Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NHL ECF Game 4: Penguins @ Hurricanes

The Hurricanes face elimination as they trail three games to zero. Goaltender Cam Ward is 5–0 when facing elimination and he has never lost a playoff series.

First Period: The Hurricanes are playing well, but they can't afford to keep making turnovers, especially with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby on the ice, which is over three-quarters of the time in this game because they are rotating with the open spot on the fourth line. The Hurricanes are 7–0 in the 2009 playoffs when Eric Staal scores a goal, and he scored the first goal on a quick wraparound, but the Penguins came back to take the lead 2–1, with their second goal coming on a deflected shot by Maxime Talbot that floated over Ward's glove.

Second Period: Crosby makes a beautiful pass off of another turnover to let Bill Guerin potentially put the Hurricanes away for the season. The Hurricanes had 16 shots on goal in the second period, but not too many quality chances. A sign held up by a fan said "Miracles Cam Happen" and it will take a miracle for the Hurricanes to win this game. I fully expect them to come out strong in the third period despite Marc-Andre Fleury stopping every opportunity after the first soft goal.

Third Period: Carolina came out with a valient effort, but it's more of the same from Fleury in goal. I was more interested in watching Livan Hernandez finish his 127-pitch complete game for the Mets, giving up one run as the Mets scored six, paced by Gary Sheffield's three-run home run. When I turn back to hockey, the Hurricanes still can't find the back of the net and the Penguins are going back to the Stanley Cup Final after scoring an empty-net goal to make it a 4–1 victory.

Side note: The end of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 2 was unbelieveable. That's the only word I could utter after Hedo Turkoglu and LeBron James traded buckets in the last second.

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