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Hurricanes have parting words for Pens

By Tricia Lafferty
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. - Hurricanes right wing Scott Walker has some news for the Penguins' opponent in the Stanley Cup final.

No matter who it is, they could be in trouble, Walker warned.

"(The Penguins) definitely (have) a great chance," Walker said. "I wouldn't want to play them."

The Hurricanes were victim of a four-game sweep, while the Penguins will face the winner of the Western Conference final, in which Detroit leads Chicago, 3-1.

Carolina players repeatedly blamed the fact that the Hurricanes didn't play their best hockey for the reason the Penguins dominated. Although Carolina was reluctant to compliment the Penguins throughout the series, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice finally admitted that the better team advanced.

"There are no flukes in a seven-game series," Maurice said. "They deserved to win."

The 'Canes couldn't stop Pittsburgh stars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, who combined for 16 points. Carolina center Eric Staal, left wing Ray Whitney and goaltender Cam Ward, on the other hand, never got going.

"They tried to stay in the fight," Maurice said. "Pittsburgh played very, very well. I don't think we had a lot left in the tank. I thought we had gone to the wall a lot of times. We spent a lot to get here and earn the right to be here."

Hurricanes star Eric Staal's season ended last night while brother Jordan Staal, the Penguins center, will play in the Stanley Cup final. As disappointed and dejected as Eric Staal was, he offered his brother some encouraging words during the traditional handshake.

"I just said, 'Good series and good luck; get it done,' " Eric said.

"For us and for him, it's no fun playing against each other this time of year. For him personally, I want him to get it done."

And according to Walker, he just might.

"I wouldn't really want to be facing them if I'm one of the other two teams," he said. "They're playing at a real high level right now. I think that year experience has definitely given them a lot of confidence."



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