After reaching the Cup final in 2008, many expected the Penguins to once again cruise through the Eastern Conference, but the road back to the final would not be so smooth. However, in the final weekend of the regular season, the Penguins would move into the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference and earn home ice advantage in the first round.
In a hard-fought, six-game series, the Penguins would eliminate their state rival Flyers from Philadelphia and move on to play the Washington Capitals in the second round. The Penguins would lose the first two games of the series in Washington, but would come storming back to win the next three and eventually win a memorable game seven in Washington. Pittsburgh would carry the momentum of that game seven win into the Eastern Conference Finals against Carolina, taking the first two games of the series at home. They did not let up when the series shifted to Carolina, eliminating the Hurricanes in a four game sweep and reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive year.
Just like in 2008, the Penguins lost the first two games of the series in Detroit, but this time they would rebound in Pittsburgh and take the next two. After a 5-0 pounding in game five of the series, many wrote off the Penguins, but they again showed the resiliency of a championship team and won the sixth game to force a deciding game seven. Maxime Talbot's two second-period goals were enough to hold off the hard-charging Red Wings and the Penguins would hoist the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history.