Pittsburgh Penguins History: Some of the Worst Playoff Losses

Stanley Cup Playoffs logo at the Pittsburgh Penguins areana. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Stanley Cup Playoffs logo at the Pittsburgh Penguins areana. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) /

Here’s a look at some of the worst Pittsburgh Penguins playoff losses.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been on the giving end of some serious beatdown in the playoffs, but what about the times their opponents flipped the script?

Here is a look back at some of the Pittsburgh Penguins worst playoff losses.


Whatever plans the Penguins had drawn up against the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semi-Finals failed miserably.

By the conclusion of the third period, the Penguins found themselves buried under a bounty of goals and an 8-1 loss. The Islanders attack was led by Clark Gillies (four points) and Bryan Trottier (three points)

Michel Dion was in net for all eight Islanders’ goals and finished the game with 29 saves on 37 shots.


Number four on our list for the worst playoff losses in Penguins history occurred vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.

With the series tied up a two games apiece, the Penguins simply imploded in Game 5 of the series dropping the game and control of the series by a score of 8-2.

Four of eight Tampa goals were scored on the powerplay as Pittsburgh took 24 minutes in penalties.

Marc-Andre Fleury allowed four goals on 14 shots and Brent Johnson allowed four goals on 11 shots, as the Lightning took a 3-2 series lead.


Number three on our worst playoff losses occurred in Game 4 of the 1992 Patrick Division Semi-Finals against the Washington Capitals.

The Penguins were looking to draw even in the series but the Capitals had other plans.

By the time Mario Lemieux scored his fourth goal of the playoffs in the third period, the Capitals had amassed a 4-1 lead and they didn’t look back, adding three more goals to their total and taking a 3-1 series lead with a 7-2 win.


The second-worst playoff loss on our list for the Penguins happened in the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals vs. New Jersey.

The Penguins were down 2-1 in the series heading into Game 4 and were hoping to have an opportunity to square up the series with a big “W”.

However, what Pittsburgh received was an old fashioned beat down at the hands of Martin Brodeur who made 21 saves and the rest of the Devils, who smothered the Penguins on route to a 5-0 victory.

The loss put Pittsburgh down 3-1 in the series and thankfully they were put out of their misery in the next game.


Arguably, one of the biggest games in Penguins history provides one of the franchise’s biggest playoff losses.

With the Penguins and Red Wings tied up at two games each in Game 5 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, Pittsburgh choose a horrific time to come undone.

The Penguins took 48 minutes in penalties which allowed the Red Wings to completely impose on Sidney Crosby and company.

Detroit collected three powerplay goals and Chris Osgood made 22 saves, as the Red Wing routed the Penguins 5-0 to take a 3-2 series lead.

Fleury allowed all five goals and Mathieu Garon made eight saves in his relief appearance.