3. David Volek. Game 7. May 14, 1993.
This was a video-game team. They could not lose.
The first two Cup runs didn't come without a price. Pens fan knew it wasn't easy. However, the Pens were making it look easy. In 1992, they won 11 straight games on their way to winning the Cup. The 1993 playoffs arrived, and they opened up against the New Jersey Devils, roaring out to a 3-0 series lead and extending the playoff win streak to 14 games. They finally lost a game but ended up winning the first-round series with ease, 4-1.
And the news got better. The Islanders upset the Captials...and lost their best player, Pierre Turgeon, on this cheap shot by Dale Hunter:
Uneasy is the head that wears the Crown
With basically the entire NHL going down on the Pens, a small fact slipped through the cracks: the Isles were the only team during that 1992-93 regular season to beat the Penguins three times.
Such a brutal series, and this game was no different. The Isles scored 47 seconds in, but the Pens fought back.
It was tied going into the third period, and it remained that way until this:
What a huge mistake by Ulf.
This turned the Isle into a complete zoo. The Isle fans, to their credit, were completely insane. If you watch the above video, which includes the entire game, you'll see the Pens dominated the entire period. But the Isles got a chance and scored. They end up winning 7-4.
There are four things about Game 7 that will stay with us forever.
1. Glen Healy. The Pens outshot the Isles 42-17. Healy stopped Mario on two breakaways and countless other shots. He played the game of his life.
2. The end of Kevin Stevens. This series changed many things, none more than Kevin Stevens. Stevens collided with Islander D-man Rich Pilon, he of the Mario Lemieux statue currently erected outside CONSOL Energy Center, in the first period, and down he went.
The commentary by Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald is interesting. Lange wondered if this hit would cause more players to wear visors. Stevens actually broke almost every bone in his face. He was never the same. Look at his point drop-off:
3. The Pens tie it. Over the previous two years, there had been so many magical moments. They made the players seem bigger than life. It was inspiring to watch. You re-created the plays in your backyard.
And the Pens provided another huge moment. After cutting the lead to 3-2, the Pens pulled Tommy B. Larry Murphy got a puck to the net:
We investigated this play once. Tocchet touched it last.
They did it. Complete jubilation. They had tied it up, and there was no question they would win it in OT.
4. David Volek. He wasn't a noted goal-scorer, but he finished his short career with 95 goals. He had four lifetime playoff goals. Two of those were in this game.
It was early in OT, and the Pens were buzzing. Ulf Samuelsson had a bad pinch, and this opened the door for the Isles, who found themselves on a disjointed 3-on-1. Marty Straka couldn't get back. By the time the puck was on Volek's stick, it was over:
A haunting stunned pic from the Pens feed: