Malkin puts on a show as Penguins open up 2-0 lead in East finals
"It's called The
After taking the draw midway through the third period, the big-bodied center pushed forward, picked up the puck on his stick and swept around the net. With
"[Malkin] played like he was possessed," Penguins winger
With the relentless Hurricanes continually fighting back, tying up the game on three different occasions, Malkin finally took matters into his own hands. He made himself a force on every shift, whether that meant going hard to the net, using his body to protect the puck or being quick on the rush.
"Every time he's out there, he's making something happen," captain
Some three minutes before the hats came raining down on the highlight reel backhander, Malkin netted the decisive goal, punching in a rebound up close. He finished with a game-high eight shots and four points, and even a bit of a fight (with
"He wants to be out there," said center
It was almost as if his performance said: Hey, remember me? The league's leading scorer, Hart Trophy finalist, and wonder with the puck. It's almost laughable that we ever could've forgotten.
• One-timers aren't always a Hurricane's friend. Sure,
• With an extra day off in between Games 1 and 2, who could blame either team for making it a track meet for the first 20 minutes? Between them, the 'Canes and Pens had 26 shots and five goals in the first frame alone. Crosby opened the scoring with a goal 1:51 into the game. It was the sixth playoff game where the captain broke the ice, tying an NHL record. But Carolina kept bouncing back, immediately answering each of Pittsburgh's first two goals. Bylsma warned that this series would come down to momentum shifts, and for the first period, the Hurricanes wouldn't let that swing in Pittsburgh's favor.
• This is Ward's first Game 2 loss of his career. The goalie stopped 35 of Pittsburgh's 42 shots in the losing effort. Of course, it's a small sample size, but Ward and the 'Canes have never had to work their way out of an 0-2 rut.