Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Three Season-Saving Saves By ... Scuderi?

The Stanley Cup finals creates heroes every day - some more unlikely than others.

With 13 seconds to go, clinging to a one goal lead, the Red Wings were crashing the net - whacking away at a loose puck just inches away from the goal line.

There was, if you'll forgive the pun, a flurry of activity in the Penguin crease. But Fleury himself, the Pittsburgh netminder, was caught out of position to the side of his net - flopped on the ice and trying to reach back across with his stick.

The Stanley Cup was in the building. The Red Wings, who beat these Penguins in game six to win the cup one year ago, were throwing everything they had at the net to try and force an overtime that could lead to them hoisting the cup that very day.

The Penguins needed a hero. More to the point - with Fleury out of position, they needed a goalie.

And so into the fray skated - or more accurately, flopped - Penguin defenseman Rob Scuderi.

The first shot came from point blank range. Kick save - Scuderi - with the left skate! The second shot - stick save Scuderi. And then a third shot - and again - like a scud missile Scuderi's left foot found the puck again - stopping it inches from the goal.

Now Fleury scrambled back into the crease - as several Red Wings came crashing in as well. There was a big pile up. Whistles blew. The Refs jumped in to untangle the mess and found the puck - still outside the goal line. A face off and a few seconds later it was over. The 'Guins had lived to skate another day. Another three days, actually, because on Friday night in Motor City - the Stanley Cup will be on hand once again. And this time it is not going back in the crate. This time, one team will get their hands on it.

So we go to game seven, thanks to Rob Scuderi who, on a night where Crosby and Malkin we're shut out - emerged as an unlikely hero for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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