Red Wings-Penguins: Detroit Takes Game One for Early Series Lead

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IMay 31, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 31:  Goaltender Chris Osgood #30 of the Detroit Red Wings clears a puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Two of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on May 31, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins were sweep in the first two games in Detroit last year and were looking to change their luck versus the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Red Wings just wanted to play good defense and control the puck in Pittsburgh’s defensive zone.

The Red Wings are able to strike first when Brad Stuart’s shot bounced off the boards and  Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury lost the puck behind him and knocked it into his own net. The goal gave Detroit a 1-0 lead nearly fourteen minutes into the first period.

Not to be outdone, in the first period the Penguins struck back with less than two minutes left before the first intermission.  After a shot by Evgeni Malkin was stopped by Chris Osgood, the Detroit goalie was not able to collect the rebound.  Pittsburgh’s Ruslan Fedotenko used the opportunity to put the puck in the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 after one period.

Pittsburgh seemed to be taking over the game in the second period earlym but all the momentum changed due to the goaltending of Osgood. When a turnover at center ice led to a breakaway for Malkin, he was stonewalled by Osgood, who denied him the goal.

Osgood was not done breaking the Penguins' hearts yet. The Detroit netminder then stopped a very good scoring chance by Miroslav Satan by making a kick save.  Osgood then denied Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby after he got the puck and tries a turnaround back handed shot.

After stopping the three good scoring chances by the Penguins, the Red Wings seemed to come alive and started to slowly take over the game.

Detroit broke the tie after they are able to keep the puck in the Pittsburgh defensive zone.  The Penguins were not able to get a line change after icing the puck. The Red Wings got the puck on goal and Fleury was not able to cover it up.

After the rebound was slapped around by several players, the Red Wings' Johan Franzen was able to put the puck between the pipes for the goal to give Detroit the lead at 2-1 after two periods.

Detroit then took the game over and did not let the Penguins get very many good looks at the net. Whenever they had one, they were stopped by Osgood.

The Red Wings added to their lead in the third period after Justin Abdelkader scores his first NHL goal to give Detroit the 3-1 win.

Osgood saved 31 of 32 shot sent on the goal by the Penguins—many of them early in the game, as Pittsburgh was able to control the puck in the first two periods.

Penguins netminder Fleury was only able to stop 27 of 30 shots on goal. Fleury will have to play better if Pittsburgh wants a chance to win this series.

With the 1-0 lead in the series, the tired legs of Detroit will have to go for the second night in a row, as Game One and Game Two are played on back-to-back nights. The Penguins will be looking for a split before they head back to their home ice for Game Three.