A BEAT-DOWN IN BEANTOWN
Jordan Staal, nicknamed Gronk (like the comic book villain) for his looming presence, put his size to work against Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in an October win. The 6' 4" center was fourth on the Pens with 49 points.
MALKIN TROUBLE ALL OVER THE ICE
There's no doubting Pittsburgh's power with Evgeni Malkin in the middle. The Art Ross Trophy-winning center had his finest season with an NHL-best 113 points and led his team in goals, assists, power-play goals and shots.
KNOWING HOW TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE
Bill Guerin made Pittsburgh his eighth NHL stop, arriving by trade on March 4, and was rarin' to go the second he took the ice. Guerin assisted in the second period of a 4-1 win to launch a 12-2-3 season-ending stretch.
ONCE AGAIN, SIMPLY SID-SATIONAL
Sidney Crosby continued his run of excellence (103 points) and was rewarded with a record-breaking number of All-Star votes. He and Malkin became the Pens' first 100-point duo since '96.
BACK TO HELP SHOULDER THE LOAD
Sidelined for four months with a dislocated shoulder, Sergei Gonchar returned on Feb. 14. The Penguins would lose just one of the next nine games, and Gonchar would contribute 13 assists in 25 games.
STICK A FORK IN HIM. HE'S BEEN COOKED
Pittsburgh signed the pesky Matt Cooke, a longtime Canuck, in the off-season for his willingness to do the dirty work. A perfect example: Cooke's toppling (right) of Maxim Lapierre in the season finale, a 3-1 win over Montreal.
A KEY ADDITION BY ANY STRETCH
Signed to replace the departed Marian Hossa, Ruslan Fedotenko (here in throwback baby blues) missed 15 games with a broken hand but still chipped in 39 points as the left wing on a Malkin-led line.
THE FLOWER IS NO SHRINKING VIOLET
Marc-André Fleury stoned the Isles 28 times but lost a 3-2 shootout in February. More telling of '09 were Fleury's 1,688 total saves, which ranks third in Pens history. He holds the team record, with 1,770 in '07.