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BIG MOMENTS - May 21, 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.

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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Carolina at Pittsburgh - Game 2

A) Fleury saves, Crosby scores - Carolina got the first high-quality chance as Rod Brind'Amour took the puck from behind the Pittsburgh net early in the first period and passed it to Scott Walker, who was skating in untouched from the right faceoff circle. Marc-Andre Fleury was there to make the save, keeping the 'Canes off the board and prompting a breakout down the ice.

The Penguins would re-set in the Carolina zone, where Chris Kunitz took a pass behind the net from Bill Guerin and fed it through the crease to Sidney Crosby. Crosby flew in from the right faceoff circle and one-timed the puck past a handcuffed Cam Ward to give Pittsburgh an early 1-0 lead.


B) Two goals in a 25 second span - After Carolina quickly took away the momentum from Pittsburgh's early goal and evened the score, Evgeni Malkin would give the Penguins the lead again as he put the rebound of a Tyler Kennedy wraparound attempt in the net. Malkin's tally ignited the home crowd, but the Hurricanes' response came almost immediately.

Jussi Jokinen would put the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury just 25 seconds later, knotting up Game 2 and once again sapping the energy from Mellon Arena.



C) Talbot ties it up - As Carolina looked to build on a 3-2 lead early in the second period, the Penguins killed off a Hurricane power play to keep the deficit at one. The puck cleared the zone 21 seconds afterward, careened off the boards and wound up on the stick of Maxime Talbot at the Carolina blue line.

Talbot rushed in ahead of the Canes' defense and slapped a shot from between the circles past Cam Ward, tying the game for the Penguins just over three minutes into the second period.




D) Kunitz's go-ahead goal - Pittsburgh put on the pressure as the clock wound down before the second intermission, but despite outshooting Carolina by a 16-6 margin in the second period, Cam Ward had kept the score level. The Pens would finally get what they had been looking for from a source who had been struggling, as Chris Kunitz took the puck and spun around in the left faceoff circle before swerving in toward the net and lifting the puck past Ward and into the top shelf of the net.

It was Kunitz's first goal in 19 games, and it gave the Pens a 4-3 lead with just 7.3 seconds left before the break.


E) Malkin gets the hat trick - Evgeni Malkin had already give Pittsburgh the lead once again with his second goal of the night, but moments later he would seal a Game 2 victory for the Pens by capping off his hat trick with a goal for the ages. After taking a faceoff from the left circle in the Carolina zone, Malkin fought through Matt Cullen at the dot and picked up the puck, taking it behind the net.

Malkin carried it around the net and brought it out to the bottom of the right faceoff circle, but with a path to the center cut off, he backhanded the puck top shelf, giving Pittsburgh the game's first two-goal advantage, and polishing off his first career playoff hat trick.


FINAL SCORE: Penguins 7, Hurricanes 4










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