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Stanley Cup Finals - Game 5 - Pittsburgh at Detroit
A) Pavel's back -
With the game still scoreless, Pittsburgh won an offensive zone faceoff and put the puck on Chris Osgood
. After the netminder made a strong save against Sidney Crosby
, Brian Rafalski
picked up the rebound in the left corner and made a long outlet pass to Pavel Datsyuk
. Datsyuk led the rush through the neutral zone with Dan Cleary
Catching the Pens on their heels in transition, Datsyuk crossed the Pittsburgh blue line and dished a pass through a triangle of Penguins onto the tape of Cleary. Cleary let a shot go between the legs of Brooks Orpik
. With the Pittsburgh defenseman functioning as a screen, a blinded Marc-Andre Fleury
was unable to stop the puck, as the Wings scored the only goal of the first period to take a 1-0 lead.
B) Ozzie's helper -
After Pittsburgh had killed off a Detroit power play early in the second period, Chris Osgood
came out of his net to play the puck on a clear. Spotting a large patch of open ice and noticing that the Penguins were slow on the change, Osgood fired the puck down the ice and through the neutral zone to a waiting Marian Hossa
Hossa skated in toward the net and dished the puck off to Valtteri Filppula
, who put it past Marc-Andre Fleury
, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead with a momentum-seizing goal just 1:44 into the second period.
C) Nik splits the D -
Less than five minutes after Filppula's goal, Detroit found itself on the attack again with its second power play of the night. Johan Franzen
managed to pull in the Pittsburgh penalty killers by the right halfboards before dishing the puck to Niklas Kronwall
in the right corner. Kronwall moved the puck out from behind the goal line, splitting defenders Rob Scuderi
and Hal Gill
to get in front of the net, before wristing the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury
Kronwall's power play goal -- only Detroit's second of the series -- gave the Wings a 3-0 lead before the midway point of the second period, putting them in commanding position with 33 minutes to go.
D) No stick, no problem -
With the Red Wings setting up the start of another power play later in the second period, Nicklas Lidstrom
passed the puck over to Brian Rafalski
at the right point. Rafalski began to circle the puck across the blue line and attempted to pass it back to Lidstrom, but Rafalski's stick snapped in the process, leaving the rubber behind for Maxime Talbot
to start a rush the other way.
After Jordan Staal
tallied on a shorthanded breakaway against Rafalski in Game 4, Rafalski wouldn't make the same mistake again. Despite not having a stick, Rafalski positioned himself in front of Talbot in the defensive zone and managed to dive in front of the Pittsburgh center, poking the puck away and ending the Penguins' last opportunity to get back into the game.
E) Rafalski seals it -
Just over two minutes after Kronwall gave the Wings the most dangerous lead in hockey, Brian Rafalski
would put the game away for good. Taking an offensive zone faceoff on yet another power play, Nicklas Lidstrom
would control the puck at the left point before passing it up the boards to Pavel Datsyuk
, who then fed Rafalski at the right point.
Rafalski moved in and let a wrist shot fly from the top of the right circle. With Marc-Andre Fleury
's vision impaired by numerous screens, the puck grazed off the left post and into the net, and the rout was on. It wouldn't be the last goal for the Wings in Game 5, but it sealed a blowout victory, setting Detroit up with a chance to lift the Cup for the fifth time since 1997 on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
FINAL SCORE: Red Wings 5, Penguins 0