Big Lead Sports Bar



On a night when red-hot Sidney Crosby quietly had just two shots, the Penguins used goals from the most unlikely of sources to sneak past the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Miroslav Satan, who played his way to the minors in March, opened the game's scoring with his first goal of the postseason on a breakaway at 9:17 of period one. 84 seconds later, Evgeni Malkin cemented a solid performance with his seventh goal of the playoffs, giving the Penguins an early 2-0 lead. The Penguins dominated play in the first period, with a sparkling, 12-save performance from Marc-Andre Fleury, who outdueled the heavily hyped Cam Ward on the evening.

Carolina played their way back into the game in the second period, creating turnovers and getting a goal from Chad LaRose at the 13:04 mark to close the gap to 2-1. The Pens outshot the Canes by a 12-6 mark in the period, but their efforts did not translate to the scoreboard.

In the third, the Penguins' Philippe Boucher scored at 11:33 on a power play, his first goal of the postseason and his first playoff goal since April 12, 2004. Boucher's goal was valuable insurance for the Pens, who would surrender a second Carolina goal to Joe Corvo on a power play with 1:26 remaining in the game. The Hurricanes would throw the kitchen sink at Fleury in the game's closing moments, but #29 stood strong, finishing with 23 saves on 25 shots and gaining his ninth win of the postseason.

The game seemed to lack the usual playoff intensity until well into the third period, which could be attributed to both teams coming off Game Sevens in their last series. Roughhousing was kept to a minimum, and the Penguins managed to stay out of the penalty box for most of the game, getting just two slaps on the wrist - one of which turned into the Hurricanes' final goal. But expect the physicality and animosity to increase as the series matures.

To briefly summarize, Ward was solid, Fleury was spectacular, Malkin had a strong performance, and Carolina once again struggled to score goals, which isn't really news to anyone. The Penguins got contributions from unexpected sources, and that's usually a key ingredient in a playoff victory. And the viewing audience got a live interview with Big Ben, which was the cherry on top of a perfect evening for Pittsburgh.

The two teams won't meet again until Thursday, when the series resumes at Mellon Arena. Any guesses as to which random Penguin will help save the day in Game Two?

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Steve said...

Seems like the Pens winning game 1 of the conference finals isn't as exciting around here as anything James "the communist" Harrison does in the offseason.

Maybe the regular mondesi's house posters were also at the game last nite; hence the lackluster showing by the fans. The Queen of England can waive her hanky harder than most of the pansy fans at the game last nite.

Don, Please post something about Pitt woman's field hockey so the regulars here can find something useful to contribute.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

who pissed in your Wheaties?

I could personally care less about what James Harrison says.

Fleury finally looked again like the guy who took us to the SCF last year. He was awesome last night.

The 'Canes really have a tremendous amount of speed, this is going to be a heavyweight battle no doubt.

I think Pens can take 'em in 5 though.

the nigerian nightmare said...

Penn State women's field hockey >>>>> Pitt women's field hockey........but yeah, the crowd last night sucked.

Steve said...

My wheaties are fine, just trying to get you guys going.

Fluery was awesome. I just hope he doesn't pull a no-show in game 2 like he normally does after a great performance like that.

I was more afraid of Carolina than Boston because they can expose and take advantage of our less mobile defense and it seems like the can keep the puck in our end for long periods of time when they want to. Sometimes last nite it looked like they had 8 men on the ice.

Jeff_King_Fan said...

Pens in 5. MAF looks like skeletor & borat's offspring, but he played great last night. Crosby will have a big series, and i think the pens win game 2 by at least 3 goals.

-do u think the Pirates will be invited to the white house if they get 81 wins?

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

Who will the retard-du-jour be for the Buccos when they go to the White House? My money is on Snell; he seems to be wired a little erratically

biggamekilla said...

if you are so worried about the crowd at Mellon Arena buy a ticket and go...put your money where your mouth is. I was at game one and the crowd was about as pumped as you could get for a game one of a series. You have to remember that Philly and Washington are two of the biggest rivals the Pens to not have the intensity of those two series was kind of expected. By the way the Pens won quit bitching.