Monday, May 18, 2009

Eastern Conference Final: Game One Pens/ Canes

Magic Man – Heart
by Jan Snyder

After this game, we can dance to the dulcet tones of Ann Wilson, thanks to our own Magic Man, Marc-Andre Fleury.

As in Chicago where voters cast their ballots early and often, Fleury cast his spell in Pittsburgh, stopping the Canes early and often. He started the game with a big save, made a couple of huge ones at the end, and threw in a couple of extra special ones in between. Facing only 23 shots, at least a third of them were spectacular.

Right at the start, the magic began. Fleury flashed his glove and poof! – the puck disappeared in his glove. He stopped one by folding himself in half – shazam! The puck disappeared again. A couple of times he fell to the ice covering the puck –presto chango! – no more puck!

To be fair, Cam Ward was doing his best at the other end, making some great saves as well. In the end, the Pens solved him three times and the Canes only solved Fleury twice.

Again the Pens scored two really quick goals to set the pace. On the first one, Satan was in the penalty box and just as the penalty expired, he flew from the box, took the puck and immediately atoned for the penalty by scoring a pretty breakaway goal. Just 84 seconds later, Geno did what he does so well and made towel-waving Mama Malkin, and all the other fans, very happy in the process.

LaRose scored for the Canes in the second period and they almost had another but that one was called back when Gill was interfered with and sent Fleury sprawling. Phillipe Boucher scored a power play goal that juuusssttt trickled ever so slowly over the goal line. That one, assisted on by Sid and Geno, proved to be the difference maker.

That’s when things got a little interesting. Orpik took a penalty with only about 2:30 left in the game and Joe Corvo quickly made it 3-2. If it wasn’t for the Magic Man in goal, it might have been 3-3 before too much longer.

So this wasn’t a perfect game on either side, but Game One is in the books as a win for the Pens. With the next game not being played until Thursday, each time has some time to study the other a little more which means we can probably expect more of the same magic from both goalies next time.

Hopefully we can go to Carolina with a 2-0 lead because we will have to face the jutted- out chin of Bill Cowher when we get there! Apparently after only three years away from living in Pittsburgh has turned him into a Canes fan and he attends each game three where he is the self-proclaimed “Game Three Guy” who cranks up the crowd. Big Ben Roethlisberger was at Mellon Arena tonight taking in the game from Mario’s box. Wonder what he thinks of his former coach rooting against Pittsburgh? Wish Christine Simpson would have asked him.

The Staal Brothers were not really factors in this game. Eric watched Fleury make a great save on him as he poked away at the puck trying to score. Jordan participated in some nice cycling with his line mates, but no scoring came of it.

We can hope the Fleury magic continues at the Igloo on Thursday.

Let’s Go, Pens!!

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