Capitals-Penguins: Simeon Varlamov's 34 Stops Propel Caps

Chris BrooksCorrespondent IMay 2, 2009

Capitals versus Penguins, Ovechkin versus Crosby: the dream match-up for the NHL playoffs. Too bad it's not for a trip to the Stanley Cup Finalsbut we will still take it!

Game One of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals lived up to the hype. 21-year old goaltender Simeon Varlamov made 34 saves, resulting in a first star of the game honor and a 3-2 Capitals win Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center.

Of course, Alex Ovechkin had a power play goal, but it was the unsung heroes who shined offensively.

David Steckel, the game's second star (and player of the game in my opinion), played a crucial role for the Capitals, crashing the net in the first period to garner his first playoff goal.

In his 19:11 of ice time in Game One, his short-handed penalty kills kept the Caps in control.

Varlamov's unbelievable stick save late in the second off of Sidney Crosby changed the momentum of the 2-2 game heading into the third.

It did not take long for the tie to break. Tomas Fleischmann scored only a couple minutes into the third to give the Caps a 3-2 advantage and seal the victory.

The Penguins applied pressure late, but Varly kept saving the puck from getting past him.

The Capitals and Penguins play Game Two at Verizon on Monday at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on Versus.