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Today in Hockey History: Brooks Orpik Throws 4 Crushing Checks in 15 Seconds

May 28, 2008: Known as “the shift” Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik throws 4 big hits in the span of 15 seconds in game 3 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.

Let’s set the stage…

Having gone scoreless in games 1 and 2, the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to win game 3 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.

Fortunately for the Pens, captain Sidney Crosby showed up to play that night, scoring his first goal with 3:35 left in the first period and his second, a power-play rebound, only 2:34 into the second.

Johan Franzen cut the Pens lead in half, scoring a filthy individual effort with 5:13 left in the second.

Pens forward Adam Hall scored a huge goal, his 2nd of the 2008 playoffs, with 12:48 left in the 3rd period to restore the Pens two-goal lead.

The stage is officially set for Brooks Orpik to have the most memorable shift of his NHL career…

Just before the midway point of the 3rd period, Brooks Orpik showcased what Brooks Orpik does best: check!

But this time, the hockey stars aligned for Orpik to check not just one member of the Red Wings on this shift. Instead, he had the chance to level the entire forward line, with an extra hit reserved for Dallas Drake.

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Orpik started by dropping Kris Draper with a heavy hip check along the sidewall before beelining for Dallas Drake below the Pens goal line and putting him on his backside with a booming left shoulder check.

But being the 15 year NHL veteran that he was, Dallas Drake got right up and continued to work the forecheck.

He quickly regathered the puck and worked his way up the sidewall to cycle the puck back to Daniel Cleary while getting simultaneously laid out by the left shoulder of Brooks Orpik for the second time in about 5 seconds.

Feeling left out from his linemates Draper and Drake, Daniel Cleary started cutting back in Brooks Orpik’s corner before Orpik questionably laid him out from behind.

The packed Mellon Arena went nuts while Brooks Orpik supplanted his endearment from Pens fans for life.

And fortunately for Brooks and the Pittsburgh Penguins, “the shift” wasn’t for nothing as the Pens held on to win 3-2 in game 3.

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