PITTSBURGH -- Mike Johnston never has been a coach in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and doesn't want his first trip to end prematurely.
After an inconsistent first regular season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Johnston will lead them into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, ROOT, MSG). Pittsburgh limped to the playoffs in a way they hadn't experienced under Dan Bylsma and Michel Therrien, who each led Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup Final, with Bylsma winning a championship in 2009.
Johnston said he isn't looking at the success his predecessors brought to the organization. He's looking at Thursday.