Frank Pietrangelo wasn’t in a Pittsburgh Penguins uniform Friday night in Philadelphia, but it sure looked like it.
More than 14 years after Pietrangelo’s dramatic glove save on Peter Stastny’s shot in the 1991 Stanley Cup playoffs in New Jersey, another Pittsburgh Penguins goalie – Sebastien Caron – came through with an awe-inspiring glove save.
Call it The Save, Part 2.
Caron’s stop of Brian Savage on Friday night in Philadelphia was as dramatic as Pietrangelo’s save against the Devils on April 13, 1991. A long Flyers shot deflected off the near post and behind Caron to Savage, who one-timed the puck toward a wide-open goal. Caron dove to his left, reached back and snagged the puck out of the air just before it crossed the goal line for the beautiful save.
“I was searching for the puck and I just happened to turn around the puck was right there on the blade of [Savage], so I tried to hurry up and put my glove there,” Caron said. “Sometimes, you hit the glove. If you do something like that once a year, that’s one goal less and one more point.”
The shot’s momentum nearly carried Caron’s glove over the goal line. However, video replays proved Caron was able to pull his glove back before that happened.
“It was so close from the red line that I was not sure if it was in or not. I was just hoping,” he said. “It happened so quick that you don’t realize how far your glove goes. It was far away from me and I made a full-extension.”
Caron had no idea how thrilling the save was until he watched replays of it Saturday morning.
“I didn’t really know what was going on. I checked it out [Saturday] morning and that’s how I found out,” he said. “I thought it was pretty cool. It’s always nice to make a big save like that. It’s pretty good, so I will take it.”
Pietrangelo’s save propelled the Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Devils in Game 6 of the Patrick Division Semifinals. They won Game 7 and went on to capture their first Stanley Cup championship.
While many point to Pietrangelo’s save as the postseason turning point for the Penguins that year, Caron’s snare was important as well. It came with 1:11 remaining in the third period in Philadelphia and helped preserve the Penguins’ 5-5 tie and march back from a four-goal deficit to force overtime. Philadelphia scored an overtime power-play goal to win the game, but Pittsburgh earned a point in the standings as well.
“It was a pretty good save,” Caron said. “The most important thing is that we got the point because of that.”
Caron couldn’t believe it when he felt the puck in his glove. Everyone at the Wachovia Center thought Savage scored, even the Philadelphia goal judge, who turned on the light even before Savage shot the puck.
“I was pretty happy and excited because it was late in the game, so it always feels good to make an exciting save like that,” Caron said.