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BIG MOMENTS - May 18, 2009: CAR @ PIT

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The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.

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Carolina at Pittsburgh - Game 1

A) Fleury stops flurry - The Hurricanes got the first major opportunity of the game with a first-period power play, and Carolina wasted little time in getting quality chances on net. But Marc-Andre Fleury was there to hold down the fort. Fleury made a spectacular glove save on Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu from extremely close range with 12:24 to go in the first period.

Fleury wouldn't be finished there, as he would make another strong stop 40 seconds later to keep the game scoreless early on.




B) Pens strike twice - After killing off Carolina's man advantage, the Penguins would take advantage as Matt Cooke fed the puck to Miroslav Satan who was streaking out of the sin bin. The pass resulted in a breakaway for Satan, who used some fancy stickhandling to deke Cam Ward and score the game's first goal.

Pittsburgh would strike again 1:24 later, as Philippe Boucher would pass the puck back to Evgeni Malkin, who backhanded it into the far left side of the net to give the Pens a 2-0 lead, seizing the momentum and leaving the Hurricanes dazed by the early barrage.


C) Ward robs Guerin - With just under five minutes gone in the second period, Pittsburgh nearly made the margin three goals. Sidney Crosby picked up a turnover behind the Carolina net and skated past the left post. He dished the puck through the crease to Bill Guerin, who was streaking into the slot unchecked. Guerin one-timed what looked like a certain goal at the net, but Cam Ward made a superb glove save to keep the puck out of the net.

Ward's big stop kept the Pittsburgh lead at two goals, giving Carolina a chance at a comeback later on in Game 1.


D) Boucher extends the lead - After Chad LaRose had scored for Carolina, the 'Canes were putting pressure on the Penguins, but midway through the third period, Pittsburgh found itself on the power play with a chance to kill some of the remaining time. The Pens would do more than that, though, as Sidney Crosby took the puck at the right point and passed it along the blue line to Philippe Boucher.

Boucher moved into the left faceoff circle and wristed a shot past Cam Ward for his first postseason goal in more than five years. The tally would give Pittsburgh a two-goal lead that proved insurmountable.


E) Fleury covers the puck - With just 86 seconds remaining, the Cardiac 'Canes had pulled within one on a power-play goal by Joe Corvo. As the seconds ticked away, Carolina took a few more shots when a feed by Jussi Jokinen found Eric Staal at the left post. Despite having a wide-open opportunity at the backdoor, Staal was unable to corral the puck.

Marc-Andre Fleury twisted around and flopped onto his back so he could reach the rubber and cover it up with his blocker, freezing the puck with 28.7 seconds left and ending the 'Canes' best opportunity to tie the game.



FINAL SCORE: Penguins 3, Hurricanes 2










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