In the early moments on Saturday night, Chris Osgood
couldn't have possibly sensed his Detroit Red Wings
would pull out a 5-0 victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins
at Joe Louis Arena.
The Pens got off to the start they were hoping for, but Osgood stood tall in net en route to his third career Stanley Cup Final shutout, a 22-save performance that has the Wings within a victory of their second straight title. Detroit can accomplish the repeat with a win at Mellon Arena on Tuesday.
"I don't know if it's going to have much bearing on what's going to happen in Pittsburgh," Osgood said of recording a shutout. "It's great for us that we get two days off. I think that's more important for us."
Still, Osgood's performance -- especially in the early going -- shouldn't go unnoticed. While he faced a total of 12 shots over the final 40 minutes, Osgood was required to make 10 saves in the opening period and allowed his teammates to find their legs before Daniel Cleary
made it 1-0 at 13:32.
"I thought Ozzie played real well," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom
said of Osgood, who has 15 career playoff shutouts. "They had some chances early on that he responded to real well. He played like his old self, the way he's been playing in these playoffs."
"I thought Ozzie played real well. They had some chances early on that he responded to real well. He played like his old self, the way he's been playing in these playoffs." -- Nicklas Lidstrom
Osgood even chipped in offensively, sparking a remarkable four-goal second period. With the teams at even strength, Osgood noticed the Pens going off on a line change and sent a long pass along the near wall that reached Marian Hossa
at the Penguins' blue line. Hossa quickly fed a streaking Valtteri Filppula
, and the latter beat Marc-Andre Fleury
with a backhander to make it 2-0.
"I just rimmed it around, and I saw them changing," Osgood said. "I just tried to one-time it to Hoss as best I could. Hoss made a great saucer pass and we scored a real nice goal."
"He made a great play," Hossa said. "I was just hoping the puck would come to me."
It was a far cry from the second period the Wings experienced in Pittsburgh 48 hours earlier, when the Pens beat Osgood three times and tied the series with a 4-2 win.
"The second period the other night (stunk) for us," Osgood said. "Obviously, (Saturday) was way better. For me, it's great when we score a lot of goals. I think we were overdue in the series. We were a little snake bit. It was good to get five. It was a great win. We finally played like we wanted to play. We've just to carry it over into the next game."
Contact Brian Compton at: email@example.com.