Early playoff exit leaves Penguins humbled

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 23, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 30: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates during the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 30, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sidney Crosby says the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to play ''perfect'' hockey to dig themselves out of a 3-0 hole in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against rival Philadelphia. The Penguins did it for two games, but couldn't make it three, falling 5-1 on Sunday. The loss marked the second straight year Pittsburgh couldn't get out of the first round of the postseason. The Penguins had an excuse last year, as injuries to Crosby and Evgeni Malkin limited the team's offensive firepower. This year, they were healthy and entered the playoffs the favorite to win their second Stanley Cup in four years. Instead, they trudge into the offseason wondering what happened after the Flyers lit them up for 30 goals in six games, including 12 on the power play.
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