Washington Capitals lead series 2-1
by Jan Snyder
I Need a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life
This is not an easy song to dance to, but the lyrics sure fit exciting Game Three. Being back home agrees with the Pens as their white-out crowd urged them all on, but especially Geno, chanting his name, trying to get him fired up.
But the beginning of the game was not what any one of us was hoping for as Fleury got out of position when he went after his stick that had gotten away from him. The puck took a weird bounce off the old, old time-worn boards of Mellon Arena. Taking full advantage was the Great 8. Ovechkin plowed in, grabbed the puck, and put his team up 1-0, stunning the Pens and the crowd barely two minutes into the contest. The rest of the first period was pretty forgettable for the home team as they struggled to find their game.
In the second, the only highlight, and it was a big one, was Fedotenko scoring a goal to tie it up. Geno was starting to look like Geno again in the second and this goal proved to be an important one, considering what was yet to come.
As the third started, it was anyone’s game. Ovechkin laid a big hit on Sid, who hardly seemed to notice. But the “Awakening of 71” was in full flower as Geno pounced on a puck and put the home team ahead by one with a power play goal. Shortly after, Orpik and Ovechkin ran into each other like a couple of rams on a mountaintop and each went flying.
While Pens’ fans chewed on their rally towels, willing the team to hold on to the lead, the ref saw fit to call a penalty on the Pens and with only one minute and fifty seconds left, Backstrom threw the puck behind Fleury.
OVERTIME! How long would it last? How long could I last? Should I call in sick now? The pacing began and all I could wonder was who would be our Hero.
Rookie goalie Varlamov was incredible making 39 saves in the game, but he wasn’t quite prepared when Kris Letang (AKA, tonight’s Hero) boomed the puck behind him off the faceoff win by Crosby! There was our Hero! After the last game when Letang left with his shoulder hanging, we weren’t even sure he would play in this game. I called my daughter in Pittsburgh to see if she’d heard something I hadn’t about whether or not Letang would play. She hadn’t but I kept insisting to her and to anyone who would listen that we really needed Letang to play tonight. He sure proved my hunch to be right. Besides his game-winning goal, Letang added an assist.
Maybe all Geno needed was to be in front of the friendly fans again, including his mom and dad. He attempted nine shots and at times was very Mario-esque during this incredible performance. He seemed determined to do his part in this one. Crosby chipped in with two assists and in a nice change from the first two games, everyone was contributing. Sid didn’t have to do it all.
Now we are back in the series and looking ahead already to Game Four on Friday night. We’ll need another Hero. Who will it be in that one? I can’t wait to find out.
Let’s Go, Pens!!