Patric Hornqvist picked up his 200th career goal and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins clinched their 12th straight playoff berth with a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
March 31, 2018 11:17 PM
Updated March 31, 2018 11:18 PM
Mike Sullivan knew the Stanley Cup hangover was coming. Even if the Pittsburgh Penguins coach danced around the phrase whenever the subject came up during the opening three months of the season as the two-time defending champions alternated between sizzling and sleepy.
“The first part of the year was a bit of a struggle,” Sullivan said. “It wasn’t anything we didn’t anticipate as a coaching staff going into it.”
Sullivan didn’t panic — to be fair, he never really does — and instead offered a reminder to his team that nothing was inevitable.Maybe not. It just sort of feels that way in Pittsburgh when Sidney Crosby and the Penguins are involved.
The proof came on Saturday night, when a pair of third-period goals by the NHL’s best power play pushed Pittsburgh to a 5-2 victory over Montreal to clinch a franchise-record 12th straight postseason berth.