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Old 06-09-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Penguins' Top 10 2007-08 moments

"Tribune-Review Penguins beat reporter Rob Rossi offers his Top 10 moments from a memorable 2007-08 Penguins season:


Nov. 22, 2007: Their season possibly on the brink of disarray, the Penguins rallied from 2-0 deficit in Ottawa to defeat the Senators, 6-5, in a shootout. It was a most pleasant Thanksgiving, even though they spent it in Canada, where the holiday is celebrated a month earlier. The Penguins, hyped as Stanley Cup contenders in the preseason, entered this game with an 8-11-2 record. They went 39-16-5 after this win in Ottawa, which players credited as a turning point.

Dec. 23, 2007: A sellout crowd at Mellon Arena watched the Penguins down the Boston Bruins, 4-2. That sellout crowd was a franchise-record 31st in a row at home, where they would play to capacity in each of their 52 contests, including 11 playoff games. A first-ever season-ticket waiting list now tops 1,000, and the Penguins have played before 67 consecutive sellout crowds.


Jan. 1, 2008: More than 71,000 fans - many wearing Penguins' throwback-themed baby blue replica sweaters - packed Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., to watch the Penguins defeat the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, at the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic. The league's first outdoor game staged in the United States was a smash rating success for NBC, which enjoyed the made-for-TV moment that was Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scoring the shootout-clinching goal.


Jan. 18, 2008: The Penguins entered this home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on an 18-5-1 stretch since Nov. 21, finally looking like the Stanley Cup contenders they were predicted to be before the season. But they watched in horror as captain Sidney Crosby slid skates-first into the boards at Mellon Arena. His diagnosed injury - a right high-ankle sprain - would keep him out 21 consecutive games. The Penguins would go 11-6-4 in those contests thanks to 14 goals and 36 points from center Evgeni Malkin.


Feb. 26, 2008: General manager Ray Shero made the boldest move of his two-year tenure, sending popular forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen, top prospect Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round draft pick to Atlanta for star right wing Marian Hossa and forward Pascal Dupuis. Shero also acquired veteran defenseman Hal Gill from Toronto for a second-round pick. Hossa, Dupuis and Gill transformed the Penguins into a top penalty-killing team, and Hossa's 26 playoff points held fuel the Penguins' run to the Stanley Cup final.


April 2, 2008: Captain Sidney Crosby scored two goals in the Penguins' 4-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Mellon Arena. The Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division title - their first division title since the 1997-98 season. The Penguins would finish the regular season 47-27-8 with 102 points, second overall in the Eastern Conference. Another celebration at the expense of the Flyers was yet to come.


April 9, 2008: Looking to set a tone against an Ottawa Senators club that eliminated them from the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Penguins opened this first-round postseason rematch with a 4-0 victory at Mellon Arena. Veteran left wing Gary Roberts - the Senators' long-time playoff nemesis - scored his lone two playoff goals, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury recorded the first of his three postseason shutouts. The Penguins would sweep the Senators, making for sweet revenge.


April 25, 2008: The New York Rangers surged to a 3-0 lead in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series. Game over? Hardly. The Penguins rallied to tie the score and ultimately won the game on center Evgeni Malkin's power-play goal with 1:41 remaining in regulation. Series over? Pretty much. The Rangers never recovered, and the Penguins would win the best-of-seven series, 4-1.


May 18, 2008: An Eastern Conference final that was hotly anticipated due to the animosity between Pennsylvania's two NHL teams was ended emphatically by the Penguins with a 6-0 win in Game 5 at Mellon Arena. Silver strands of confetti fell to the ice as time expired on the Flyers, and the Penguins celebrated their first trip to the Stanley Cup final since 1992. Captain Sidney Crosby refused to touch the Prince of Wales Trophy - an indication of his focus on the Cup.


June 2, 2008: Facing elimination in the Stanley Cup final, the Penguins stormed the Detroit Red Wings early at Joe Louis Arena. But their 2-0 lead became a 3-2 deficit with 34.3 seconds remaining. That's when forward Max Talbot - the extra attacker with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleur pulled - scored to tie it and force overtime. Nearly three full extra periods later, right wing Petr Sykora scored a power-play goal at 9:57 of triple overtime for a 4-3 win that extended the Cup final to a sixth game. Fleury starred, stopping 55 shots. The Penguins would lose the series in Game 6, but this game cemented their arrival as true championship contenders. "

My 2 favorite were the trade for Hossa and the OT win in the Stanley Cup.

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