The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.
Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness NHL.com's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.
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Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!
Pittsburgh at Washington - Game 7
A) Fleury foils Ovie -
With the game scoreless in the early going, the Capitals' most electric player looked to give the home team an early lift.
After solid defensive play the Captials banked the puck off the left-side boards to a streaking Ovechkin. Rob Scuderi
misread the play and the pass caught No. 8 behind the Penguins' defense. Ovechkin made a plethora of moves but was unable to get it past Marc-Andre Fleury
who performed a little "left-handed-larceny.".
Fleury's stoning of Ovechkin kept the Penguins from falling behind early in a hostile environment. The save kept the momentum even and instead of getting the home crowd rolling it inspired the Penguins.
B) Two-goal Penguins strike -
After a fairly quiet start to this all-important Game 7, a penalty to Shaone Morrisonn
gave the Penguins an imperative edge en route to the fastest two-goals in Game 7 history.
On the ensuing Penguins power play, Sergei Gonchar
walked the puck along the blueline and took an off-balance shot that was clearly headed wide. As the puck caromed past Tom Poti
in front, it managed to hit Sidney Crosby
's skate at the doorstep of the net. Crosby gained control of the puck and then quickly banged it into the empty net to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.
Then, just eight seconds later, Pittsburgh extended the gap right from the center ice faceoff thanks to an unlikely source. The Capitals defense tried to make something happen with aggressive play, leaving no support behind them. Fourth liner Craig Adams
, playing in his 42nd playoff game, got a cross-ice pass from Ruslan Fedotenko
and fired the puck on net, beating Simeon Varlamov five hole again.
Adams' first career playoff goal coupled with Crosby's power play marker shocked the Verizon Center and sent the Capitals reeling, while showing that the Penguins were ready for this Game 7.
C) 28 seconds into the second -
After leading 2-0 through one period of play, the Penguins knew how explosive the Capitals offense could be. They had to keep applying pressure -- and they did so in a big way just 28 seconds into the second period.
carried the puck across the Capitals blue line. He slowed down along the boards and dropped a pass to Bill Guerin
, who was cruising into the zone at the top of the right circle. Guerin released a heavy one-timer that beat Simeon Varlamov five-hole to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.
This is exactly what the Penguins had to do, come out exactly how they did in the first period. This goal stunned the Capitals and their fans, as the Penguins grabbed a commanding three-goal lead.
D) Pens pull away to 4-0
- Less than two minutes after Bill Guerin
gave the Penguins a seemingly insurmountable three-goal lead, Pittsburgh's offense went looking for more.
After a pass from Evgeni Malkin
, Kris Letang
crossed the blue line, teed up a shot from the top of the right circle and fired a shot that beat Varlamov short side high. That sent Varlamov to the bench and extended the Penguins' lead to 4-0.
The fourth Pittsburgh goal was a total downer for the Capitals faithful. It really buried a demoralized Washington team, and cemented a stellar, dominant performance by the playoff-savvy Penguins .
This perfect tic-tac-toe play gave Detroit a spark as they trailed, 2-1, with just 2:25 remaining in the game.
E) Ovie giveaway, Sid scores
- With a 5-1 lead after two periods, the Penguins would add further insult to the Capitals with a sixth goal two minutes into the third period.
Whole shorthanded, Alex Ovechkin
was inside the Pittsburgh zone trying to keep the puck contained when he got tangled up with Miroslav Satan
and the puck came loose. Sidney Crosby
seized the opportunity for a clean breakaway, and skated untouched through both blue lines before wristing the puck past Jose Theodore
, who had replaced Simeon Varlamov after Pittsburgh's fourth goal.
While the Caps would score one more goal in the third period, the Penguins would retain a four-goal lead and take Game 7 and their semifinal series with the Capitals to move on to the Eastern Conference Final.
FINAL SCORE: Penguins 6, Capitals 2