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Osgood stops Malkin flight for second straight night

by Mike G. Morreale
DETROIT – Even though Evgeni Malkin scored Game 2's first goal and his 13th of the playoffs at 16:50 of the first period, Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood halted Malkin's high-flying ways with a spectacular save at a critical moment for the second straight night.

In the end, a seemingly frustrated Malkin would be sent to the locker room after accumulating 17 penalty minutes in a tussle with Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg with just 19 seconds left in the third when he received a five-minute fighting major, two minutes for instigating and a ten-minute misconduct.

According to Colin Campbell, the NHL's Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations, Malkin will not be suspended for Game 3. Rule 47.22 states: "A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident."

"Suspensions are applied under (Rule 47.22) when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight," Campbell said in a statement at the conclusion of the game. "A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident. Neither was the case here and therefore the one-game suspension is rescinded."

Penguins forward Maxime Talbot thought Malkin played courageous throughout the course of the game.

"I wasn't on the ice at the time but saw the replay and I thought it was great what 'Geno' did," Talbot said. "We play with emotion and guys like that are stepping up and 'Geno' wants to be part of that."

Penguins wing Chris Kunitz sensed a little frustration in the final minute as the team tried to pull within one goal.

"I can't personally speak for (Malkin), but we want to keep going to the net and to keep putting pucks on net," Kunitz said. "Maybe there's a little bit of frustration of not being able to score more goals, but that's just part of hockey. We just have to do more and can't have those lapses where they get us hemmed in."

Malkin led the Pens with six shots on goal and tied for the team lead with three hits.

In Game 1, Osgood made one of his 31 saves with his glove on Malkin's breakaway attempt with 16:36 left in the second and his team in a 1-1 deadlock.

On Sunday, the big save came just 3:08 into the second after Talbot retrieved a loose puck behind the Red Wings net and fed Malkin in prime position in the slot. Malkin uncorked a wrist shot that Osgood denied with the top portion of his glove hand before the puck fluttered harmlessly into the right-wing corner. The Wings would then score the equalizer just 1:13 later.

"I turned it over when I went to play it off the boards back there; it went off my stick and that was a great pass to get it to (Malkin)," Osgood recalled. "To be honest, I saw the puck at the last second -- it hit my shoulder and glanced off the post, so I made a good play after making a bad play behind my own net."

Osgood would once again finish with 31 saves, including all 12 shots faced in the third period.

The veteran goalie also had the good fortune of two posts while his team held a 2-1 lead -- one off the stick Bill Guerin with 6:50 left in the second and his team holding a 2-1 lead and another off a wraparound attempt by Crosby just 1:39 into the third.

"I don't sense that (Malkin) is frustrated," Osgood said. "He's still battling and playing very well. He's been aggressive down low in front of the net and he's playing better than last year (in the Stanley Cup Final). He's playing physical and doing what he has to do to help his team win. I don't look at it as frustration, but just trying hard to help his team win."

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