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  1. One more. One more GDT for my MTS crew. One more night filled with gasps, and holding your breath. One more time stressing out over the littlest things and yelling at the TV. One more... ALL or NOTHING game. One. More. Win. Presents the following thread: @ 3 @ 3 Your defending Stanley Cup Champion Vs. The Pittsburgh Penguins This game is a presentation of: GAME 7 Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Mich. Date: Fri., June 12th, 2009 Time: 8:00pm EST Television Broadcast Provided by: The NBC network DirecTV channel 82/83 Radio Broadcast Provided by: XM Radio: Channels 204/205 Goaltending Matchup: Det. - Chris Osgood (15-7) 2.00 GAA .927 sv%, 2 SO Pit. - Marc-Andre Fleury (15-8) 2.68 GAA .906 sv% Recap of the Wings Game 6 loss to the Penguins: Highlights of the Wings 2-1 loss:NHL Network Online Red Wings 1, Penguins 2 Penguins force Game 7 as Fleury stands tall in Game 6 PITTSBURGH -- Before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Detroit's Dan Cleary spoke about how difficult it is to close out a team with the Cup on the line, mainly because the team on the brink of elimination doesn't want to go quietly into a season of regrets. Later Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins proved Cleary to be prescient, playing their most workmanlike, most disciplined and most gritty game of this best of-7 series. The result was a 2-1 victory for Pittsburgh, a result that put the Stanley Cup back in its traveling case and forced a winner-take-all Game 7 Friday night in Detroit (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS). The Red Wings had clinched the Cup here last season with a 3-2 victory in Game 6. "I thought they were better than us, though, at the start of the game; probably, for the first almost 32 minutes," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "They won more races and more battles, had more play, were on top of us more, and they kept us to the outside. "I thought we started to build some momentum at the end of the second period, and then obviously we had a good third period." But by then, Detroit was fighting an uphill battle. Jordan Staal had given Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the second period. Then Tyler Kennedy scored a solo-effort goal in the sixth minute of the third period. Kris Draper, with his first point of the playoffs, cut the lead to 2-1; but thanks to the brilliance of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Detroit could not get the equalizer. "Everybody did a good job sacrificing," is how defenseman Brooks Orpik described the season-extending victory. "We won the battles, getting the stick on the puck, all the little things," fellow defenseman Hal Gill told NHL.com. "That makes the game a little easier. You don't think about the big things. You take the little things and go step by step." The list of heroes for the Penguins on Tuesday night was exhaustive and aided by a sliver of luck. Fleury turned in perhaps his best game of the Final just 72 hours after allowing five goals on 21 shots in Game 5's desultory 5-0 loss. "He's a guy who has come up big in a lot of big games," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "There were a handful of times he came up big for us tonight." Fleury made only three saves in the first period, but two were on point-blank shots by Detroit sniper Henrik Zetterberg. In the game's final two minutes Fleury denied Dan Cleary on a breakaway. And when Fleury couldn't get in front of a shot, one of his teammates did. Pittsburgh finished the game with 20 blocked shots. None, though, was as memorable as the kick save by Rob Scuderi with 14 seconds left in the game as Johan Franzen tried to score from the low slot. Scuderi got the initial attempt with his leg pad and then appeared to make a second save with the boot portion of his skate before Fleury smothered the puck. "I'm more of a stand-up goalie, not a butterfly," Scuderi said, a trickle of blood curling down his face from a small gash on his right eyebrow. "They are outnumbering us in front of the net and at that point it is kind of tough to just take the man. I just tried to go down and hope that it hit and I'm pretty fortunate it did." It was the gritty one-on-one battles -- like blocking shots -- which defined Pittsburgh's victory. On Staal's goal, the big forward made a safe play to get the puck out of the zone before beating Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to the puck to key the 2-on-1. Then, Staal didn't quit on the play, reaching back to slam home his own rebound after Chris Osgood made the initial save. On the game-winning goal, Kennedy made a play out of nothing to jam home a shot from in tight. But for that to happen, Matt Cooke had to beat Nicklas Lidstrom to a loose puck on the half board, then Max Talbot had to rim a pass behind the net as two defenders converged on him before Kennedy could curl around and stuff home his shot. "It helped us out a little bit, getting that two-goal lead," Kennedy said. "You have to build as big a lead as you can on those guys because they have a lot of offensive players and are a good team." Not only did Staal and Kennedy score the Pittsburgh goals, but they also did the majority of the defensive work necessary to keep the Zetterberg-Cleary-Pavel Datsyuk unit off the scoresheet. The Pittsburgh checking line, which also includes Cooke, took the majority of the shifts against Detroit's top line, freeing the Sidney Crosby unit for other duties. "Offense starts in the defensive zone," Kennedy said, "and I thought we played well in the defensive zone tonight. We're trying to keep the puck out of our end and keep it in their end." By doing that, and all the other little things right, Kennedy and Staal were named as the game's second and third stars, respectively, behind Fleury. "I think that's the story line of the playoffs, when your team can play well enough that different people can put on the cape on any given night," Bylsma said. "When your team plays well enough long enough and you put yourself in those positions, different guys are going to be the heroes. Tonight it was TK, and Jordan was also a huge part of that." Notes: Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal would not be denied on his first shift of the second period. First, he alleviated some Detroit pressure by chipping the puck off the wall and across the blue line. Instead of exhaling, Staal danced past a pinching Jonathon Ericsson to reclaim the puck and key a 2-on-1, joined by Tyler Kennedy. Staal kept the puck, shooting on Chris Osgood, who made the save with his mask. Refusing to be denied, Staal then grabbed the rebound and tucked it past Osgood. Detroit goalie Chris Osgood kept his team in the game, despite a huge territorial advantage by the desperate Penguins, making some brilliant saves in the first 40 minutes, including a lightning-fast glove save against Bill Guerin in the first and a one-timer off the stick of Ruslan Fedotenko in the second. Marc-Andre Fleury may have made only three saves in the first period, but none of them was easy. In fact, the two against Henrik Zetterberg in that period -- 14 minutes and 58 seconds apart -- were likely his two best of the night. Each time, Zetterberg was all alone in a prime scoring area, only to be denied by Fleury. Kris Draper's goal at 8:01 of the third period was Draper's goal and first point of these playoffs. The goal, a rebound lofted past the sprawling Marc-Andre Fleury, cut Pittsburgh's lead to 2-1. Game 6 was just Draper's seventh game of the playoffs and just third of the Final. Pittsburgh decided to shake up its lineup with its season on the line. Petr Sykora was inserted to provide some offense. But his biggest contribution might have come on the defensive side of the puck when, in the second period, he blocked a point shot from Kris Draper by diving to the ice and then having the wherewithal to push the puck out of the zone while prone on the ice. Sykora took the place of Miroslav Satan. Series Schedule: Saturday, May 30, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Sunday, May 31, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Tuesday, June 2 @Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2 Thursday, June 4 @Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2 Saturday, June 6 @Detroit 5, Pittsburgh 0 Tuesday, June 9 @Pittsburgh 2, Detroit 1 Series 3 Results: Sunday, May 17, @Detroit 5, Chicago 2 Tuesday, May 19, @Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT Friday, May 22 @Chicago 4, Detroit 3, OT Sunday, May 24 Detroit 6, @Chicago 1 Wednesday, May 27 @Detroit 4, Chicago 3, OT Series 2 Results: Friday, May 1 @Detroit 3, Ducks 2 Sunday, May 3 Anaheim 4, @Detroit 3, 3OT Tuesday, May 5 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 7 Detroit 6, @Anaheim 3 Sunday, May 10 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 1 Tuesday, May 12 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 14 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 3 Round 1 Results: Thursday, April 16 @Detroit 4, Columbus 1 Saturday, April 18 @Detroit 4, Columbus 0 Tuesday, April 21 Detroit 4, @Columbus 1 Thursday, April 23 Detroit 6, @Columbus 5
  2. Tonight. One shot. The best shot. Dominate! Presents the following thread: @ 3 @ 2 Your defending Stanley Cup Champion Vs. The Pittsburgh Penguins This game is a presentation of: GAME 6 Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa. Date: Tue., June 9th, 2009 Time: 8:00pm EST Television Broadcast Provided by: The NBC network DirecTV channel 82/83 Radio Broadcast Provided by: XM Radio: Channels 204/205 Goaltending Matchup: Det. - Chris Osgood (15-6) 2.00 GAA .931 sv%, 2 SO Pit. - Marc-Andre Fleury (14-8) 2.76 GAA .904 sv% Recap of the Wings Game 5 win over the Penguins: Highlights of the Wings 5-0 shutout win: NHL Network Online Red Wings 5, Penguins 0 Datsyuk's return sparks Red Wings, 5-0 win DETROIT -- It takes more than just brave words to knock off a champion. That's the painful and humbling lesson the defending champion Detroit Red Wings administered to the no-longer-chatty Penguins in Saturday night's Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Joe Louis Arena, authoring a 5-0 victory that puts the Red Wings on the precipice of their 12th Stanley Cup. Detroit has won 11 of 12 home games at "The Joe" this postseason. Saturday's showing certainly put to rest the contention by Penguin players during the past 48 hours that the veteran Red Wings -- particularly top center Henrik Zetterberg -- were worn down and frustrated after dropping back-to-back 4-2 decisions at Mellon Arena to even the series at 2-2. "Anything like that -- too old, too tired, too slow, that doesn't bother us one bit," said Detroit forward Dan Cleary, who had the game-opening goal. "We pride ourselves on being a good team, being fast, working hard and we howed it tonight." It certainly did. The Cup champions showed their class, especially during the first 15 minutes of the second period when Detroit turned a nail-biting 1-0 lead into a statement game. The final three goals of the outburst all came on the power play, which had been dormant throughout the first four games of the series. Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, who had allowed seven goals in the past two games, turned in a 22-save shutout. But it was Zetterberg, the player most often verbally targeted by a Pittsburgh team that was clearly feeling its oats after putting the defending champions on the ropes after the two wins at Mellon Arena, who stole the show. He assisted on the first power-play goal and scored the game's final goal, also on the power play. The Swedish center finished with a goal, an assist, a plus-1 rating and six shots in a little more than 20 minutes of ice time. He was joined on his line by Pavel Datsyuk, who had been out since May 19 with an injury to his left foot. All Datsyuk did in his return was score a goal and assist on another, the game-opening goal by Cleary. But back to Zetterberg ... Aside from his offensive numbers, he did perhaps his best job of the series defending Sidney Crosby, who had a dominating Game 4. Zetterberg also drew a slashing penalty -- born of frustration -- on Crosby, who was a minus-2 with just one shot in 18:33 of ice time. "I thought the whole team showed up with determination tonight," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "(Zetterberg) was one of our leaders up front the way he played -- the way he played against Crosby; but on the offensive end, too. He's making plays and playing real well for us." Afterward, with Detroit in position to win the Cup with a win in one of the next two games, Zetterberg said the assertions coming out of the Pittsburgh dressing room on Thursday night were a non-issue. "You try not to pay attention to it," Zetterberg said. "The media try to get some things going. You just focus on your game. Of course you get tired at the end of games. But yesterday, we had a day off. We refocused and we were ready to go today." It should be noted that the Red Wings weren't ready right away Saturday night. Pittsburgh dominated the first few minutes of the game, looking like the team that used its speed and youth to put up three goals in a six- minute span of Game 4 to turn a 2-1 Detroit lead into a 4-2 come-from-behind victory that made the Wings look a tad vulnerable. When Chris Kunitz drew a tripping penalty from Niklas Kronwall at 7:19 of the first period -- the first play stoppage in a furiously paced start -- there was genuine cause for concern among the home faithful. Detroit's penalty-killing unit has been its Achilles' heel in this series, and now here were the full-of-confidence Penguins going back on the man advantage. But thanks to some stellar work by defensemen Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, Pittsburgh never got set up in the offensive zone for an extended period and could not get a shot on goal. "That was big," Cleary said. "That was a huge difference, a huge play early in the game. We struggled on the penalty kill, but we found a way to get it constantly 200 feet down the ice. Those are momentum-shifting kills. It was big for us." Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma agreed. "If we score a goal (there); it's different momentum in the game," Bylsma said. "But there's still a lot of hockey to play at that point." A lot of hockey maybe, but it was all one-sided. While the Red Wings were scoring goal after goal and chasing a clearly flustered Marc-Andre Fleury (16 saves on 21 shots before being pulled after Zetterberg's goal), Pittsburgh was losing its composure. Each team took just one minor penalty in the first period, but Pittsburgh took five in the second and six penalties -- including three misconducts -- in the third. Detroit took just three penalties in the whole game. Notes: Detroit opened the second period on the power play -- there was 1:39 remaining in Chris Kunitz's goalie interference penalty -- and immediately set the tone for a four-goal outburst that put the game away. The Red Wings didn't score on the man advantage, but put the Penguins on their heels as Nicklas Lidstrom, Jiri Hudler, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen all had excellent chances. Five seconds after the penalty expired, Valtteri Filppula scored on a semi-breakaway keyed by goalie Chris Osgood's outlet pass. Brad Stuart's name didn't show up on the score sheet very often Saturday night, but he made some key contributions, including yeoman's work on a first-period penalty when the game was still close. Stuart killed all but 22 seconds of a tripping penalty on Niklas Kronwall, with a blocked shot and a clear during that time. He finished by playing 22:48 of near-flawless hockey. With Pavel Datsyuk back in the lineup for the first time since May 19, coach Mike Babcock had the opportunity to put his two best offensive players -- Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg -- on the same line, a combo Pittsburgh could not handle. Datsyuk, a natural center, played the wing, while Zetterberg was the center. Daniel Cleary was the other wing on the line and he scored the game-opening goal. The first period was played at the most furious pace of the Final. How intense was it? There were just eight stoppages in the period and the first did not come until 7:16 had elapsed in the game. In fact, there were just three faceoffs in the first 13:09 of the contest. Osgood, who made 22 saves for the shutout, also played a part in Detroit's offensive fireworks Saturday night. It was his head-man pass as a Pittsburgh penalty expired that caught the Penguins making a personnel change and sent Marian Hossa and Valtteri Filppula off in transition. Filppula took a sweet backhanded saucer pass from Hossa to beat Marc-Andre Fleury for Detroit's second goal of the night. It was the fifth assist of Osgood's postseason career. Series Schedule: Saturday, May 30, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Sunday, May 31, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Tuesday, June 2 @Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2 Thursday, June 4 @Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2 Saturday, June 6 @Detroit 5, Pittsburgh 0 Tuesday, June 