Skip to Main Content

Hudler's goal gives Red Wings 3-1 lead @NHLdotcom

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Henrik Zetterberg isn't scoring. Neither is Pavel Datsyuk. Tomas Holmstrom was injured and out for Game 4.

So how are the Red Wings up 3-1 in the Stanley Cup finals, with a chance to close out the young and now desperate Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 on Monday night in Detroit?

Because Pittsburgh's big scorers aren't getting goals either, except for Sidney Crosby's two-goal blip in Game 3, and Detroit role players Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson are.

Hudler scored the biggest goal of the series so far, a backhander early in the third period created by defenseman Brad Stuart's persistence, and the Red Wings rallied from Pittsburgh's early lead to beat the Penguins 2-1 in a potentially pivotal Game 4 on Saturday night.

Hudler, one of the numerous European players on Detroit's roster, scored only 13 goals in 81 regular-season games, but got his fifth and biggest of the playoffs at 2:26 of the third.

Stuart kept the puck in the Pittsburgh zone with a blind, backhand pass that scooted behind the goal line then, seconds later, Darren Helm put a hard check on Brooks Orpik to keep him from gathering the puck and allow Hudler to get free in front to score.

Hudler may never score a more important goal, unless he can win a Stanley Cup deciding game with one. Samuelsson played a key role earlier in the series with three goals, or three more than Evgeni Malkin, the NHL's second-leading scorer during the season, has for Pittsburgh in the finals. And three more than teammate Datsyuk has.

Detroit became the first team since the second round of the playoffs to come back from a 1-0 deficit - every team that scored the first goal in the conference finals and in the first three games of the Stanley Cup finals had won. Pittsburgh had been 11-0 when scoring first and had won its last 17 at home, including all nine previous playoff games this spring.

The challenge now for the Red Wings is to make sure the Penguins don't get back there for a Game 6 on Wednesday.

The Red Wings fell behind in the first period, just as they did in losing 3-2 in Game 3, when Marian Hossa scored on a power play less than three minutes in. Detroit tied it slightly more than four minutes later when captain Nicklas Lidstrom scored two seconds after a Detroit power play expired.

That goal kept the Penguins from gaining more momentum on their home ice, playing before their 66th consecutive sellout - appropriate, given that the former No. 66, Mario Lemieux, is now their co-owner. The home ice that Pittsburgh hoped would be as advantageous as it was to the Red Wings, who won the first two games in Detroit by a combined score of 7-0.

Detroit goes back there for Game 5, with a chance to win its fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years by holding home-ice advantage. The Red Wings can do so despite a near disappearance by a power play that was 0-for-3 in Game 4 and is 2-of-22 in the series.

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.