Not meant to be for 'Canes

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Late in the first period last night, Cam Ward made a futile wave at a floating puck that blooped past him into the net.

He might as well been waving goodbye to the Carolina Hurricanes season.

And waving good luck to Jordan Staal, who now is heading to the Stanley Cup final after beating out older brother Eric.

And wishing the best to veteran Penguins forward Bill Guerin, who is making his first appearance in the final since 1995.

Of course, Ward wasn't doing that. He was trying to stop a Maxim Talbot shot that deflected off 'Canes defenceman Anton Babchuk and fluttered past him.

But, in the end, the goal, which snapped a 1-1 tie, proved to be the end of the Hurricanes.

"It was kind of a fluke goal," Ward said after the 4-1 loss to the Penguins, a defeat that allowed the visitors to sweep the Eastern Conference final. "I lost sight of it. It happened really quickly.

"It's one I'd like to have back."

When it was over, Jordan and Eric Staal shared an embrace in the receiving line.

"I'm sure he'll be cheering for me in the final," Jordan said. "I would be cheering for him if he was there."

Jordan said his parents, Henry and Linda, would be relieved that the matchup between brothers finally was over.

"It has been hard on them," Jordan said.

For Guerin, the 14-year absence from the final finally has come to an end. But he, like his teammates, knows four more wins are required to sip from the coveted silver mug.

"This is a nice stop to make," he said. "But it's not where we want to be."

Should the Pens face the Detroit Red Wings, they will be looking for revenge against former teammate Marian Hossa. Hossa, a member of the Pens a year ago, turned down a lucrative multi-year pact with Pittsburgh last summer to ink a one-year deal with the Wings, feeling Detroit had the best chance at winning the 2009 Cup.

The Pens would love to prove him wrong.


Videos

Photos