Midway through the second period, with Edmonton leading 1-0, the Oilers hem the Carolina Hurricanes in their own end, buzzing around goaltender Cam Ward. A wild scramble ensues. The puck is loose. Carolina defenseman Niclas Wallin ends up on his knees in the crease and, after a moment, puts his hand over the puck and scoops it into the corner.
Referee Mick McGeough, down low watching the scramble, immediately gestures to center ice, signaling a penalty shot. He rules that Wallin closed his hand on the puck in the crease.
Given the choice of all the players on the ice, Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish taps Chris Pronger, who takes his first penalty shot ever.
Head up like a real sniper, Pronger takes a slight angle down the left side and rips a wicked wrist shot to the short side to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead.
"The guy's got a tremendous release, I'll tell you that. He got it off very quick and made a great shot," Ward says.
Says Pronger: "Just had a couple of things I wanted to do and kind of opened up, fortunate enough to go in."
Several Hurricanes players said they didn't think replays showed Wallin actually closing his hand on the puck. Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said he couldn't tell for sure. "I don't know if he just moved it out or if he had it under his hands," he said.
The goal was the first penalty shot goal in Stanley Cup finals history in nine attempts. The last Oilers player to take a penalty shot in the finals was Petr Klima, who was stymied by Boston's Reggie Lemelin on May 18, 1990.