Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Penguins 3, Red Wings 2

Huge. That's the word of the day. Absolutely HUGE.

The Pens found a way tonight.

They found a way to score first.

They found a way to score on the power play.

They found a way to get a goal from an unlikely source.

They found a way to keep Detroit in check.

They found a way to win.

First period:

The Pens got the early power play, and though they didn't score, they managed to get some decent chances against Detroit.

The zebras decided that the early theme of the night was "Reach out and touch someone", because every time it happened, they blew the whistle. Staal was whistled immediately after the Pens' power play expired.

The Pens killed both penalties they were hit with during the first. Excellent penalty killing job by just about everyone.

Sidney Crosby put the team on his back when Brad Stuart turned the puck over in his own zone. The Pens intercepted and Crosby and Hossa charged the net. Sid had it last and he banked it in off the inside of Osgood's leg. Absolutely HUGE goal. If the Pens come back to make this a series, this goal will be the reason why. 1-0 Pens.

Much better period from the Pens, especially since they were out shot early, but managed to come out of the period with the lead.

Second period:

Early in the second, the Pens finally broke through on the power play when Sid was in the right place at the right time. Gonchar made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone and got away a shot from the point. It pinballed through several players before winding up on Sid's stick (which was on the ice in the right place). He banged it into the cage before Osgood could get his glove back to stop it. 2-0 Pens.

Things settled down a bit, other than Holmstrom suddenly turning into a turtle when he goes to the front of the net. When he was hit / pushed in the back, he went down faster than a hungry man at a buffet. Gill was the target of two penalty calls when he hit Holmstrom.

On the second call against Gill, with less than 15 seconds left on the Detroit power play, Johan Franzen made a great individual play to beat Scuderi and made the worlds slowest beeline to the net. What made his goal remarkable was the ability to elevate the puck. Great hands by Franzen. Bad result for the Pens. 2-1 Pens.

Protecting a one goal lead going to the third, you knew this was going to be a HUGE period.

Third period:

The Red Wings unleashed 16 shots in the third. They threw everything possible at Flower.

Hall got a garbage goal when his line (which included Talbot and Roberts at the time) generated some noise in the offensive zone. They got Osgood out of position, and when Osgood tried to get back into the net, Hall banked it off of Osgood's backside from behind the net. I guess this means that if Franzen is the Mule, Osgood is the Ass. 3-1 Pens.

The Red Wings brought the pressure on a more consistent basis. With less than 7 minutes remaining, MFS (Michael Frickin' Samuelsson) threw a shot from the right circle that may have deflected off of Orpik's stick and behind Fleury. 3-2 Pens.

Malkin took a hooking call (which was helped by Kronwall holding onto Geno's stick) with just over four minutes left. The Pens came up with a huge penalty kill. Nothing is ever easy, eh?

After the PK, the Wings were looking to get Osgood off the ice. The Pens kept them bottled up until there were about 30 seconds left. The Wings generated some pressure, but couldn't score.

Notes:
  • Fleury was great. He wasn't perfect, but he stopped everything he needed to.
  • Can you say enough about Sid after tonight? When his team needed him the most, he led by example. You have to think Mario was smiling in the his box.
  • Hossa came up big with two assists on Crosby's goals.
  • Holmstrom didn't return after his disqualification from ice dancing with Gill in the third.
Next up: You all have plans for Saturday night. That's the next huge game.

3 comments:

Roger Kelly said...

WHAT A GAME!!!!!

Was up to 4am in here in the UK watching it..pure playoff hockey especially that 6/7 minute burst in the 3rd without a whistle.

Great crowd tonight..well done fans!!

Liked the extra intensity tonight....need that 3 more games in a row now to hoist the cup:)

Crosby - superstar night!
Fleury - great stops @ crucial times
Roberts - loved the controlled aggrssion this time
Hossa - was everywhere
Talbot - see Hossa
Malone - causing mayhem
Hall - great faceoff play & the winner!
Staal - great penalty killing
Orpik - 4 hits in a row!!!
Whitney - solid on the D.
Gonchar - great rushes & defence work
Kennedy - solid shifts
Gill - shut out Holmstrom well. Watch the penalties next time!!
Scuderi - great blocks & more
Dupuis - good all round
Malkin - welcome back Geno
Sydor - nice comeback
Ruutu - solid shifts
Sykora - soldi shifts too

Roll on Saturday nite...

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chuck said...

I had to DVR the game since I'm on the west coast (y'all start so EARLY there in the East!), and it was totally worth watching in its entirety. Reminds me of what turned me on to this sport in the first place (Oilers - 'Canes a few years back).

After watching Detroit embarass my Sharkies in person. Twice. I say give 'em hell, boys! What a great game... let's have like four more, what say? :)

Pat said...

@roger kelly - from the UK? 4am? wow - that's dedication! nice notes.

@chuck - i'd settle for three more games, if I could choose :-)