Simeon Varlamov’s Show-Stopping Save on Sidney Crosby
Because the Washington Capitals ended up edging out the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, in game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, this save is all the more epic and astonishing. The “save of the playoffs,” as Eddie Olczyk called it, and it really bears no exaggeration whatsoever. To have gone down in game 1 at home against a hot Penguins team would have been extremely detrimental to the Capitals, and goalie Simeon Varlamov single-handedly prevented the Penguins from taking the lead in the second period of that game with his breathtaking stop on Sidney Crosby.
Pittsburgh was on the rush, Crosby leading, and he dropped the puck back to winger Chris Kunitz. With a burst of speed down the right side, Kunitz is able to slip the puck through traffic and to Crosby’s stick, when the center looked at a gaping-wide open net. Crosby did all he could in that split moment to hit the puck into the open net, but Varlamov’s stick came flying back and just barely got a piece of the puck. It rolled and wobbled and danced on the line but never completely crossed it, and the result was the save of the season, certainly of Varlamov’s career, and if the Capitals win their first Stanley Cup this season could end up the biggest save in their franchise’s history. Well done, kid!