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BIG MOMENTS - May 9, 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!




Pittsburgh at Washington - Game 5

A) Backstrom on the PP - The Penguins were pressing for their second goal of the night and after a faceoff win they looked primed to put the puck in the back of the net. However one serious miscue later, the Pens found themselves down a man, after a botched play line change that resulted in a penalty for too-man men on the ice.

On the ensuing power play, Nicklas Backstrom played give-and-go with Sergei Fedorov, then snapped the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury from the slot to give Washington its first lead of the night.

In less than 30 seconds, the Penguins had gone from barely missing a chance to go ahead to having to play from behind.


B) Tank you very much - The Penguins found themselves down a goal heading into the third period after falling behind late in the second period. Ruslan Fedotenko made sure they didn't stay down long.

Just 59 seconds into the third period, Fedotenko took a great drop pass from Evgeni Malkin and fired a wrist shot past a screened Simeon Varlamov, tying the game at 2-2.

Fedotenko's goal shifted the momentum -- instead of being able to play a defensive game and look for openings the Capitals had to open up and it allowed for end to end play for the rest of the period, and gave the Penguins the confidence they needed to make a game of it.


C) Cooke-out - After tying the contest early in the second period, the Penguins took the lead thanks to some offense from an unlikely source.

Rob Scuderi took the puck in his own defensive end, and chipped a nice pass up to Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy cut across the ice and fired a tricky shot on Simeon Varlamov. After making the stop on Kennedy the rebound came out and Jordan Staal tipped the puck back on net. Varlamov, while sitting on the ice, made a spectacular stop on Staal but gave up a pudgy rebound to Matt Cooke who potted just his first goal of the post-season.

The goal was the first time in the post-season the Penguins rallied from a third period deficit to take a lead, and it forced the Capitals to play a riskier and more wide-open style for the remainder of the third period.


D) Oh-vechkin - After a great save by Simeon Varlamov off a Chris Kunitz backhander, the Capitals made a quick turnaround to the opposite end of the ice to tie the game just seconds later.

Mike Green, playing the wing, took the puck along the left boards and feathered a great pass in the slot to Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom then held the attention of both Penguins defenseman Hal Gill and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury as he made a brilliant pass to Alexander Ovechkin on the right side. Ovechkin then did what he does best, as he blasted the puck past a spread-eagle Fleury to tie the game.

With less than five minutes left this goal was huge, tying the game and ultimately forcing overtime, and giving the Caps life when it seemed like they were destined to leave Washington down 3-2 in the series.


E) Malkin's OT winner - With Milan Jurcina in the box for pulling down Evgeni Malkin, the Pens had a rare power-play opportunity in OT.

After a broken play in their defensive zone, Malkin raced down the right wing, using his blazing speed to put pressure on the Capitals' defense. With Sidney Crosby streaking down the off-wing, Simeon Varlamov was concentrating on stopping the Penguins captain when Malkin's pass went careening off Washington defenseman Tom Poti and into the back of the net.

The goal gave Pittsburgh its seventh consecutive OT win and sent the Pens home with a chance to end the series Monday night. For the Capitals it was a crushing goal -- one that they'll need a lot of resilience to recover from in time for Game 6.


FINAL SCORE: Penguins 4, Capitals 3 (OT)









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