Pittsburgh Penguins (2) at Detroit Red Wings (1)
Detroit leads series 1-0.
The Pens have not trailed in a series in the playoffs until now. In fact, they've never been tied. They won the first two games at home in each series and jumped out to a 3-0 lead overall in each. Losing the first game was tough, but they have the chance to earn the split tonight.
Is earning the split really that hard of a task? The two meaningful goals scored by Samuelsson were both a bit on the fluky side. They're certainly correctable mistakes. Ruutu could have iced the puck to live to fight another day. Fleury could have swiped the puck to the corner instead of trying to go to Malkin.
If I'm Coach Therrien, this is what I'm telling my players: Hey - when the game mattered, we made a few mental mistakes that burned us. Eliminate those and we have a good shot to win that game. We had a few great goal scoring chances that just didn't go for us. Keep pushing the offense and ramp up the intensity on the defensive end.
Gary Roberts will likely play today. George Laraque will likely sit. He played the fewest minutes of any player on Saturday, and McCarty wasn't interested in dancing with him during Game 1 either.
Lines are also changing. Malone is skating with Hossa and Crosby. Malkin and Sykora get Talbot with them. Third line is Dupuis, Kennedy and Staal. Roberts, Hall and Ruutu are on the fourth line.
I don't know if it's a panic move to shift the lines so quickly, but if you look more closely, the important pieces are intact. Crosby and Hossa are together. Same deal with Malkin and Sykora. Those are the important parts. The third line will be a bit faster with the addition of Dupuis at the expense of Ruutu. The fourth will still be able to hand out punishment.
Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend. I'm also hoping we can have a great ending to the holiday weekend.
Let's Go Pens!