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Game Four Suspense Starts with the Detroit Lineup!!

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

Datsyuk or no Datsyuk...that was the question. ....The tone about the body checks from Orpik and Cooke also was a story line.  The goaltenders will always be talked about, and it really centers on the success/failure of Fleury.  Why should the Wings worry? Osgood has the best ever record in the Finals with 10-3 mark.  Four games being played in six nights will pose a problem.  Will it?

Period one

There is no Datsyuk, but Kris Draper is inserted into the lineup after a couple games hiatus.  He has only appeared in 4 playoff games and averaged just over 10 minutes. He is needed early in trying to kill off the first penalty....but...the Pens score the first goal of the game with a PP goal.  Malkin finds himself in the right place as a wide shot by Letang comes off the boards directly to his stick.  He deposits the puck into the wide open net on a gratuitous bounce. 1-0 Pitt.


Osgood makes a big save midway through period one on Crosby.  A rolling puck is the excuse. The play goes to the other end.  Traffic and good work around the net by the Helm-Cleary-Samuelsson line has a couple of quality chances.  The Wings have a PP, but the Pens PK do a solid job.  Osgood continues to remain poised with a few Grade A saves, even though it is a very tightly contested tilt. Rob Scuderi turns the puck over to Darren Helm in 4on4 hockey and #43 wrists one high glove on Fleury....Helm has really been impressive throughout the playoffs and gets better with each game.  The score is 1-1 at the end of one period...shots 19-11 Detroit.

Period Two

Zetterberg moves the puck from low to high in the offensive zone and a “seeing eye” shot by Stuart makes it a 2-1 lead by the Wings, just :46 seconds into the 2nd period.  The Wings get their 2nd and 3rd PP’s of the game back to back, but the PK of the Pens produce a short handed goal by Jordan Staal. The game begins to change complexion.


 He uses his size and strength to beat Rafalski and then Osgood.....the entire Mellon Arena senses something more.  A turnover by Stuart results into Crosby scoring his first of the series. It was a finish from a great feed by Malkin who has just been a horse...just like that it is 3-2 Pittsburgh....the prettiest goal of the playoffs by the Pens just put an explanation point on the period.  How?  Pressure on the Detroit defense results in another turnover.  The result?... Kennedy the pursuer finishes off the TOE of the Kunitz TIC and the Crosby TAC.  What a goal!!!!  One could sell the game to non hockey fans with goals like that one. Three goals in a span of 6 minutes for the Penguins have taken the steam out of the Wings.  This game still has 20 minutes of hockey!!

Period Three

The first 5 minutes in the 3rd period have the Wings controlling the puck.  They appear to be poised and patient, but being down by two goals does call for drastic measures...the next goal is so huge if there is to be one.  Ten minutes into the period and give Pittsburgh credit, they look solid defensively, in all three zones.  They are keeping the Wings to the outside.  No Grade A chances to speak.  The Wings appear to be tired....Zetterberg has no legs...where is the speed in transition?  Give credit to the Pens.


Datsyuk is missed.  The bodies continue to fly around the ice all night by both teams.  Both goaltenders played a respectable game.  The game was won in the 2nd period with the short handed play by Jordan Staal.  The crowd was amazing inside and outside Mellon Arena.  We have a series now!!  Home ice has been big!!!  Gotta love it people!!


Stay tuned!!

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