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Notebook: Osgood gives team chance to win

by Christy Hammond / Detroit Red Wings
PITTSBURGH – Netminder Chris Osgood kept Detroit in the game after the Penguins outshot the Red Wings 24-12 through 40 minutes of play in Game 6 Tuesday night. Despite the large disparity in shots, Pittsburgh held a one-goal lead after two periods giving the Wings a fighting chance in the third frame.

“They took it to us pretty good for two periods,” Osgood said. “For me, I was just trying to give us a chance at the end to win the game. I was hoping to keep it as close as I could for as ling as I could and hopefully the tide would turn. It did a bit at the end, but not enough.”

If Osgood maintains his strong play through Game 7 to earn his fourth Stanley Cup, the goaltender could lay claim to his first Conn Smythe.

“I thought he played well throughout the whole game,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We need Ozzie to play the way he did, and we know he’s going to respond good for that Game 7."

Henrik Zetterberg agreed with Lidstrom’s assessment of their goalie’s play.

“Ozzie was real good again,” he said. “He was solid back there and there were a few chances there that I thought was going in but he made the key saves and he kept us in the game."

Game 7 Destiny: Statistics are on Detroit’s side heading into Game 7 on Friday at Joe Louis Arena as twelve of the fourteen teams hosting Game 7 have gone on to win the Stanley Cup.

“It’ll be fun,” Lidstrom said of Game 7. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s what we worked hard for all season, to get that home ice. Now we have that chance and you want to take advantage of it.”

The Wings know Game 7 will be ultracompetitive as the two teams duke it out with the winner taking home the Stanley Cup.

"We're feeling pretty good,” Darren Helm said. “But we know they won a big game against Washington (Game 7 of the second round), so we know they're capable of winning a Game 7 on the road."

Jordan Staals Detroit:
Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal scored 51 seconds into the second period, handing momentum over to the Penguins and getting the home crowd back into the game.

"We knew they were going to come out hard and I thought we fended them off real well,” Wings captain Nick Lidstrom said. “But they got that goal early in the second period and gained momentum from it."

The forward logged 19:31 minutes in the game, seeing more time than Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby who posted 17:54 minutes. Staal impressed coach Dan Bylsma with how he played defensively as well as on the penalty kill.

“But I think Jordan Staal can, with his skating ability and his size, he can be a force in the defensive zone, he can be a force with his speed through the neutral zone,” Bylsma said. “And he’s a young kid. He’s just learning what he can do out there, and tonight was a game he did it on both ends of the rink.”

Heroic Effort from Kennedy:
In 13:29 of ice time Tyler Kennedy registered the game-winning goal and an assist, finishing with a plus-two rating.

“When your team plays well enough long enough and you put yourself in those positions, different guys are going to be the heroes,” Bylsma said. “Tonight it was TK.”

His defense also played a role in containing the likes of Pavel Datsyuk to push the series to a Game 7.

“I think offense starts in the defensive zone, and we played well defensively,” Kennedy said. “I think I had a meeting when we played Washington, when I played against Ovechkin it really showed me what I need to do out there. That’s what I’m trying to do, trying to keep their guys out of our end and keep the pucks in their end.
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