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BIG MOMENTS - June 6, 2009: PIT @ DET

Saturday, 06.06.2009 / 10:50 PM / 2009 Stanley Cup Final: Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

NHL.com

 
The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.

Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness NHL.com's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.

You can vote on the day's best Big Moment.  Cast your votes after the action.

Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!





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 trailing behind.

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









Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com