In the first two rounds the Penguins didn't put their opponents away when they had the chance.
Tonight the Prince of Wales was in the building.
A second consecutive trip to the Stanely Cup Finals was on the line.
They weren't making any mistakes this time.
Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins meant business.
It's time to dance with Lord Stanley once again.
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Bill Cowher sounded the Hurricane siren to begin the game. Don Cherry interviewed him before he did it. Cowher said he started watching hockey when Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis played in Pittsburgh.
Cam Ward slams his stick on the boards as he heads onto the ice. What intensity. What focus. What desire.
It's a shame it didn't last more than five minutes.
That little girl comes out to sing the national anthem. Rumor has it she was wearing her lucky socks.
The game started off with a tentative tone. The Pens changed lines about three times in the first minute.
You knew the Hurricanes had to score early to have a chance.
Eric Staal finally realizes the Conference Finals have started. He wraps around the net and shoves it in.
Going into this game the Hurricanes were 7-0 when Staal scores.
His goal gives Carolina some hope.
Plus, they are 5-1 when scoring first.
The one loss? Game three.
The Canes keep the pressure on.
Malkin takes the puck and goes for a skate. There's a scuffle in front of the Carolina bench.
Staal tries the wrap around again. No go this time.
Ray Whitney turns the puck over and Tenk streaks in and is denied.
The crowd is going nuts. Carolina 3-on-2. Broken up.
With about 12 minutes left the action really picks up.
Boucher shoots from the point. It looks like it's going wide.
Fedotenko is left alone beside the net. He tips it in.
No one is quite sure what just happened. Cam Ward is left confused.
Malkin loses his stick. He decides to try to take Larose's. Unfortunately, that's a penalty.
Hurricane power play. Their PP is 1-for-8 in the series.
The Canes actually put something resembling a power play unit on the ice.
Fleury makes a big save in front of the net.
Fleury stumbles or he is knocked down behind the net. The Carolina crowd screams for a penalty. No one knows why. The game continues.
The Sesame Street line is out. They change the momentum of the game. How important is that line? Jordan Staal with a big hit on Scott Walker. The Canes can't change.
Jokinen cross checks Adams behind the net. Penguins power play.
The Pens have some pressure, but they can't get one by Ward.
As the power play ends, it's the Canes turn put on the pressure.
It's not enough as Fleury stands tall.
Talbot takes the puck off of a defender at the blue line.
He skates in and floats a shot towards the net. It flies by Ward's glove hand. Superstar!
If the first goal confused people, the second goal was even worse. How did that get by Ward?
With 25 seconds left there's a scramble in front of the Penguins net. Fleury keeps it out. There's a scrum after the whistle. Malkin gives an extra shove and gets a penalty for roughing.
The period ends before the Canes can get anything done on the power play.
The shots are 9-5 after the first.
Dan Bylsma talks to the ref about the Malkin penalty as they walk off the ice.
Carolina starts the period on the power play. The Pens kill it. Carolina has three shots on that power play.
The previously loud crowd has quieted down.
Some guy with a horn tries to wake them up.
Malkin takes a high stick to the face. It's his own stick that hits him in the face, but Seidenberg takes the penalty. Penguins power play. They're 3-for-13 in the series.
Eric Staal comes in shorthanded. He can't get it by Fleury. The crowd is awake now.
The Pens power play can't set up. When they finally do Carolina breaks it up and clears the zone.
Gonchar blasts it from the blue line. It almost gets by Ward. Jordan Staal can't reach it to shove it in.
That's what she said.
Some good action is broken up by the Canes icing the puck.
Jordan Staal wants to score. Rumor has it his older brother is watching. He's all over the puck. The Pens forecheck puts on the pressure.
Kunitz shoves Seidenberg into the boards. He responds by tripping Sidney Crosby. Smart move.
Penguins power play. LaRose picks off a Gonchar pass and streaks in shorthanded. Guerin takes a holding penalty on the play.
Tie Domi is watching the game with Mario Lemieux for some reason.
Eric Staal tries another wrap around. No dice. Fedotenko gets the puck out and passes it to Eaton. Cam Ward makes the save.
