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.
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Stanley Cup Finals - Game 6 - Detroit at Pittsburgh
A) Staal's Goal -
With Pittsburgh looking to develop chances early in the second period, they got one after Rob Scuderi
fished the puck out of the left corner in the defensive zone. Scuderi passed it up to Chris Kunitz
at the left halfboards, and Kunitz quickly dished the puck to Jordan Staal
by the blue line. Staal chipped the puck off the boards past Valtteri Filppula
and then blew past him to lead the breakout through the neutral zone.
With Matt Cooke
coming into the Detroit zone on Staal's left flank, the two moved up against Jonathan Ericsson
, who was by himself on defense. After freezing Ericsson, Staal fired a shot on goal. Chris Osgood
made the stop, but Staal got his own rebound and put it in the net, giving the Penguins the game's first goal.
B) Zetterberg hits the post -
The Wings had controlled much of the pace near the end of the second period, but Henrik Zetterberg
's two-way play would give Detroit its best chance on the night yet. After scrambling for the puck in the defensive zone, Zetterberg cleared the puck to Tomas Holmstrom
at the red line. Holmstrom carried the puck to the left boards before feeding it back across the neutral zone to Zetterberg just before he crossed the Pittsburgh blue line.
Zetterberg crossed up the Pens' defensive pairing of Rob Scuderi
and Hal Gill
before taking a wrister from the right faceoff circle. The shot beat Marc-Andre Fleury
, but it didn't beat the iron. The rubber clanged loudly off the left post and back out between the legs of Fleury who quickly covered the puck, drawing a whistle and preserving the Pittsburgh lead.
C) Kennedy's Seal -
The Pens were holding a tenuous one-goal lead early in the third when Ruslan Fedotenko
held the puck against the right boards deep in the Detroit zone. Fedotenko passed behind the net to Maxime Talbot
, who drew in Nicklas Lidstrom
while fending off a check from Jonathan Ericsson
. Talbot backhanded the puck off the endboards to Tyler Kennedy
, setting Kennedy up to bring the puck out to the bottom of the left circle.
Kennedy held off pressure from Mikael Samuelsson
and Darren Helm
before putting the puck in the top shelf from a tough angle. The score would prove invaluable moments later, as a goal by Detroit's Kris Draper
pulled the Wings within one, leaving Kennedy's tally as a much-needed cushion for the Pens.
D) Oh Fleury! -
After the Pens won an offensive zone faceoff with under two minutes remaining in the game, Brooks Orpik
attempted a pass from the blue line but was unable to get good wood on the puck. Instead, it fluttered out to Pavel Datsyuk
, who spotted a streaking Dan Cleary
moving up the neutral zone.
Cleary got past Orpik, who was turned around while attempting to get back on defense, and found himself on a breakaway against Marc-Andre Fleury
with a chance to tie the game. Cleary started on his forehand before deking and moving the puck to his backhand and letting a shot go. In a game where Fleury made a number of big saves, the netminder stretched out his left leg and his glove to make his biggest of the night, stoning Cleary and keeping Pittsburgh's razor-thin lead intact.
BONUS BIG MOMENT 1: Fleury stones Zetterberg
BONUS BIG MOMENT 2: Fleury does it again
E) Scuderi Saves -
The Wings took one more stab at forcing OT as Pavel Datsyuk
fed the puck back to Marian Hossa
at the right point with 20 seconds remaining. Hossa's long shot rebounded back to Datsyuk, who centered a pass to Johan Franzen
in front of the net. Datsyuk's pass had pulled Marc-Andre Fleury
well out of position, freeing up a wide-open net for Franzen.
The Pens' defense would scramble to pick up their goalie, however, as Franzen would take three separate stabs at the puck in a desperate bid to tie the game. Rob Scuderi
kept the puck out of the net in Fleury's stead, stopping the rubber at one point with his left skate, keeping the Penguins in front. Scuderi's netminder impression would thwart Detroit's last chance of the night, as Pittsburgh knotted up the series to force a winner-take-all Game 7 Friday at the Joe.
FINAL SCORE: Penguins 2, Red Wings 1