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Wings' Abdelkader's Cup goal is his 1st in the NHL @NHL

DETROIT (AP) -Justin Abdelkader's first NHL goal is hard to top.

The Detroit Red Wings rookie scored in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday night.

His initial shot was turned away by Marc-Andre Fleury, but Abdelkader stuck with it, firing past the Pittsburgh goalie on his second try to give the Wings an insurance goal in their 3-1 win Saturday night.

While it was a huge goal for Abdelkader and the Wings, it may not have been the most significant goal the 22-year-old left wing has scored.

He scored for Michigan State in the 2007 NCAA championship game.

The Spartans that year beat favored Boston College 3-1. Abdelkader had the tiebreaker with 18.9 seconds to go.

"That one would be tough to beat," he said. "But I think this one is right up there."


OLD-TIME HOCKEY: The Penguins and Red Wings are considered to be two of the most skilled teams in the league.

But that doesn't mean they won't get after each other.

Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik put a big hit on ex-Penguin Marian Hossa at center ice midway through the first period. Hossa appeared dazed before getting on all fours and eventually making his way up on his skates.

And Penguins star Sidney Crosby decked Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg on nearly the same spot a few minutes later.

Crosby also got into it with Wings veteran Kirk Maltby.

"He was doing what he always does. You know, he was giving guys lip service and things like that," Crosby said of Maltby. "And you know, I two-handed him on top of the foot there as we were skating by. So he felt like it was necessary to keep talking after the game, and I thought I'd whack him and that was it."


MR. HOCKEY: As Red Wings legends Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay stepped onto the Joe Louis Arena ice for the ceremonial pregame puck drop on Saturday night, Detroit fans filled the air with chants of "Gordie! Gordie!"

As Lindsay made his way toward captains Sidney Crosby and Nicklas Lidstrom, Howe - whose No. 9 jersey hangs in the Joe Louis rafters - stayed back to walk the length of the Wings bench to slap the players' gloves, much like NHL players do after a goal.

It's been a rough few months for Howe. His wife, Colleen, died in March at the age of 76.

But Howe was smiling Saturday when he emerged from the tunnel to the crowd's ovation.


OFF-ICE STAR POWER: The Stanley Cup finals rematch between the Penguins and Red Wings is full of stars, from Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom.

But the teams also feature a few off-the-ice luminaries.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have taken in a Penguins playoff game or two in recent weeks, while the Wings count among their celebrity backers actress Kristen Bell and musician Kid Rock.

Actor John C. McGinley, a Red Wings fan, watches the games from his home in Malibu, Calif., and he tends to be a tad superstitious.

"I rotate throughout the house like I do for New York Giants football games. Whenever things are going bad, I switch my seat," said the star of the ABC comedy "Scrubs."

McGinley's rooting interest in Detroit stems from his friendship with 47-year-old Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, who lives and trains part of the year in Malibu.

McGinley, Chelios and some other pals who have properties in the seaside community, including actor John Cusack and former tennis star John McEnroe, comprise a group they lovingly call the "Malibu Mob." Detroiter Kid Rock is the latest Mob inductee.

While McGinley will "be watching Cheli in high-def" in southern California, fellow actor Michael Keaton expects to be at Mellon Arena for Games 3 and 4 this coming week, watching his hometown team with his son.

"You ask anybody who knew anything about hockey (last year), and they would have said: 'We were good. They were better,"' he said. "This year, different story, baby. Different story."


OCTO-YUMMY: A Detroit-area seafood company hosted an "octopus tasting party" on Saturday, treating guests to a free sampling of octopus chili, octopus salad and even barbecued octopus.

The Superior Fish Company has gained a reputation as a go-to place to buy the slimy mollusks, which have been tossed onto the Joe Louis Arena ice over the past half-century to celebrate a good play or goal.

"We're offering everybody the opportunity to savor the flavor of a hockey tradition," said co-owner Kevin Dean.

The Royal Oak business also is displaying a giant octopus, which it had flown in from Seattle. Wings fans and other curious folks have been rolling into Superior Fish since the playoffs began to have their pictures taken next to the octopus, which weighs in at 45 pounds and is 65 inches from head to toe.

Sure enough, as national anthem singer Karen Newman belted out her final note, one of the eight-legged sea creatures went flying through the air and hit the ice to the crowd's delight.

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