The night belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins in humid Carolina. The Penguins were looking for the sweep for the first time in the playoffs this year. Pittsburgh has arguably the two best players in the National Hockey League today in the form for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Plus, they are on a mission to finish what they started in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. The only thing standing in their way is the Carolina Hurricanes who are down three games to zerp.
Carolina tried to ruin Pittsburgh’s night early less than a minute and a half in to the period as Eric Staal scores to make it a 1-0 Hurricane lead. Staal’s goal breaks his six game streak without a goal. The Penguins come back nearly eight and a half minutes in the period to tie the game on Ruslan Fedotenko’s goal to make the score 1-1. The Penguins take the lead on a goal by Maxime Talbot with less than one and a half minutes till the first intermission to make it a 2-1 game. In goal for Carolina Cam Ward saves seven of the nine shots he faces. Pittsburgh’s net minder Marc-Andre Fleury saves four of the five shots he faces.
The Penguins add to their lead in the second period getting a goal by Bill Guerin with the goal Pittsburgh takes a 3-1. The defense in front of the net is great with Penguins blocking shots, poke checking the puck away from the Hurricanes. Fleury plays great in goal stopping all 16 Carolina shots. Fleury makes great save after great save. In goal for the Hurricanes Ward saves nine of the 10 shots on goal by the Penguins.
After getting a two goal lead after two periods the Penguins helped Fleury protect the goal. The Hurricanes do not give up in the third period and keep trying to get the two goals needed to tie the game. Carolina cannot get a good look at the goal and when they do they are stone walled by Fleury. The Penguins put the game away after the Hurricanes pull Ward to get an extra attacker on the floor. With the empty net Pittsburgh gets a goal by Craig Adams to put an exclamation point on the game. Ward saves all five of the Penguins shots he faces in the period and Fleury saves all 10 Carolina shots he faces as well.
With the 4-1 win the Penguins go to their second straight Stanley Cup Finals. By winning the Eastern Conference Finals Pittsburgh received Prince of Wales Trophy for winning the east. This time the Penguins touch the trophy unlike last year when they did not touch the trophy. Maybe hoping to change their luck in the finals this time after losing last year’s finals in six games to the Detroit Red Wings. They will await the winner of the Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. More than likely facing the Red Wings for a second straight year and this time the Penguins are ready.