9 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Friday, June 12 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS Series 3 Results: Sunday, May 17, @Detroit 5, Chicago 2 Tuesday, May 19, @Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT Friday, May 22 @Chicago 4, Detroit 3, OT Sunday, May 24 Detroit 6, @Chicago 1 Wednesday, May 27 @Detroit 4, Chicago 3, OT Series 2 Results: Friday, May 1 @Detroit 3, Ducks 2 Sunday, May 3 Anaheim 4, @Detroit 3, 3OT Tuesday, May 5 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 7 Detroit 6, @Anaheim 3 Sunday, May 10 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 1 Tuesday, May 12 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 14 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 3 Round 1 Results: Thursday, April 16 @Detroit 4, Columbus 1 Saturday, April 18 @Detroit 4, Columbus 0 Tuesday, April 21 Detroit 4, @Columbus 1 Thursday, April 23 Detroit 6, @Columbus 5
  3. Did you know? The last five cup winners all LOST game 3. Presents the following thread: @ 2 @ 1 Your defending Stanley Cup Champion AT The Pittsburgh Penguins This game is a presentation of: GAME 4 Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa. Date: Thu., June 4th, 2009 Time: 8:00pm EST Television Broadcast Provided by: The VERSUS network DirecTV channel 603 Radio Broadcast Provided by: XM Radio: Channels 204/205 Goaltending Matchup: Det. - Chris Osgood (14-5) 2.00 GAA .927 sv%, 1 SO Pit. - Marc-Andre Fleury (13-7) 2.63 GAA .906 sv% Recap of the Wings Game 3 loss to the Penguins: Highlights of the Wings 4-2 loss:NHL Network Online Red Wings 2, Penguins 4 Inconsistent officals catalyst for Pens' Game 3 win PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin may be the faces of these Pittsburgh Penguins, but Sergei Gonchar is their heart and soul. The veteran Russian defenseman proved that Tuesday night at Mellon Arena in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in a 4-2 win over the Red Wings that took Pittsburgh's championship dreams off life support -- at least temporarily. Gonchar scored a power-play goal midway through the third period -- a slapper through traffic that found the five-hole between the legs of Chris Osgood -- to give the Penguins the lead for the second time in the game. Max Talbot scored two goals for Pittsburgh and Evgeni Malkin had assists on the first three goals, while goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves, stopping the final 17 shots he faced after Johan Franzen gave Detroit a 2-1 lead midway through the first period. But it was Gonchar who contributed most to the win, a victory that puts his Penguins back in this best-of-7 series. Pittsburgh now has a chance to even things up Thursday night in Game 4 here (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio). The mere fact that Pittsburgh isn't talking about that Game 4 with a sense of dread is because of the brilliance -- and composure -- of Gonchar. Despite a balky right knee that has hampered him since suffering a knee-on-knee hit in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Washington, Gonchar played a team-high 22:29. In addition to scoring the game-winner, he also assisted on Kris Letang's power-play goal that tied the game at 2-2 late in the first period. But the game-winner was the signature moment of his inspiring performance Tuesday night. "The timing was good," Gonchar said of his goal. "We finally we get a win; that's more important." It is that humble, team-first attitude that makes Gonchar the emotional compass of this team. "He's a real warrior," Pittsburgh forward Bill Guerin told NHL.com. "Honestly, he's a quiet guy; he doesn't say much. He lets his play speak for itself. Not just in this dressing room, but around the League, I think, there is a tremendous amount of respect for him." Gonchar has had to battle all season just to be on the ice. He missed the first five months of the season, rehabbing from surgery to repair a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason, and didn't return until Feb. 14. Fellow defenseman Brooks Orpik said the whole team was inspired by the effort it took Gonchar to get back into the lineup. "We would show up here at 9 in the morning for a 10:30 practice and he would already be here for two hours," Orpik told NHL.com. "He was getting here before the trainers because he was so committed to getting back here. He's just a real team guy. He does it in a real quiet way." It wasn't long before another challenge loomed for Gonchar, though. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, he crashed knee-on-knee into Alex Ovechkin, crumbling to the ice in excruciating pain. "After the game, we thought he was done for the year, based on what the doctors were telling us," Orpik admitted. Instead, the Russian defenseman missed just two games. He returned to play in a do-or-die Game 7 against Washington. He didn't play much, but his mere presence settled down the Penguins, who romped to a 6-2 victory. He settled the Penguins again Tuesday -- this time with their season once again on the line. A loss in Game 3 of the Final and the Penguins were done. Climbing out a three-games-to-none hole isn't happening against the defending champs. But if any of the Penguins were nervous about that prospect, the fear dissipated just by looking at Gonchar in his dressing room stall during the pregame preparations. "What a leader," said Talbot, who sits almost directly across from Gonchar. "It's funny because me and Sid were actually talking about him right before the game. You look at him and he's just so clam, he's just so relaxed and poised. You look in his eyes and you know he is ready. "What a shot he did tonight. He definitely got a huge goal for us." Of course Gonchar got the huge goal. After all, isn't that what heart-and-soul guys are supposed to do? Notes: Johan Franzen scored Detroit's second goal and he deserved it. The Wings were on the power play, enjoying an attack-zone faceoff. But Henrik Zetterberg was thrown out of the circle by the linesman for jumping the draw. Franzen stepped in and beat Jordan Staal clean to draw the puck back to the point. A few seconds later, he was in the right-side circle to accept a pass by Zetterberg and fire it home. It was Franzen's first draw of the game and just the 39th of the playoffs. Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz knew that the Penguins would have to set a physical tone at home to help the crowd get into the game. So he went out and threw five hits in each of the first two periods before finishing with 11 hits for the game. After two periods, Detroit was credited with only 12 hits, just two more than Kunitz alone in that same span. Detroit's first goal came in the middle of a line change. Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma tried to get his top line, centered by Sidney Crosby, out against Detroit's fourth line after a whistle; but, Detroit gained possession and began a line change in an attempt to get Henrik Zetterberg's line on the ice in a checking role. That change was only half completed when Ville Leino, a fourth-liner, centered the puck to Zetterberg, a first-liner, for a successful one-timer. The second period of Game 3 was the first time in this series that neither team scored a goal. Each of the previous seven periods featured at least one goal. Also, the four goals in the first period were the most scored in any one period of the series. In fact, the first two games ended with just four goals being scored in each game. Pittsburgh owner Mario Lemieux, who won two Stanley Cups as a player, dropped the puck in the ceremonial faceoff before Game 3. He was greeted with a thunderous ovation. Detroit's Marian Hossa, who played for Pittsburgh last season, was not so lucky. He was viciously booed every time he touched the puck during the game. Series Schedule: Saturday, May 30, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Sunday, May 31, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Tuesday, June 2 @Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2 Thursday, June 4 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS Saturday, June 6 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Tuesday, June 9 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Friday, June 12 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS Series 3 Results: Sunday, May 17, @Detroit 5, Chicago 2 Tuesday, May 19, @Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT Friday, May 22 @Chicago 4, Detroit 3, OT Sunday, May 24 Detroit 6, @Chicago 1 Wednesday, May 27 @Detroit 4, Chicago 3, OT Series 2 Results: Friday, May 1 @Detroit 3, Ducks 2 Sunday, May 3 Anaheim 4, @Detroit 3, 3OT Tuesday, May 5 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 7 Detroit 6, @Anaheim 3 Sunday, May 10 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 1 Tuesday, May 12 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 14 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 3 Round 1 Results: Thursday, April 16 @Detroit 4, Columbus 1 Saturday, April 18 @Detroit 4, Columbus 0 Tuesday, April 21 Detroit 4, @Columbus 1 Thursday, April 23 Detroit 6, @Columbus 5
  4. Time for the back-breaker. Presents the following thread: @ 2 @ 0 Your defending Stanley Cup Champion Vs. The Pittsburgh Penguins This game is a presentation of: GAME 3 Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa. Date: Tue., June 2nd, 2009 Time: 8:00pm EST Television Broadcast Provided by: The VERSUS network DirecTV channel 603 Radio Broadcast Provided by: XM Radio: Channels 204/205 Goaltending Matchup: Det. - Chris Osgood (14-4) 1.91 GAA .931 sv%, 1 SO Pit. - Marc-Andre Fleury (12-7) 2.66 GAA .905 sv% Recap of the Wings Game 2 win over the Penguins: Highlights of the Wings 3-1 win:http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20082009,3,412 Red Wings 3, Penguins 1 Red Wings post another 3-1 win to take 2-0 series lead DETROIT – Back-to-back 3-1 victories to start the 2009 Stanley Cup Final have the Detroit Red Wings right back where they were against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the '08 Final – leading the series 2-0. Jonathan Ericsson, Valtteri Filppula and Justin Abdelkader scored for the Wings in Game 2, while Evgeni Malkin scored the lone goal for the Pens against Chris Osgood. Malkin received an instigator penalty for a fight with Detroit’s Henrik Zetternberg at 19:41, but will not be suspended. NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell issued the following statement regarding the instigator penalty: Rule 47.22 states: "A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. The director of hockey operations will review every such incident and may rescind the suspension based on a number of criteria. The criteria for the review shall include, but not be limited to, the score, previous incidents, etc..." Following that review, Campbell said: "None of the criteria in this rule applied in this situation. Suspensions are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight. A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident. Neither was the case here and therefore the one game suspension is rescinded." Despite the two wins in back-to-back games, Babcock said he is delighted to have Monday's off-day reach his calendar. "I think we were exhausted," Babcock said of the Wings. "It's amazing what a win will do for you. We should be a better team going into Pittsburgh. We need to freshen up." "We made it through the back-to-back games and now we can take advantage of