasso. Barrasso set a franchise record, by winning 15 games in a row from Mar. 3, 1993 to Apr. 14, 1993.

The run of 15 games was preceded by a 12 game streak that Barrasso put together at the beginning of the season from Oct. 6, 1992, to Nov. 5, 1992

Here is a look back at five of the best games from Barrasso’s record-setting run.

Mar. 14, 1993, vs. New York Islanders

Little did both teams two that this game would serve as a preview to the Patrick Division Finals that would take place almost two months later.

The Islanders led 2-1 heading into the third period, where Larry Murphy and Ron Francis would pot goals to give the Penguins the lead.

Pittsburgh won the game 3-2, as Barrasso finished with a goals-against-average (GAA) of 2.00 and made 38 saves (most made during the streak) on 40 shots, including 5 shots each from Pierre Turgeon, Steve Thomas, Derek King, and Vladimir Malakhov.

Mar. 27, 1993 vs. Boston

This game was the second match up the Penguins and Bruins had during the streak, the first was on Mar. 9, 1993, a 3-2 Pittsburgh win, where Barrasso made 32 stops.

In this game, Barrasso faced 39 shots and made 36 saves. Ray Bourque pelted 8 shots at Barrasso, with Ted Donato and Joe Juneau, each firing 5.

The Penguins took the game 5-3, with the help of a three-point performance from Mario Lemieux.

Barrasso finished the night with a GAA of 3.00.

Apr. 7, 1993 vs. Montreal

This was the second game of the streak that the Penguins needed extra-time to get the “W.” This tight scoring affair provided a glimpse of what a Conference Final between the two clubs would have looked like.

Although Pittsburgh limited Montreal to 9 shots in the third period, the Canadiens scored two goals (Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousse) to earn a 3-3 tie by the end of regulation.

Ulf Samuelsson played the hero when he beat Patrick Roy at the 2:11 mark of the extra-frame for his third goal of the season.

Barrasso made 31 saves on 34 shots with a GAA of 2.89.

Mar. 25, 1993 vs. New Jersey

The Devils were the team that put an end to the Penguins historic run on Apr. 14, 1993, in a 6-6 tie, and they almost ended it in this late Mar. tilt.

With two goals (one shorthanded) in an 11 shot, third-period from Valeri Zelepukin and Stephane Richer, the Devils came pretty close to erasing the damage done from a four-goal (Rick Tocchet x2, Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr) second period that the Penguins put together.

Barrasso kept the lead intact long enough to help Pittsburgh earn a slim 4-3 victory and made 25 saves on 28 shots, escaping the game with a GAA of 3.00.

Mar. 11, 1993 vs. Los Angeles

All eyes were focused on another chapter in the Lemieux vs. Wayne Gretzky saga when the Penguins and Kings met, in what would turn out to be the second win in the streak.

Pittsburgh led the game by a score of 3-2, heading into the third period. With Troy Loney serving a penalty for too many men on the ice, Alexei Zhitnik seized the opportunity to score his seventh goal of the season on the powerplay to notch the game up at three.

With both Barrasso and Kings goalie Robb Stauber keeping the game tight, the game headed to overtime, where Jagr scored his 26th goal of the season on the powerplay, to give the Penguins the win.

Barrasso faced 11 shots in the third period and 31 total shots, with a GAA of 2.84.

What do you think of Barrasso’s run with the Pittsburgh Penguins? Drop your comments below!