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|Different year, same scenario. Just like last season, the Stanley Cup Final heads back to Pittsburgh for Game 6 with Detroit holding a 3-2 series advantage over the Penguins after the Red Wings pulled off a 5-0 victory in Game 5. |
The Penguins started the game strong and were dominating in the early going, but the Red Wings took the punches and held Pittsburgh off the score sheet. Detroit had a 2-0 lead in the second period when its top-ranked power play took over. The Red Wings scored three man-advantage goals in the second period to build a 5-0 advantage.
The Penguins have been a resilient club all season and this loss will really test their mental toughness. Pittsburgh wants to put this loss behind it as quickly as possible and turn its attention to Game 6 in Mellon Arena Tuesday night.
The Red Wings have pushed the Penguins to the brink of extinction. Pittsburgh hasn’t quit all season long and they won’t now with their championship hopes on the line. The Penguins will need to respond to the challenge. It’s do or die.
|WHAT HAPPENED |
|(AP) -The Detroit Red Wings got exactly what they needed: a big win and long break. |
After hearing how tired and beat up they were through four games of the Stanley Cup finals, the defending champions busted out with a devastating display of offense and defense and rolled to a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night that put them a win away from another championship.
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT |
Rob Scuderi lands a clean check on Darren Helm (photo by Getty)
|What Worked Well: Strong Start |
Pittsburgh dominated the opening half of the first period. The team rang up scoring chance after scoring chance and spent long durations of time in the Detroit zone. The Red Wings looked overwhelmed at times. But despite the great pressure, the Penguins never managed to convert a goal.
What Could Have Gone Better: Penalty Kill
The Penguins penalty killing units did a phenomenal job in the first four games, holding the NHL’s best power play in the regular season to just one goal. However, the Red Wings power play connected for three scores in Game 5. It was just a rough night for the team. They want to erase this game from their memories and should bounce back strong in Game 6.
|Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood stopped all 22 shots sent his way to record a shutout. |
|SCORING SYNOPSIS |
|The Red Wings struck gold first in the game. Pavel Datsyuk, playing in his first Final game, gained the blue line and pushed the puck to Dan Cleary above the far circle. Cleary’s shot sailed past the outstretched glove of Marc-Andre Fleury. The puck hit the stick of Brooks Orpik which caused it to change direction enough to elude Fleury. Detroit 1, Pittsburgh 0. |
Detroit added on to its lead with a goal early in the second period. The Penguins just finished killing off a penalty and were changing their lines. Chris Osgood pushed the puck ahead to Marian Hossa at center ice. Hossa gained the blue line and flip a pass to Valtteri Filppula, who sneaked behind Pittsburgh and had a breakaway on net. Filppula buried his shot for the goal. Detroit 2, Pittsburgh 0.
The Red Wings tallied a power-play goal to build a 3-0 lead six minutes into the second period. Niklas Kronwall carried the puck from beneath the near circle and towards the front of the net. Kronwall roofed a shot into the net for the score. Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 0.
Detroit took a 4-0 lead with another man-advantage goal halfway through the second frame. Brian Rafalski collected the puck above the near circle and sent a shot far side through a screen and into the goal. Detroit 4, Pittsburgh 0.
The Red Wings scored their third power-play goal of the game late in the second period to create a five-goal gap. Jiri Hudler sent a slap-pass from the top of the far circle to Henrik Zetterberg between the hash marks. Zetterberg collected the puck and lifted a shot into the cage. Detroit 5, Pittsburgh 0.
|INTRIGUING NOTABLES |
|The Penguins dressed the same lineup for the past four games, scratching forwards Eric Godard, Mike Zigomanis and Petr Sykora and defensemen Alex Goligoski and Philippe Boucher. |
|GAME NOTES |
|> Pittsburgh trails the Stanley Cup Final series with Detroit, 3-2, and is 6-6 on the road in this postseason. |
> Head coach Dan Bylsma has a career postseason record of 14-8.
> Scoring Summary:
DET, D.Cleary (9), 13:32 1st period: Red Wings 1, Penguins 0
DET, V.Filppula (3), 1:44 2nd period: Red Wings 2, Penguins 0
DET, N.Kronwall PP (2), 6:11 2nd period: Red Wings 3, Penguins 0
DET, B.Rafalski PP (3), 8:26 2nd period: Red Wings 4, Penguins 0
DET, H.Zetterberg PP (11), 15:40 2nd period: Red Wings 5, Penguins 0
> Evgeni Malkin, the NHL’s Art Ross champion, was held scoreless but still leads the league with 35 points in the postseason (14G-21A). Malkin has 23 points (9G-14A) and eight multi-point games in his last 12 contests.
> Malkin's 35 points are the most scored in the postseason since Wayne Gretzky tallied 40 in 1993 with Los Angeles.
> Sidney Crosby was held off the score sheet but still has 31 postseason points (15G-16A). Crosby has a point in 17 of 21 playoff games.
|THREE STARS ||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT |
| || |
|1. H.Zetterberg, DET |
2. P.Datsyuk, DET
3. C.Osgood, DET
|“Whether it’s 5-0 or 5-4 in overtime, it’s only one game. Our |
backs are against the wall now. It’s do or die for us.
We expect our best effort on Tuesday.”
- Mark Eaton