How the Pittsburgh Penguins Lost the 2000 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

Pittsburgh Penguins, Ron Tugnutt. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT
Pittsburgh Penguins, Ron Tugnutt. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT /

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers battled through a 6 game series in the year 2000 that featured record-setting performances, plenty of goal scoring and a ton of physicality, here is a look back at that series.

The Pittsburgh Penguins (Washington Capitals) and Philidelphia Flyers (Buffalo Sabres) cruised to 4-1 victories in their first sound series and were primed for their first match up together since 1997 and third since 1989.

Here is a look at how the Penguins lost the 2000 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Game 2

With Pittsburgh claiming a 2-0 victory in game 1 of the series and holding a 4-1 lead late in the third period, the Penguins were about to go up two games to none on their cross-state rivals and looked poised to take control of the series, as it shifted back to Pittsburgh

In the dying minutes of the third period, Rick Tocchet and the Flyers sent a message to the Penguins, that the rest of the series was about to take a much different tone.

Following a faceoff, things escalated, as Tocchet tussled with Penguins forward Tyler Wright and Matthew Barnaby cold-cocked Craig Berube.  Soon after all the players on the ice found partners, the melee lasted five minutes and resulted in 10 penalties being dished out.

Game 3

The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead into the first period on goals from Andy Delmore and Keith Jones. Backed by goals from Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka, the Penguins had a strong second period, which had been the case since the start of the postseason, as Pittsburgh had outscored opponents 10-2 in the middle frame.

The teams traded goals in the third period and Delmore ended the game with his second goal in overtime, giving Philidelphia the 4-3 win and first of the series.

It was the Flyers first overtime win since 1995.

If there were any positives for the Penguins to take from the game it was that despite being outshot 44-18, they came within one shot of going up 3-0 in the series.

Game 4

Game 4 of the series saw the Penguins and Flyers engage in a five-overtime classic. You can read about that here.

Game 5

With the series locked up at two games each, Ron Tugnutt finally showed that he was in fact human in game 5.

The Flyers put five goals behind Tugnutt and an additional goal behind Peter Skudra to take the game 6-3 and a 3-2 series lead.

Prior to the collapse, Tugnutt had made 334 stops on 349 shots with a goals-against-average of 1.37.

With three goals in the game, Delmore matched Jagr’s series goal total with five goals.

Jagr left the game in the second period with a pulled quad muscle and was hopeful for a game 6 return. Jagr missed a significant portion of the final six weeks of the regular season with thigh and hamstring injuries.

Game 6

As the Penguins looked to notch the series up at three games each and force a game 7, history was on their side.

Pittsburgh had won four series from being down 3-2 dating back to 1991 and had never lost a game at home in any series that lasted at least six games.

Jagr returned for the game but former and future Penguins Mark Recchi and John LeClair assisted on each other’s goals, securing a 2-1 win and capturing the series victory for the Flyers.

Prior to the series, the Flyers had only won two of 15 games in Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia won the game but lost the services of Keith Primeau who was injured in the first period of game six following a collision with Bob Boughner.

What are some of your favorite memories from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Flyers series?

Drop them in the comment box below.