It's not often that you can call a 3-2 game a goaltending duel, but last night was one of those occasions.
Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 27 of 30 shots in the game.
But, "the Flower" was outdone by his net-minding counterpart, Cam Ward, who stopped 33 of 35 shots, including a stoning of Evgeni Malkin on a penalty shot, to lead the Canes to their 11th consecutive home victory, and their eighth victory in a row.
The Pens dominated the first 15 minutes of the game. Tyler Kennedy is playing some of the best hockey of his life right now (an excellent sign heading into the postseason) and buried a sick backhander less than six minutes into the game.
The Canes scored the next two goals and Ward blanked the Pens through the second period.
TK made a sick play to chip the puck around a defenseman and find Jordan Staal coming late for the big slap shot that evened the game at two.
Malkin had a chance at what seemed like his 56th penalty shot opportunity of the season, but not surprisingly, didn't score.
The game headed to OT, where, as much as it pains us to say, the Canes just wanted the win more.
The puck never left the Canes zone in the OT period, until Anton Babsuck eventually blew a heavy slapper past MAF to give the Canes the extra point, and clinch a playoff berth.
The Rangers and Flyers both lost yesterday, so the Pens didn't really lose any ground last night.
Andrei Markov was injured during the Habs' game and could potentially be gone for the season. AK27 is playing unreal right now, but a Habs' lineup without (potentially) Markov and Schneider on the blue line doesn't look very promising.
Big game today in Florida. The Panthers are looking to get back into the playoff picture with a win, while the Pens are looking to keep pace with the Canes in the battle for the 4th/5th/6th seed in the East and lock up a playoff berth with a win.
The Bruins clinched the No. 1 seed in the East by shutting out the Rags yesterday.
If the playoffs started right now, the Pens would get the Devils. Just sayin'.
Let's Go Pens.