Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Pittsburgh Penguins kept their undefeated streak at home intact with a nail biting 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Led by their captain, Sidney Crosby, and a very vociferous and enthusiastic hometown crowd - which I felt acted like an extra man for the Penguins - the Pens were able to capture their first win of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Early in the game it seemed to be “Uh-Oh!”, the same old thing with Detroit taking it to the Pens. In fact, I believe the Pens were being out-shot 7-1 at the midway point of the 1st period. That’s where I believe the hometown crowd kept the Penguins’ spirits alive with numerous loud crescendos of noise an basically would not allow the players to get down! Sidney Crosby finally broke Chris Osgood’s shutout streak late in the 1st (137:25 of shutout hockey). Crosby’s goal was assisted by who? That’s right, Marian Hossa (He finally showed up). Crosby again found the net on a rare PP goal assisted by… you guessed it! Marian Hossa and Ryan Malone.
It looked like from there Pittsburgh was in total control and would breeze through the rest of the game. But then, Detroit cut the lead on a PP goal on a great individual play by Johan Franzen. We now had a game (One I was waiting for). In the 3rd when Adam Hall made it 3-1, you would think the Pens were again in good shape - however Detroit cut the lead to 1 when Mikael Samuelsson’s wrist shot found the back of the net with plenty of time remaining.
Detroit seemed to put it in another gear and had the Penguins on their heels for most of the 3rd period. The Pens started to look a little tired, where the Red Wings looked like the much fresher team. However, the Penguins were still able to hold on and capture a much needed victory - swiftly avoiding the dreaded 3-0 playoff deficit. In the end, I believe there was a sigh of relief on two fronts: One, the Penguins now know they can win against Detroit (The Machine) and two, the NHL itself can breathe a little easier… we might have a series after all.
The Penguins silenced the critics for at least one night (me included). But remember, it’s only one game. Get your rest Pittsburgh, you’re gonna need another huge effort next game.
*Pictures in all blog posts are taken from Yahoo! Sports & Getty Images