- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 9, 2009

PITTSBURGH | The Penguins found their wings in Game 4.

Until then, they had been living on a prayer.

Wings Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko scored first-period goals and Max Talbot added one in the third as the Penguins skated to a 5-3 victory Friday against the Washington Capitals to tie their Eastern Conference semifinal at two games apiece.

It marked the first time in the Stanley Cup playoffs that two Penguins wings scored even-strength goals in the same game, let alone three.

The only other occasion that happened comes with an asterisk: Right wing Tyler Kennedy scored the go-ahead goal and left wing Talbot added an empty-netter in Game 4 of the first-round series against Philadelphia.

“That’s what you need in the playoffs, if you’re going to be successful,” said Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton, who has three playoff goals. “It’s not a one- or two-man show.”

Entering Game 4, however, the Penguins’ wings had accounted for only six of the team’s 26 goals through nine playoff games and 16 total points. In one four-game stretch between the Flyers and Capitals series, they provided only one goal. Meantime, the centers carried the burden by scoring 13 playoff goals, eight by Sidney Crosby.

Entering Friday night’s game, the Penguins’ defensemen had supplied the same amount of goals as their wings, including Kris Letang’s overtime winner in Game 3 on Wednesday. Sergei Gonchar’s power-play goal Friday night gave the Pens’ blueliners a 7-6 scoring edge on their wings.

That statistic apparently didn’t bother the Penguins’ wings.

“It’s one of those games. You’re going to see that. You’re going to see guys go through a series without that happening. They’re going to go through the next series and get a bunch,” Guerin said. “The main thing is, if a guy’s not scoring, he’s playing the right way and doing things to help the team. Eventually through that you’re going to get stats.”

The surge started when Guerin scored the go-ahead goal at 10:47, threading a pass to Crosby between two defenders from the right boards and then rebounding after Crosby twice was turned away.

It was Guerin’s first goal since Game 2 of the Flyers series, when he scored twice. The 17-year veteran has 31 career goals in the postseason and later got a secondary assist on a Crosby goal.

Not to be outdone, Fedotenko scored his third playoff goal - and second in as many games - when his shot skipped off the glove of Capitals goaltender Simeon Varlamov for a power-play goal at 15:25. Fedotenko later assisted on Talbot’s goal.

Fedotenko’s sudden scoring surge was his second display of nice timing in the playoffs. He also scored the Penguins’ first goal after they fell behind 3-0 in Game 6 of the Flyers series.

While Satan didn’t score a goal, his perfectly timed pass through the legs of Capitals defenseman John Erskine set up Crosby perfectly for a goal at 4:16 of the third period for a 4-2 lead.

It was Satan’s first point of the playoffs.

Talbot got into the act in the third, taking a Fedotenko pass off the left boards and flipping a shortside shot past Varlamov for a 5-3 advantage at 14:46.

“All of our forwards have done a great job, whether they’re scoring goals or not,” Eaton said. “It’s not all about scoring goals. It’s about being good defensively. They’ve been great on the walls. They’ve been great outs for us defensemen. It’s a joy to have them up there because they’re all hard workers and get the job done all the time.”



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