Having just completed Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a Game 7 win over the Capitals, Pittsburgh is set to take on the Carolina Hurricanes
in the Eastern Conference Final.
NHL.com has been tracking the Big Moments from every game with you, the fan, voting for your favorites. Below are the top Big Moments from the Penguins' series with the Capitals, moments that got the Pittsburgh squad to a second straight conference finals appearance.
Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!
Game 3: PITTSBUGH 3, WASHINGTON 2 (OT)
Letang's OT winner (44.24 % of vote)
The endgame for Pittsburgh came following a frenzied overtime where the Pens buzzed in the Caps' zone for most of the time.
After Simeon Varlamov
covered up the puck after Evgeni Malkin
just missed a long pass that would have given him a breakaway, Sidney Crosby
won the ensuing faceoff. The puck found its way back to the left point, where Kris Letang
unleashed a 58-foot slapshot, which bounced off a Washington defender behind Varlamov for a 3-2 Penguins victory.
Game 4: PITTSBURGH 5, WASHINGTON 3
Talbot beats Varlamov (30.09 % of vote)
A shorthanded goal by Milan Jurcina
had given the Capitals life early in the third period, but after eight minutes of holding down Washington's attack, the Pens cleared the puck and Maxime Talbot
got back at Varlamov after having been robbed
earlier in the third. Talbot picked the puck up off the boards near the red line. With two Capitals racing in front of him, Talbot raced past both of them and fired a shot from the left faceoff circle.
The puck got through Simeon Varlamov
, giving the Pens a two-goal edge. Talbot's score effectively ended any chance of a comeback for the Caps, evening the series at 2-2.
Game 5: PITTSBURGH 4, WASHINGTON 3 (OT)
Malkin's OT Winner (56.43 % of vote)
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.
Game 7: PITTSBURGH 6, WASHINGTON 2
Fleury foils Ovie (39.74 % of vote)
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.