On June 4th, 2012, the Penguins traded for and then signed Tomas Vokoun. It was their first roster move since getting beaten by the Flyers in the playoffs.
And here he was, 11 months later, standing between the pipes for the biggest game of the season. In front of him was a team searching for confidence. Behind him was a fanbase eating itself in panic and anxiety. And he answered with a shutout, with the Pens now heading to the Isle on Saturday night to close this bitch out.
But Vokoun wasn't the only one that delivered a moment.
Of all the players you would peg to deliver the Pens' biggest goal since Jordan Staal's game-tying goal in Game 4 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, it was Tyler Kennedy. Relegated to the press box after a shit regular season, TK got his chance Thursday night and was ready to perform.
CONSOL Energy Center was sphinctered up. But when Kennedy took a Norris pass from Kris Letang, spun it around across the blue line, went in alone, and picked the corner behind Nabokov, Pens fans could finally do something with all that built-up tension.
And then the Captain delivered. Sidney Crosby split the Islanders' D and scored what could become a signature goal for him. A goal that reminded many (GIF
via @jonlin_) of the statue standing outside CONSOL. It put the Pens up 3-0, and it was all over but the cryin'.
And now the Pens go back to the Isle with a chance to exorcise demons of not only this series, but the Flyers series, the Lightning series, the Canadiens series, and, our favorite, the '93 series.