Hockey (Last) Night in Canada: Paddling on Thin Ice

All the Wings needed was a win last night to claim their second Stanley Cup in a row. They have ruined the party at the igloo last year when they defeated the Penguins in six games. Was there a repeat performance last night?

Detroit 1 @ Pittsburgh 2 – The Red Wings were ‘Staaled’ in their tracks at the igloo last night as the Penguins snatched another win to tie the series at 3.

The game started off fairly slow as there were no scoring in the first period. The Red Wings were quite during the first two frames as the Penguins outshot them 24 to 12. Jordan Staal kicked off the scoring for the night with less than a minute into the second period.  

To add to the Red Wings uphill battle in the game, Tyler Kennedy scored Pittsburgh’s second goal a little over five minutes into the third period. The Sault Ste. Marie native jammed the puck into the side of the net in what would be the game winning goal.

The Red Wings were pressing hard in the third period. They came out firing as they were determined to get the equalizer. Two and a half minutes after Kennedy’s goal, Kris Draper cuts the Pittsburgh lead in half as he snaps a wrist shot past Fleury. However that is the closest they will get in the game.

There was a tense moment in the frantic final seconds of the game as Rob Scuderi made a leg save while the Wings players crowded the net in an attempt to get the tying goal. It seems like not only was Fleury doing his job last night, his defense had also stepped up to bail him out.

After being pummelled in game 5, Marc-Andre Fleury rebounded and stopped 25 of 26 pucks. While the night started off slow as he only needed to make three saves, two of them were point-blank shots from Henrik Zetterberg. He also stepped up in the third as the Red Wings came out firing with 14 shots in the third period. Meanwhile Osgood also didn’t disappoint at the other end of the ice as he made stopped 29 pucks on 31 shots.  

Either the Penguins play better under pressure or they just seem to play better in front of the hometown crowd, they certainly looked like a winning team last night. Fleury made some big saves, including a tremendous pad save on Dan Cleary’s breakaway in the third period. They didn’t rely on Crosby or Malkin for offensive support. The team played a more disciplined game as they only had two penalties against them. The trip back to the drawing board proved to be a success as the checking line managed to shut down the Zetterberg-Datsyuk powerhouse. 

This will be the fifth game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals since 2001 and it will be the 15th game 7 in the finals in NHL history. So far, the home team has a record of 12-2 in these games. With neither team being able to win on the road in this series, it certainly looks like it will work in Detroit’s favour as they head back to play game 7 in Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.

Now we’re left to wonder what tricks will Bylsma have up his sleeve to pull off a win on the road.

The series is tied at 3-3 

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Tyler Kennedy (Pittsburgh)
2. Marc Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh)
3. Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh)


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