Red Wings-Blackhawks: Game Two "Osgood" As It Gets

Keith SheltonAnalyst IMay 20, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 19:  Goalie Chris Osgood #30 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during pregame against the Chicago Blackhawks during Game Two of the Western Conference Championship Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 19, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Chris Osgood didn't come to work on Tuesday with a foam dartboard hung around his neck, but the Chicago Blackhawks used him for target practice anyway.

19 shots in the first period alonethe most Detroit has given up in one period in a decadewere fired by the Blackhawks but when the end of the period buzzer sounded, it was a 1-1 tie game, thanks to No. 30.

The much-maligned Osgood still doesn't get much respect these days, even after blanking the Columbus Blue Jackets, even after coming up strong against the Ducks, even after facing 30 shots in Game One against Chicago.

Now Osgood has done what many thought he wasn't capable of doing. He stole a game for Detroit.

The Red Wings were off their game, they were slow and lethargic at times and the Blackhawks had plenty of time in the offensive zone, throwing everything they had at Osgood, given this fantastic opportunity.

The Detroit netminder came up huge, time and time again. Giving up only a powerplay goal coming off a five-on-three disadvantage, and a clutch goal by Chicago in the third period. Both were scored by the Blackhawks young captain, Jonathan Toews.

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When it was all said and done, the Wizard of Oz stopped 37 shots in a game where Detroit was outshot, outchanced, and outskated for a 3-2 overtime victory.

I've writen those same words describing the Red Wings in a game they dominated but still lost. This was a game that only exceptional netminders can win for your team.

The Red Wings even extended their dubious franchise streak of allowing a powerplay goal for the 11th straight game. That ties the NHL record set by the 1989 Pittsburgh Penguins.

No matter.

The Red Wings keep rolling. No one will remember an insignificant streak of allowing powerplay goals if the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup.

Once again, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, and Marian Hossa were held off the scoresheet in this game.

Once again, Dan Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson provided the offense. Cleary is on a tear, possibly still high on his series clinching goal against Anaheim. He scored his fourth goal in three games, unassisted once again.

In fact, Cleary became the first Red Wing to score back to back unassisted goals since Gordie Howe.

Samuelsson netted the game winner in overtime on a spectacular three-on-one play that resulted from a turnover. Jiri Hudler found Valterri Filppula, who passed it back to Samuelsson who made the "Bulin" wall crumble with a fantastic shot.

Not to take way from Khabibulin's performance. He was rock solid, giving Chicago a chance to win the game, stopping 35 shots and matching Chris Osgood every step of the way. He had no chance on the game-winning goal.

The Chicago Blackhawks have proved that they are not your ordinary bunch of young kids. They can handle the pressures of playoff hockey, they can play with the Red Wings and look like equals, but dare I bring up that "E" word again.

Experience is a funny thing. It's a motivator as much as anything. It's a hard loss like this that will make Chicago better in the long run. It's part of the ingredients that go into making a Stanley Cup champion.

This series now moves to Chicago for Game Three. The Blackhawks are going to win a game for their home crowd. Bank on it. This team has too much fight and pride to be swept, and they've played Detroit tough every step of the way so far.

This series will be over in five games though and perhaps the hard lesson will be learned by Chicago.