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Osgood at the center of Game 1 big moments

by Staff /
DETROIT -- Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood was involved in two of the most memorable plays in Game 1.

The first was his second-period glove save on Evgeni Malkin's breakaway. The other was a save against Sidney Crosby that saw him end up flat on his stomach with the puck resting on his back before it was pushed off by a teammate.

Osgood talked about both events in his postgame press conference.

First, his save on Malkin:

"In my mind I just wanted to stay up and be as big as I could," Osgood said. "He's got a great shot and can make great moves. I was fortunate just to get my hand on it."

But how exactly did Osgood end up with a puck on his back, finishing off one of the more unconventional saves in recent memory?

"I think it hit my arm and bounced up in the air and on top of my back," Osgood said. "I knew it was there, but I'm not that flexible -- I can't really grab it on my back. So, I was kind of hoping for the best at that point. (Brett) Lebda was covering it on my back. I was telling him to glove it off my back. I was hoping he wouldn't get a penalty for it."

--Shawn P. Roarke

Quick-draw artists -- The Red Wings dominated in the faceoff circle in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Of the 55 faceoffs contested, Pittsburgh won just 16, an abysmal 29 percent success rate.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma tried to pass the struggles off as a one-night fluke, but admitted that the inability to consistently win draws led to some of the effectiveness Detroit had Saturday night. Remember, the winning goal, by Johan Franzen in the last minute of the second period, came after Henrik Zetterberg won an offensive-zone faceoff against Sidney Crosby.

"We've done our homework on these guys and we know they are good there," Bylsma said. "They are a puck-possession team, as are we. Starting with the puck is better than not."

He says his centers need help from the wingers to control more of the 50-50 faceoffs that are commonplace in the postseason.

"It's an area we can do a better job of," he said. “We'll look at it and try to get better in that regard."

Crosby was the biggest culprit for Pittsburgh, winning just 6 of 20 faceoffs. But Jordan Staal wasn't much better, winning just 6 of 19

Detroit coach Mike Babcock doesn't expect his team to win 71 percent of the faceoffs in Game 2. He believes Pittsburgh's struggles are likely a one-off occurrence.

"Some nights it goes your way, other nights it doesn't," Babcock said.

--Shawn P. Roarke

No regrets -- Dan Bylsma used his timeout right before Johan Franzen scored the game-winning goal in the last minute of the second period. Hal Gill had just iced the puck, and Gill and Rob Scuderi, the other defenseman, had already been on the ice for a long shift. So Bylsma believed it was best to give those guys -- along with the top forward line -- a chance to get a breather because they were not allowed to change under the rules governing an icing infraction.

But the move backfired after Henrik Zetterberg won the faceoff and the Red Wings held the zone for 16 seconds before Franzen banked a backhander off goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net.

"At times, you need that timeout to give your guys an extra breath," Bylsma said, noting that Detroit had the right to change its personnel to get fresher players on the ice. "You know, 20 or 30 seconds just to re-gather themselves."

So was he second-guessing himself after things went so wrong?

"It's a timeout that I felt we needed to take and I'd do it again," he said

--Shawn P. Roarke

No complaints -- When most professional athletes or coaches talk about officiating or, say, stomp around home plate or yell from the bench, it's usually not to stress the positive. But when Pittsburgh forward Maxime Talbot was asked about the physical nature of the game -- especially a first period that featured 32 hits, including Sidney Crosby stunning Henrik Zetterberg midway through the period -- Talbot was quick to pass out compliments.

"It was chippy out there, no doubt," Talbot said. "The referees did a great job tonight. They let us play. Some plays that might have been obstruction or hooking penalties during the regular season weren't called. They just allowed two good teams to go at it."

"The referees did a great job tonight. They let us play. Some plays that might have been obstruction or hooking penalties during the regular season weren't called. They just allowed two good teams to go at it." -- Maxime Talbot on the officiating in Game 1
Talbot was not distressed at his locker, talking freely before heading to the shower.

"I think tonight we showed what kind of team we are in the second period," he said. "We just have to do that for a whole game."

Teammate Kris Letang confirmed that the Pens played their best in the middle period.

"We were a little nervous in the first period, well, not nervous but too excited," he said. "We got a great start in the second period and kept it going."

--Bob Condor

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