The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.
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Stanley Cup Finals - Game 4 - Detroit at Pittsburgh
A) Geno Strikes Early -
Just 72 seconds in, Pittsburgh found itself on the power play after a tripping call on Niklas Kronwall
. With the Penguins putting the pressure on, Evgeni Malkin
took the puck away from Brian Rafalski
in the right corner of the Detroit zone and carried it behind the net. Spotting Jordan Staal
at the bottom of the right circle, Malkin fed it to the center, who put a wrister on net. Chris Osgood
made the save before a long rebound came out to Kris Letang
, but Letang fired the puck wide of the net.
Malkin, still behind the goal, picked up the puck near the goal line by the left post and backhanded it past an unaware Osgood. Malkin's power play goal came at 2:39 of the first period, giving the Pens the early lead and setting the tone early.
B) Helm ties it up -
Late in the first period, Pittsburgh found itself with another strong opportunity after a high-sticking call on Jonathan Ericsson
. The power play disappeared 10 seconds later, however, after Bill Guerin
was sent to the box for the same infraction. Detroit took advantage of the open ice created by the 4-on-4 situation and generated a number of chances on the Penguins' net, but the big play was made by Darren Helm
After Rob Scuderi
attempted to clear the puck from the right corner of the Pittsburgh zone, Helm reached out to make a keep along the right halfboards. Helm gathered up the rubber in the right circle and fired a shot through multiple screens and past Marc-Andre Fleury
, tying the game with less than two minutes to go before the first intermission.
C) Staal's shorty -
Things looked dour for the Penguins in the second period. Trailing 2-1, a penalty on Brooks Orpik
kept Pittsburgh shorthanded two seconds before a penalty on Evgeni Malkin
was set to expire, but despite being a man down, the Pens still managed to clear the puck to the blue line where it was picked up by Maxime Talbot
. With Jordan Staal
flying up center ice, Talbot passed the puck to him to start the breakout. Staal skated past Nicklas Lidstrom
on his right and found himself alone in the Red Wings zone against Brian Rafalski
Staal moved to his right and skated around the three-time Cup-winning defenseman before putting the puck past Chris Osgood
and just inside the left post. The shorthanded score tied the game and set off the Mellon Arena crowd, which had been quiet since Brad Stuart
scored for Detroit in the first minute of the period.
D) Crosby's Stunner -
Just two minutes after Staal's shorthander tied the game, the Pens would strike again when Darren Helm
attempted to pass the puck to Brad Stuart
at the Pittsburgh blue line. Evgeni Malkin
would poke the puck past Stuart, who was unable to keep it in the zone, starting a two-on-one breakout with Sidney Crosby
. Once in the Detroit zone Malkin attempted to pass the puck to Crosby from the right faceoff circle, but a sliding Jonthan Ericsson would block the pass.
The puck came back to Malkin, however, who then fed it from the right dot to a waiting Crosby by the left post. Crosby one-timed the puck into the net, giving the Penguins the lead on his League-leading 15th goal of the postseason.
E) Tic-Tac-Toe -
Still riding the momentum of Jordan Staal
and Sidney Crosby
's game-changing goals, Pittsburgh would light the lamp again less than four minutes later. Brooks Orpik
cleared the puck down the left boards and into the Red Wings' zone. With Tyler Kennedy
giving chase, Henrik Zetterberg
recovered the puck and attempted to clear it to center ice. Before it could cross the blue line, however, Chris Kunitz
picked up the pick and passed it from the left point to Crosby in the right faceoff circle.
Crosby immediately passed it under the stick of Nicklas Lidstrom
and back to Kennedy, who was flying toward the net from the left boards. Kennedy one-timed it into the net, sending the Mellon Arena crowd into a frenzy with Pittsburgh's third goal in less than six minutes. While there was still a period left to play, Kennedy's goal put the game away for good for the Penguins, who successfully defended their home ice to tie up the series.
FINAL SCORE: Penguins 4, Red Wings 2