After watching the Pens score so frequentlty in the last two games, having only two goals on the board at this point is a little nerve-wracking.
Crosby gets loose. A two-on-one with Guerin.
You can smell a goal here. Crosby to Guerin.
Staal tries another wrap around. Again he's denied. Eric Staal is trying to win the game on his own tonight. Unfortunately for Carolina he hasn't been playing this way all series.
Kunitz streaks in and fires a shot. Ward grabs it.
CBC shows a clip of Crosby and Guerin in practice. They score a goal and celebrate with smiles on their faces. The announcers mention how Crosby has learned to enjoy himself since Guerin came to the team.
The Pens take the puck in offside.
Seidenberg delivers a big hit on Talbot in the corner. They get a chance, but Fleury stops it. The Pens end up icing the puck. The Canes put on the pressure now. Fleury makes a good save and the Pens ice it to relieve the pressure.
Crosby changes his stick to give his line some rest before the faceoff.
The Pens ice it again.
The Canes are trying to save their season here. Fleury won't let them. Eric Staal is open at the side of the net but his team mates can't get the puck to him.
The period ends. The shots were 16-10 for Carolina in the second.
Talbot speaks in the intermission. He says that Fleury has held his team in and that they'll need to weather the storm and close the Canes out next period.
Chris Osgood says he left the Red Wings game yesterday with "a touch of the flu" and that he isn't injured.
The Pens open the third 20 minutes away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.
Fleury makes a great save to start the period.
The Canes keep the pressure on. They can't really put any good chances together. When they do get pucks on net, Fleury keeps them out.
The Pens are staying back a bit now, trying to limit the Hurricanes chances. They don't want to blow this.
Cullen breaks in. He gets a shot away but Fleury holds the fort. Adams takes a hooking penalty on the play. The Canes have had four shots on the power play tonight.
Again, the Hurricanes can't generate much on the power play. Fleury is solid when he needs to be.
The Penguins aren't taking any chances now. Not with a trip to see Lord Stanley on the line.
Talbot hits the post with a shot.
Play is stopped as Eric Cole is down on the ice behind the net.
He ran into Fedotenko and his helmet came off.
He was then hit in the head by Evgeni Malkin's knee. Cole leaves the ice holding the side of his head.
The Sesame Street line puts on the pressure with ten minutes remaining.
Crosby draws a penalty at the Carolina blue line. Joe Corvo goes to the box for hooking.
A Pittsburgh goal here could end this game. The Pens are very tentative.
Chad LaRose decides that he doesn't want to play in a gave five and he trips Jordan Staal.
The first penalty is killed.
Eric Staal goes in shorthanded. He can't get a shot off.
CBC mentions the Staal family cottage. Take a shot.
The Pens are just trying to run out the clock now.
The second penalty is killed.
With about five minutes left the Carolina crowd starts to cheer. The Hurricanes know they need to take some chances now, but they don't want to give the Pens any more opportunities to score.
"Rock You Like A Hurricane" is busted out. Towels are twirling. Horns are blaring.
The Canes need to pull out all the stops now. They put on some pressure, but can't get a goal.
"Don't Stop Believing" makes an appearance with three minutes left.
Eric Staal seems to want to win this game himself. Not possible.
Cam Ward is pulled. The Canes start to put on the pressure.
With 80 seconds left all we can think about is Carolina in game seven of round one.
But the Pittsburgh Penguins are not the New Jersey Devils.
Crosby gives it to Craig Adams.
Empty net goal.
The Carolina Hurricanes have just traded that little anthem girl for a 300 pound woman.
Cam Ward had a 4.75 GAA this series.
The fans are on their feet as time ticks down.
The last 30 seconds feel like an eternity.
The game ends. The Penguins head to Fleury and they are going to the Stanley Cup Finals once again.
The Prince of Wales trophy is on the ice and Sidney Crosby carries it to his team. The crowd gasps as he touches it.
Malkin, Crosby and Gonchar pose with the trophy.
Almost every Penguin touches the trophy as they skate off the ice.
- Sid told CBC that the team decided to switch it up and touch the trophy after what happened last year
- Mario Lemieux skated with it over his head in 1991 and that turned out okay