PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and the Pittsburgh Penguins have been an NHL playoff fixture for the better part of two decades.
It’s a run that’s produced three Stanley Cups, a near miss at another and likely fast-tracked all three franchise icons to the Hall of Fame.
And now, it may finally be over.
Buddy Robinson and Andres Athanasiou scored 26 seconds apart in the third period and the lowly Chicago Blackhawks dealt the Penguins’ playoff chances a significant blow in a 5-2 win on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh began the night needing wins in its last two games over Chicago and Columbus to extend the longest active playoff streak in major North American professional sports to 17 years.
A win or OT loss on Wednesday will clinch a playoff spot for Islanders.
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby acknowledges Penguins fans during a tribute celebrating his 1500th NHL point scored against the Detroit Red Wings, Saturday in Detroit, during the first period of an NHL hockey game iagainst the Chicago Blackhawks in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)