Being outshot 7-1 at one point, the Wings were dominating once again until a gaff in their own zone by Brad Stuart resulted in the Pens first goal of the series. The momentum was on the Pens side at the end of the period as Sidney Crosby went five hole on Osgood. The fans kept them in it for the first 20 minutes and it had better continue, why?… the Wings still have time to continue to make their magic.
To start period two, the momentum continues on the Pens side as Crosby ripped a wrist shot off the crossbar in the first minute and then ended up drawing a penalty that results in a PP goal. Crosby in the right place the right time picks up the rebound and slammed it home to take a 2-0 lead. The Pens are beginning to protect the puck low in the offensive corners and are drawing attention with hooks and stick infractions… the way to counter the Wings defense is to work them low and get to the net for support quickly… six minutes in and it still Penguin dominance in every department… and especially the fans.
The transition game of Pittsburgh is also impressive as they attack with control and speed, pushing the Detroit defense back to the tops of the circle… the options then begin to grow for the Penguins on the initial rush then the secondary flow of the defense adding to the rush. The pressure of the fore check is forcing the Wings defense to turn the puck over as well.
A goal called off on a PP was the right call as Brooks Orpik pushed Jiri Hudler into the net and knocking the post of its moorings just prior to the puck crossing the red line. The Wings were only able to garner one shot on goal in the PP… the Wings have to execute a little better as Babcock alludes to in an interview with Pierre McGuire of NBC. The Pens are dictating the game… until… Gill takes a penalty and the Mule, Johann Franzen, makes them pay with a beautiful individual effort and athletic play to beat Fleury to pull it within one… a PP goal.
How about the crap going on in front of the net. Tomas Holmstrom is just taking a good old fashion butt kicking with hands, sticks and elbows to the head. He had better strap that helmet on a little tighter because they are not going to call it tonight. If they do?... it may cause a riot… he later takes a cheap shot from Hal Gill and did not return… don't fret, my guess is he will be back next game.
Pavel Datsyuk continues to dictate the offensive play of the Wings. Always around the puck and determined with each shift, he gives it and he takes it. You've got to love his game… you can tell there is one fan writing this blog!
The start of period three would be in question on who would begin to dictate play. Hossa backhands one off the post, Franzen has a glorious opportunity and the game continues end to end. Hits, hits and more hits prevail, then continued work below the goal line once again allow the Pens to score on an "in off."
Adam Hall shot it to the front as a melee allows the puck to go in off Osgood as he was out of position trying to recover… the fans are going nuts as each hit is recognized and cheered… wow! The Pens have regained their confidence and look determined as the game begins to go end to end.
But... it only takes a win off the face off and a puck directed to the net that allow the Wings the chance to pull it within one. Samuelsson will get credit for the goal as it hit Orpik's stick and over the glove of Fleury.
The Wings have a chance to tie it with less than four minutes to go, but the front of the net is a war zone with the defense allowed to do what they were able to do prior to the CBA of 2004… in other words clean house anyway possible. The Wings fail to quit, meaning Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen do it all by taking hits and walking to the net. With the net empty the Wings run out of time and the Pens escape with a much needed win… 3-2.
It was an impressive for the Pens as they escape the wrath of the Wings in the third, getting outshot 16-5 and 34-24 overall. One can thank hard work, heavy checking, puck protection below the goal line and using their speed through the neutral zone… but… the difference in the game was the crowd. They inspired their home team and continued to stay with them for 60 minutes.
We now have a series!!!... but we also have two full days off… Stay tuned!
*Throughout the season, AAA brought you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings". The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters will try to keep you updated on all the offseason action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets get to the free agency period.