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BIG MOMENTS - May 4, 2009: PIT @ WSH

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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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Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!


Washington at Pittsburgh - Game 3

A) 1:23 into the game, a freakish bounce of the end boards on a dump-in by the Caps' Mike Green during a Pittsburgh line change turned into gold for the Caps. With Marc-Andre Fleury leaving his net to play the puck but dropping his stick,  the puck hit off an angle of the boards, then Flurey's dropped stick, and then to -- who else? -- a streaking Alex Ovechkin. The Hart Trophy candidate pounced on the puck, blasting it into the vacated Pittsburgh net for a quick 1-0 Caps lead and quieting the Mellon Arena crowd.


B) Leading 1-0 and having just killed off a Capitals power play, the Penguins looked to take a two-goal lead in Game 2.

After being called for a tripping minor, Kris Letang was given a golden opportunity to cushion the Penguins' lead. During the final seconds of the Washington power play, Sergei Fedorov took a heavy slap shot that missed the net wide. The puck sailed all the way along the boards and out to center ice, where Letang stepped out of the box and had nothing but open ice. Letang skated in all alone on Simeon Varlamov and deked to his backhand, but Varlamov stood strong and forced the shot high and wide of the net with eight minutes to go in the first period.

Letang's chance could have given the Penguins a crucial two-goal lead, but instead it kept the Capitals in the game early on.

C) Already having a 1-0 lead in Game 2, the Penguins were looking for more while on their five-on-three power play. But Simeon Varlamov had other thoughts.

With about two minutes to go in the first period, Bill Guerin fed a pass across the crease to Sidney Crosby who was waiting at the far right post. Crosby one-timed the puck but Varlamov slid across and made a lunging pad save at the door step. The rebound kicked right out to Sergei Gonchar who teed up a blast from the top of the circle. Varlamov was there again, this time making an unbelievable glove save.

Simeon Varlamov's outstanding play while down two skaters kept the Capitals in the game early on. Those two saves highlighted several spectacular moments throughout the game by the young Russian goaltender.

D) Trailing 1-0 early in the second period, the Capitals were trying to give the Verizon Center fans something to cheer about. As usual, Alexander "The Great" brought them to their feet.

Sergei Fedorov carried the puck into the Pittsburgh zone. Drawing two Penguins players towards him, Fedorov dished the puck over to Viktor Kozlov. Kozlov then swung a pass over to Ovechkin, who ripped a slap shot past Marc-Andre Fleury just 2:18 into the period.

Ovechkin's fifth goal of the playoffs tied the game at 1-1, as he broke the Pittsburgh force field.

E) Deadlocked at 1-1, Sidney Crosby came through again for the Penguins, this time at even strength.

Bill Guerin had control of the puck in Washington territory. With Capitals defenders swarming him, Guerin threw the puck toward the net. After at least one deflection, Crosby found the puck in front and buried it past Simeon Varlamov.

Crosby's second goal of the game with 9:03 remaining in the second period gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead; unfortunately for them, it was their last lead of the game.

FINAL SCORE: 









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