the day off," defenseman Brian Rafalski said. "Guys are determined," Dan Cleary said. "We showed a lot of determination tonight. Our young players are playing great for us." The Penguins are a team in need of answers and holding frustration at bay. "I think it ended up being a lot alike," Pens coach Dan Bylsma said of the weekend games. "We had stretches where we played good. We got scoring chances and pucks around the net. Didn't capitalize on them when they need to, and they got timely goals and goals in around our net and end up with the victory. "I think in each of the first two games we have been able to play in the offensive zone for periods of time," Bylsma said. "We've been able to get shots. Been able to out-shoot a good Detroit team. But they've been able to get the timely goals. They've been better at getting pucks in and around the net and getting that goal. That's what I've done better and as a result they've got two wins. So as there are some positives we can do and draw on, and focus on ask get better at our game. Continue to get there. Get to the on offensive zone, get to the goalie. Look for those loose pucks and build on that. That's what we'll do when we get back for Game 3." Officials went to video replay at 1:39 of the third period to verify a Sidney Crosby shot rang off the post and then rolled along the Detroit goal line without going in. That good fortune seemed to spark the Wings, who took a 3-1 lead at 2:47 when Abdelkader scored his second goal in two games, gaining enough control of a bouncing puck to send a knuckler past Marc-Andre Fleury's glove for a two-goal Detroit lead. The Wings had the edge in the second period, taking the lead, 2-1, on goals by Ericsson and Filppula and out-shooting the Penguins 16-9. Intense pressure by the Wings forced a Pittsburgh icing and the Wings pounced on the tired Penguins off the ensuing draw, with Darren Helm screening Fleury as Ericsson's shot from the left point found the back of the net, tying the score at 1-1. The Red Wings kept up the pressure throughout the second, forcing Fleury to make a number of good saves. But he couldn't stem the tide completely and Flippula put the Wings ahead at 10:29 on a play that had Pittsburgh screaming in frustration. Marian Hossa took the puck away from Pascal Dupuis on the left side, but the Penguins' cries for a penalty went unheeded and Hossa got the puck on net where Tomas Holmstrom was keeping everyone in a white jersey occupied. The puck popped out to Fleury's left and Filppula was able to get enough on his stick on the puck to backhand the puck over the sea of bodies in front. "I think the way I saw the replay that our guy was trying to get the puck out," Bylsma said. "Hossa came in and used his stick to lift up the guy's stick. You can make the judgment. The referee made the judgment that it wasn't a hook. I can slow it down and look at it myself and make my own judgment, but that was what happened. We failed to clear it with that hook and it led to the goal." Bill Guerin had a pair of excellent chances, the first coming with 6:50 remaining in the period when he clanged a Crosby pass off the post. Two minutes later, Guerin got some space in close to Chris Osgood, but his redirection of a Crosby pass went wide of the net. Evgeni Malkin's power-play goal at 16:50 was the only goal of the first period that was played at a very brisk pace considered the clubs had played the previous night. With Niklas Kronwall off for cross-checking Max Talbot, the Pens, who had struggled to mount much offense in the early going, being out-shot 6-0 at one point, struck. With Malkin joining Crosby, Guerin, Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang on the power play, the Penguins put on some intense pressure in front of the Detroit net, forcing Osgood to drop and make a couple saves. Perhaps Osgood got too much help on the goal as defenseman Brad Stuart was flaying away at a series of loose pucks in the crease, only to inadvertently knock Malkin's shot into the net. The Wings were terrific on the breakout early in the game, playing a good portion of the early going in the Pittsburgh zone, but Detroit wasn't able to mount much sustained pressure, eventually being out-shot 9-7 for the period. Another good sign for the Penguins was their success in the faceoff circle. After losing a lopsided 39 of 55 draws in Game 1, Pittsburgh claimed the edge in the first 20 minutes of Game 2, going 9-7. The only lineup change in Game 2 was made by the Penguins, who returned to a traditional 12 forwards, six defensemen rotation. Pascal Dupuis replaced Philippe Boucher, another signal that concern over Gonchar's recovery from injury was abating. Notes: Tomas Holmstrom had one of his dominant shifts right before Detroit's first goal. He was everywhere on the ice, battling on the boards and tying up defensemen in front of the net -- a typical 45 seconds of mayhem when Holmstrom is cycling in the offensive zone. He capped a three-shot barrage by his team with a nifty tip that tested Marc-Andre Fleury and forced Pittsburgh into an icing. Detroit defenseman Johan Ericsson scored off the ensuing faceoff win to tie the game at 1-1 with 4:21 gone in the second. Justin Abdelkader didn't get much ice time in the first two periods of Game 1, playing just four shifts. He scored a third-period goal in that game, though, and was used much more extensively in Game 2. He had a "greasy" game that coach Mike Babcock loves to see from his energy line. He led the team in hits -- including an impressive open-ice hit on Evgeni Malkin in the second period -- and helped out in the faceoff circle with some big wins. He scored the back-breaking goal for the second-straight night, tallying Detroit's third goal in the fifth minute of the