Monday, June 02, 2008

Penguins 4, Red Wings 3 (3 OT)

This one had the best ending that I can remember in a long time. Here are just a few of the HUGE moments:
  • Talbot tied the game with just over 30 seconds left in the third. The Wings were 30 seconds from the Cup and the Pens denied them.
  • Gonchar came back from what had to be a concussion to quarterback the winning power play, earning an assist on the winning goal.
  • Sykora not only told McGuire he would score the winning goal, but also told the bench that he was going high glove hand on Osgood. He did it, and the Pens won.
  • Fleury was the best goalie in the world tonight. He came up HUGE time after time when the team needed him the most. You can't say enough good things about his game tonight, especially once the overtime started.
The Talbot and Sykora goals immediately become HUGE goals in Pittsburgh history. If the Pens can somehow win two more, their stock rises even more.

The Pens somehow won the game. HUGE!!!

First period:

Things didn't start out terribly well for the Pens in the first. Brooks Orpik took an early hooking call on Filppula. That was immediately followed by a too many men on the ice penalty.

Neither power play proved successful for Detroit. The Pens did a nice job of killing off those penalties.

Shortly after the second penalty expired the Pens made some noise. Crosby, Hossa and Dupuis had a dominating shift in the Detroit zone. Dupuis made a great play to shoulder Rafalski off of the puck, keeping it in the zone. The puck ended up on the stick of Hossa, who wasted no time shooting it to the far side of Osgood from near the right circle. 1-0 Pens.

Six minutes later, Adam Hall scored yet another HUGE goal when he shot the puck from near Osgood. The Detroit netminder made the save, but Kronwall's clearing attempt pulled a Backstrom and went right off of Hall's skate in behind Osgood. 2-0 Pens.

The Pens had several chances to extend their lead, but Osgood made several big saves during the remainder of the first.

Second period:

Darren Helm scored to cut the deficit to one goal. His shot deflected off of Rob Scuderi and behind Fleury. 2-1 Pens.

Gonchar made a great defensive play to stop a near breakaway, but he went hard into the end boards head first. He left the ice with under 3:00 left in the second.

Ryan Malone took a shot to the face shortly after that. He left the ice as well.

Third period:

Malone and Gonchar both came back out to start the third. Gonchar only lasted until the halfway point. He didn't return after that.

The third didn't start well for the Pens, as the Red Wings turned the early minutes into a shooting gallery.

Fleury was the best player on the ice, making several big saves.

Hossa hit the crossbar when he beat Osgood to the short side. That's another huge opportunity that the Pens just couldn't take advantage of.

Datsyuk missed a big chance when he flipped the puck up over Fleury from right in front of the crease. The Detroit goal judge (and just about everyone else) thought the puck was in. It hit squarely off of the crossbar. No goal.

There was a pretty big non-call when Holmstrom slashed the stick out of the hands of Staal.

There was a pretty big penalty call on Kennedy. The Red Wings cashed in when Zetterberg fired a shot-pass to Datsyuk, who redirected it beautifully between the pads of Flower. 2-2 tie.

The Wings kept the pressure and maybe turned it up another notch. Less than three minutes later, the Wings took advantage again of the offensive pressure when Rafalski wristed the puck to the far side to beat Fleury. 3-2 Wings.

At this point, every Pens fan was cursing. The Wings had come out with all of the fire and momentum in the third period.

The Wings kept the pressure up, slowly strangling the Pens, who seemed to have no answer offensively.

It didn't change as the clock dwindled. Fleury was pulled. The extra attacker was on. It was... Max Talbot?? I have to admit, I was a bit surprised to see that.

The surprise didn't last long. The Pens got the puck in deep when Crosby tossed a backhand down the boards. Hossa tossed it right at the net, and Talbot rammed two attempts at the left leg of Osgood.

The second one went in.

3-3 tie.

Everyone between here and Detroit was shocked. Any hair Pierre McGuire had left immediately fell out.

The Wings had 34 seconds left to try to win in regulation. They managed a few shots, but couldn't score. It was troubling how the Wings picked things right back up and turned on the offense in the last 30 seconds.

First Overtime:

I'm getting too wound up to take notes. Let's keep this period recap simple.

Players slowing down.

Pens had late power play, but no dice.

Fleury = MVP. If the Pens win this game, it's because of him.

Second Overtime:

Another power play for the Pens early in the second OT. The NBC announcers don't seem to understand that you can't run into the goalie after you shoot the puck.

No dice for the Pens again on the power play.

Ruutu hit the post. Ugh.

Sykora put the puck just wide. Osgood didn't even react to the puck.

Sykora took a hooking call right in front of Osgood in the offensive zone with just over two minutes left in the second OT. Huge kill needed.

Huge kill achieved.

Third Overtime:

The Wings had the early pressure in the third OT. Fleury was wonderful, and the Pens were blocking shots in their own zone.

Hudler took a four minute high stick penalty when he hit Scuderi, putting the Pens on the power play.

Sergei Gonchar came off of the bench for the first time since the halfway point of the third period to play on the four minute power play.

The Pens only needed 36 seconds. Peter Sykora, who had told Pierre McGuire that he would score the game winner, scored the game winner. 4-3 Pens.

Game Over. PENS WIN!!!!


Madison McGraw said...

I am a Flyers fan, so I want the Wings to crush the Pens.
And truly, the Wings out played the Pens (last night). Some bad calls. GREAT GREAT game though.
But what sticks in my mind is when the announcer said Sykora promised he would get game winning goal, and then DID!

Pat said...

@Madison -

You're right - the Pens were outplayed for much of the night last night. Fortunately, Marc-Andre was the great equalizer. I'm hoping they can get to Game 7 - it should be entertaining either way!