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Osgood slams door on Penguins again

by Lindsey Ungar / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – Chris Osgood naysayers, begone.

“Their goalie was their best player," Pittsburgh forward Pascal Dupuis said.

Again. It was eerily familiar – Detroit led Pittsburgh 2-1 in the third period, but the fist-clenching and teeth-grinding continued.

With the Penguins pressing, Sidney Crosby – held pointless in the series thus far – sent a shot off the far post. The rebound ricocheted back, sliding dangerously in the blue paint.

First under Osgood’s right skate. Then the left, and somehow all of the way out of the crease.
That’s not just luck – that’s Osgood. Calm enough not to flinch with the game-tying goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals whisking beneath him.

Stopping 12 shots in the third period alone, including two by Evgeni Malkin in the dying seconds, Osgood backstopped the Wings to a 3-1 win and earned first-star honors for the second straight night. He has stopped 62 of 64 shots in the series.

“I think we kind of sat back a little bit, and we gave them a little more chances,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “They had a lot of chances. They created a lot. Ozzie played good again, and it saved us.”

As for the two leading scorers coming into the finals? Osgood has kept Malkin to just one goal through two games, and Crosby zero.

“They're tough on me,” Osgood said. “It hasn't been easy. We're going to have to play better and an even higher level when we go to Pittsburgh.”

Osgood is just two wins away from a fourth Stanley Cup – and his second since taking over for Dominik Hasek last spring in Game 4 of the opening series against the Nashville Predators.

While Osgood struggled during the regular-season with 3.09 goals-against average and a.889 save percentage, he has been nothing short of spectacular since the playoffs began.

He’s no fluke, no pedestrian along for the Red Wings ride. He’s the unflappable, unassuming Osgood, whose 73-45 playoff record ranks eighth all-time among NHL goaltenders.

Justin Abdelkader scored the insurance goal 2:47 into the third period, eliciting the Michigan State fight song through "The Joe". Jonathan Ericsson broke a tie in the second period with his third goal of the playoffs, and Valtteri Filppula put the Wings ahead at 10:29 of the second period.

Malkin had Pittsburgh’s lone tally on the power play. The frustrated star picked up a fighting, an instigator, and a misconduct penalty after he tossed punches at Zetterberg with 18.9 seconds left in the game.

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