May 27, 2009
After letting one past him 1 minute and 36 seconds into Game 4, Fleury did the job the rest of the way, making 30 saves in the Penguins' 4-1 victory that earned them a second-straight Eastern Conference title. His defense once again played well in front of him, but Fleury made all the stops the Penguins needed him to, especially in a 16-shot second period for the Canes.
Max Talbot(notes) had a three-point night, with a fluky goal and two secondary helpers. But it was Guerin's second-period goal that nearly clinched it for the Penguins. He snagged a Carolina turnover, and then cashed in a Sidney Crosby(notes) pass for a 3-1 lead.
OK, so the whole "Canes win when Staal scores" thing went out the same window the whole "Cam Ward is unbeatable in Game 2" thing went. But he finally broke through with a goal and had five shots on the night.
Major Penalty: Anton Babchuk(notes) started the postseason as the most lethal weapon on the Carolina blue line. He ends the postseason without a goal scored; and having deflected Talbot's goal and turned the puck over on Guerin's goal in just 10:41 of play in Game 4 of the conference finals. Yuck.
Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Evgeni Malkin(notes), Penguins; 2. Johan Franzen(notes), Detroit Red Wings; 3. Sidney Crosby, Penguins; 4. Henrik Zetterberg(notes), Red Wings; 5. Chris Osgood(notes), Red Wings; 6. Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins; 7. Marian Hossa(notes), Red Wings; 8. Jonathan Toews(notes), Chicago Blackhawks; 9. Nicklas Lidstrom(notes), Red Wings; 10. Dave Bolland(notes), Blackhawks.