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Pens salute heroes' 'great save'

| Saturday, April 27, 2013, 8:21 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh police officer Forrest Hodges (from left), Penguins general manager Ray Shero, heart attack victim David Allen and ex-Army medic Freddie Waine pose in the Lexus Club on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

David Allen finally made it to Consol Energy Center.

He attended the Penguins' regular-season home finale Saturday against Carolina, two months after he went into cardiac arrest outside Epiphany Catholic Church prior to a game Feb. 22.

“I made it to the curb last time,” said Allen, 66, of Beaver. “It was supposed to be my first game in this building.”

Allen and two men that UPMC doctors credited with saving his life — Forrest Hodges and Freddie Waine — were guests of the Penguins on Saturday.

The men and their families dined at the Lexus Club, sat in Section 108 and were presented with autographed jerseys by Penguins general manager Ray Shero.

Allen received a signed replica of Evgeni Malkin's No. 71. His Malkin jersey was ruined when Hodges and Waine, an ex-Army medic, rushed to his aide.

Allen collapsed late in the afternoon that day.

Hodges, 53 of the North Side, was off duty from his position with the Pittsburgh police, working traffic at Centre Avenue. Waine, 29 of Washington, was walking toward Consol Energy Center with his son.

Hodges and Waine rushed to assist Allen, both providing CPR until firefighters, Zone 2 police and city medics arrived, Hodges said.

Allen was taken to UPMC Mercy. He spoke with Hodges that night and with Waine a week later.

“There is no doubt he was in the right place at the right time and with the right people around him,” said Allen's girlfriend, Lynne Murray, 53. “The doctors said 7 percent of people that go into cardiac arrest outside of a medical facility survive. He was really lucky.”

Hodges and Waine also were presented with autographed jerseys.

Shero handed them signed replicas of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's jersey.

Fleury famously made a Stanley Cup-clinching save in Game 7 of the Final at Detroit four years ago.

“But you talk about great saves,” Shero said while presenting Hodges and Waine their jerseys. “What you guys made was a great save.”

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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