third period. So much for tired bodies with these two teams playing back-to-back games to open the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. Few thought that Detroit and Pittsburgh could duplicate the 82-check performance in Game 1, a battle that was won by Detroit's 43 hits. But in Sunday's Game 2, each team once again topped the 30-hit mark. Detroit went more than 12 minutes between shots during a stretch that ran from the 9:44 mark of the first period until fourth-liner Ville Leino registered a long-range snapper at the 1:51 mark of the second. Pittsburgh had 10-straight shots during that stretch, but could only manage the power-play goal by Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma finally ditched his seven-defenseman alignment in Game 2, scratching Philippe Boucher in favor of forward Pascal Dupuis. Boucher had played the past eight games as an extra defenseman. Dupuis was used as a penalty killer, while taking a regular shift on the fourth line. But, he was also the player that was without his stick when Valterri Filppula scored Detroit's second goal. Series Schedule: Saturday, May 30, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Sunday, May 31, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Tuesday, June 2 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS Thursday, June 4 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS * Saturday, June 6 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Tuesday, June 9 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Friday, June 12 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS Series 3 Results: Sunday, May 17, @Detroit 5, Chicago 2 Tuesday, May 19, @Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT Friday, May 22 @Chicago 4, Detroit 3, OT Sunday, May 24 Detroit 6, @Chicago 1 Wednesday, May 27 @Detroit 4, Chicago 3, OT Series 2 Results: Friday, May 1 @Detroit 3, Ducks 2 Sunday, May 3 Anaheim 4, @Detroit 3, 3OT Tuesday, May 5 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 7 Detroit 6, @Anaheim 3 Sunday, May 10 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 1 Tuesday, May 12 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 14 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 3 Round 1 Results: Thursday, April 16 @Detroit 4, Columbus 1 Saturday, April 18 @Detroit 4, Columbus 0 Tuesday, April 21 Detroit 4, @Columbus 1 Thursday, April 23 Detroit 6, @Columbus 5
  5. Huge game. Still no Dats, Still no Draper. Presents the following thread: @ 0 @ 1 Your defending Stanley Cup Champion Vs. The Pittsburgh Penguins This game is a presentation of: GAME 2 Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Mich. Date: Sun., May 31st, 2009 Time: 8:00pm EST Television Broadcast Provided by: NBC DirecTV channel 82/83 Radio Broadcast Provided by: XM Radio: Channels 204/205 Goaltending Matchup: Det. - Chris Osgood (13-4) 2.00 GAA .928 sv%, 1 SO Pit. - Marc-Andre Fleury (12-6) 2.64 GAA .906 sv% Recap of the Wings Game 1 win over the Penguins: Highlights of the Wings 3-1 win:http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20082009,3,411 Red Wings 3, Penguins 1 Red Wings get the bounces, break to 1-0 series lead DETROIT – When the Pittsburgh Penguins say they didn't get the bounces in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, they will be telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When the Detroit Red Wings say they took advantage of the breaks provided by home-ice advantage in their 3-1 victory in Game 1 on Saturday night, they will be equally truthful. In a game that perfectly illustrated the slippery nature of hockey, the Red Wings took advantage of the breaks presented to them -- especially the lively end boards at Joe Louis Arena -- and the Pens could only shake their heads at the numerous chances that defied logic and stayed out of the net. "We have to get goals like that," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It wasn't a clean game. There wasn't a lot of space out there." "It just kind of happened in the last two years, really," Wings goalie Chris Osgood said of the crazy caroms off the backboards. "It's tough for goalies. They're scoring lots in the regular season on them. Especially if it comes off one side and out the other, you're pretty much left defenseless. It can be frustrating, but you've got to work them the best you can. "For me, I just try to get back to my post as quick as I can," Osgood said. "And sometimes it just has to do with getting a good bounce, and it doesn't come back in front of somebody's stick. I had a few in the third that went right back in front and went on our stick instead of theirs. "They definitely are dangerous, and tonight they bounced our way." They certainly didn't go the Penguins' way. "It's amazing," Sidney Crosby said of the bounces off the boards. "It makes the game that much quicker. It's tough to read. They got a couple bounces tonight and hopefully we'll get a couple. "We expected it to be tight," he added. "I mean, that's the way it is. I thought we generated some pretty good scoring chances. Our line, I think we've got to find a way to get a few more. But they're a good hockey team, and you've got to execute when you get them. We had a couple that didn't go in, and maybe that's the difference. But it's tight hockey, and we've got to expect that." Brad Stuart, Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader scored for the Wings, who are now 9-1 at home in these playoffs. Ruslan Fedotenko scored Pittsburgh's lone goal. None of the four goals fell into the "beautiful" category -- all came off turnovers. But with a win now tucked away, the Red Wings can look at the goals as masterpieces. Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was victimized on two goals that came off the lively end boards. In the first, Rob Scuderi was unable to get the puck out of the zone and Wings defenseman Brad Stuart fired a shot from the left side that caromed off the boards, caught Fleury flat-footed, and deflected into the net off the back of his leg at 13:38. The boards came into play again when Detroit took a 2-1 lead after two periods. Henrik Zetterberg gained possession in a scrum on the left wing boards and passed back to Brian Rafalski at the point. He moved in and fired a shot that slammed off the end boards and caromed to Franzen. He backhanded the puck into the slot, where it deflected off the sprawling left leg of Fleury and into the net at 19:02. Pens coach Dan Bylsma was reluctant to criticize Fleury. "That's something they were better at than we were," he said. "It's something that if the shooting lanes are blocked, you should be putting the puck there because you know it's going to come right back out. They capitalized on that tonight. It was good plays by them." "I wasn't a very good goalie," Fleury said. "It's just the situation in this building where you know that pucks are coming off the backboards quickly. We're aware of it. We practiced it and they got some fortunate breaks off it tonight. Not to be outdone, Osgood mishandled a rebound and then left a wide-open net for Fedotenko to backhand home a rebound at 18:37 of the first. As was the case in all the goals, the Wings couldn't clear the puck, allowing Evgeni Malkin to get off a shot from the left circle that Osgood stopped, breaking his stick in the process. The rebound came down just out of his reach and Fedotenko just beat Niklas Kronwall to the loose puck and scored to tie the game 1-1. The Wings got an insurance goal at 2:46 of the third when Abdelkader took advantage of another bad bounce for the Penguins. After a save by Fleury, the puck went into the air and Jordan Staal, jousting with Abdelkader, lost sight of it. The Wings' rookie didn't, moving around Staal and then ripping a shot to Fleury's long side. It was Abdelkader's first career playoff goal. "We did some good things. We can do a better job," Bylsma said. "It's good for us to get right back at it." Babcock also saw some areas that need shoring up in his team's game, so a fast return to the ice may be best for both squads. "I didn't think we were too good in the neutral zone, we had too many turnovers," Babcock said. "Tonight we got some breaks. I thought Crosby looked very determined. When you've been here before, you know what to expect. They were very competitive." Notes: Late in the second period, the Penguins knew they were vulnerable after a Hal Gill icing, so Dan Bylsma called timeout to give the Sidney Crosby line a rest. But Henrik Zetterberg won the offensive-zone faceoff to sustain the pressure. Then, Johan Franzen took the body to force Bill Guerin into a turnover. Defenseman Rob Scuderi blocked Brian Rafalski's ensuing shot, but Rafalski got it right back and fired wide, allowing Franzen to flip a backhander that banked off the leg of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net. Detroit center Darren Helm, the overtime hero in the clinching game of the Western Conference Final just three nights ago, was an impact player all night. He delivered a team-high eight hits. He also dominated in the faceoff circle throughout the game and had a very dangerous breakaway early in the third period. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, not known for his physical play, delivered one of the biggest hits of the night midway through the first period, delivering a clean shoulder hit to Henrik Zetterberg at center ice. He had three hits in the first two periods and went down and stacked his pads to block a shot late in the second period. The Red Wings dominated in the faceoff circle throughout the game. Detroit finished with a 69 percent success rate, winning 39 of the 56 draws. Helm and Zetterberg were the most dominant of the Red Wings, while Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal was the biggest victim. Detroit's third goal came off the stick of Justin Abdelkader at the 2:46 mark of the third period. It was the first playoff goal by the rookie in eight appearances this spring. Abdelkader has just four games of regular-season experience under his belt. Abdelkader, hailing from Muskegon, Mich., had played just four shifts Saturday night before scoring his goal, a rebound shot into the far corner. Series Schedule: Saturday, May 30, @Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1 Sunday, May 31 at Detroit, TBD-Night NBC, CBC, RDS Tuesday, June 2 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS Thursday, June 4 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm VERSUS, CBC, RDS * Saturday, June 6 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Tuesday, June 9 at Pittsburgh, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS * Friday, June 12 at Detroit, 8:00 pm NBC, CBC, RDS Series 3 Results: Sunday, May 17, @Detroit 5, Chicago 2 Tuesday, May 19, @Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT Friday, May 22 @Chicago 4, Detroit 3, OT Sunday, May 24 Detroit 6, @Chicago 1 Wednesday, May 27 @Detroit 4, Chicago 3, OT Series 2 Results: Friday, May 1 @Detroit 3, Ducks 2 Sunday, May 3 Anaheim 4, @Detroit 3, 3OT Tuesday, May 5 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 7 Detroit 6, @Anaheim 3 Sunday, May 10 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 1 Tuesday, May 12 @Anaheim 2, Detroit 1 Thursday, May 14 @Detroit 4, Anaheim 3 Round 1 Results: Thursday, April 16 @Detroit 4, Columbus 1 Saturday, April 18 @Detroit 4, Columbus 0 Tuesday, April 21 Detroit 4, @Columbus 1 Thursday, April 23 Detroit 6, @Columbus 5
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