Penguins Take Game 3—the Matchup We'd Been Waiting For

Caleb JohnsonContributor IMay 28, 2008

Maybe the fingers can stop being pointed, and some real hockey can be discussed. Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh was what everyone, even Wings fans, was looking for.

A nail-biter.

The Wings long have handled each game with ease all playoff season. For me, a Wings fan since birth, I never really felt the agony of playoff hockey that I have in previous years until tonight. It was a back and forth game with the constant noise delivered by the crowd. Some may say this team played really well, or this team got extremely lucky, but all tonight's game was, was solid, exciting, playoff hockey.

After seeing Crosby get the "lucky" bounce and swing it in past Ozzie, the first thing that came to mind was a big fat L on the schedule, and another game at St. Joe's Cathedral. The Wings weren't playing their best hockey, for three-fourths of the game, and especially in the first period.

The Wings were sloppy mainly in their passing and the Pens finally took advantage of it. Brad Stuart sent the puck at Zetterberg's skates, too far behind for him to get possession. Who was there to pick it up? Crosby. I don't like that guy two thousand feet from the goal, let alone two with a stumbling Stuart to defend.

So the Penguins finally took advantage of a turnover, and finally scored a goal.  They remain undefeated at home and can maybe ride the momentum into Saturday night. But right next to them will be the calm and collected Red Wings team who literally dominated the third period.

Shot after shot, rebound after rebound, post after cross-bar. The Wings really didn't panic, and that's REALLY good to see. They didn't play badly, but they didn't play excellent, and I believe everyone can agree that to not play your best and still be in the game, IN PITTSBURGH is a job well done, and definitely a boost for Saturday night.

So, maybe all this "what's wrong with the Penguins" and "what's wrong with the refs" talk can end, and discussion about the game and the great plays that were made can begin.

Speaking of great plays, let's talk about Johan Franzen.

Coming off his first game in the last six, he made an unbelievable play and single-handedly scored a last second power play goal. Shifting by the Pittsburgh defense, and having the puck on a string, he made it look easy as he walked right in and put the rubber top shelf on Marc-Andre Fleury. Franzen had about a half an inch to put the puck in, and he did, making it a 2-1 game.

That was about it for an outstanding effort in tonight's game on either side.  Crosby did tally two goals, and got first star, but what else is new?

All in all, I'm excited for Saturday night's Game 4, it should be a dandy.