Canes Beat Buzzer; Fleury Steals Show
April 21, 2009 by Big Tony
What an incredible night for Marc-Andre Fleury in Philadelphia as he helped the Pittsburgh Penguins get a strangle hold on that series. Not to be outdone however where the Canes and Devils who played a game that had quite an ending Tuesday night and that’s where we’ll start.
Coming into Tuesday’s game the Devils and Canes had traded overtime wins on the other team’s home ice and despite New Jersey’s dominating game one performance this looks like it can be quite a series. Carolina came out of the gates blazing building a 3-0 lead that was kept from getting worse by Martin Brodeur’s stellar play. The Devils were dominated for 39 minutes 30 seconds until Brian Gionta netted New Jersey’s first goal as the second period came to a close ripping the momentum from Carolina’s grasp. In the first nine minutes of the third period the Devils road the momentum into the net twice more to tie the game at three and looked to have taken control of game four. As the third period came to a close the contest looked destined for overtime where by all accounts the Devils would have held a marked advantage; NOT SO FAST! With time winding down in the third the Canes blast a shot from the blue-line that clips a skate in front and gets by Brodeur with only .2 seconds remaining! The goal was one of the most incredible plays in playoff history and perhaps in all of hockey. Buzzer beaters are a common occurrence in basketball but certainly not in hockey. For those of us who were able to catch the game witnessed history in the making. There really is no such thing as a bad shot in the playoffs, just ask the Carolina Hurricanes. The series is now tied at two and the story will just keep getting better.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was frustrating tens of thousands of Flyer fans by turning in one of the best performances of this young playoff season. After Crosby quieted the crowd by getting the Penguins on the board first Fleury did his part in keeping them silent for most of the rest of the game. Fleury was by far the best penalty killer for Pittsburgh who seemed to give the Flyers every chance in the world to allow Philly back into the game by taking Penalty after Penalty. But every chance Philly got was turned away by the absolute brilliance of Fleury. The final scored ended up being 3-1 Penguins but if not for Fleury the Penguins may very well have lost the game 5-3. Although he had some confidence issues this year the Penguins goaltender always seems to show up when the game is most important. Take note ladies and gentlemen because we may be witnessing the early stages of what could be a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate come early June. Pittsburgh now has a commanding 3-1 lead over the Flyers heading back to the Steel City for game five and a potential close out night. If the handshake line is indeed formed on Thursday night Flyers fans can address their complaints to Marc-Andre Fleury