Hurricanes-Penguins: Two Down, Two to Go for the Cardiac 'Canes

Matt McKeownContributor IMay 18, 2009

BOSTON - MAY 14:  Dennis Seidenberg #4 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with teammates on the bench in the first period against the Boston Bruins during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 14, 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Hurricanes defeated the Bruins 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Cardiac Canes have done it.

They have made it through a Hall of Fame goalie and his team, then advanced past the Eastern Conference regular-season champion.

Now they face off against one of the Eastern Conference's finest players—and his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tonight at 7:30, the puck will drop to begin the Eastern Conference Finals. The Canes have been pretty good on the road during these playoffs, winning Game Seven in New Jersey in the Divisionals, then Game Seven last Friday in Boston during the Eastern Quarterfinals.

So, who's it going to be? Will Sidney Crosby lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals, or will the Cardiac Canes of 2006 make a return in hope of winning their second NHL Championship in their 11th year as a franchise?

It all begins tonight. What a ride it will be. The Canes hope to pick up an early win, while the Penguins look to end their wild ride and move on to the next round. A critical Game One tonight.

Predictions, anyone? I'm going with Carolina's intensity coming out of that long Boston series. They have had a great run, and a good three-day break. Look for the defense to step up and help the playoffs' best remaining goaltender—Cam Ward.