Red Wings-Penguins: Home Sweet Home for Pittsburgh in Game Three

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IJune 3, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 02:  Maxime Talbot #25 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his empty netter against the Detroit Red Wings with teammates during Game Three of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 2, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After losing the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals in Detroit, the Pittsburgh Penguins were happy to come home for Game Three. The Red Wings, after being up two games to none, wanted to win Game Three and put the Pittsburgh in an even deeper hole. So far this playoff series is playing just like last year's when these two teams met.

Needing a win to give them something good to feel about, the Penguins struck first in the opening period. Less than five minutes in, Maxime Talbot gives Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead early—a lead they were not able to hold on to in Game Two.

Less than two minutes later the Red Wings struck back with a goal by Henrik Zetterberg to tie the game at 1-1. After tying the game things looked like they falling apart for Pittsburgh after Brooks Orpik was called for interference on Daniel Cleary.

That call sent Orpik to the penalty box and gave Detroit a man-advantage which they used to the fullest. The Red Wings take a 2-1 lead off of Johan Franzen’s power-play goal nearly two minutes past the half-way mark in the period.

Instead of going scoreless after one goal like in the last two games, the Penguins get a chance to even the game on the power-play. This time it’s the Red Wings Daniel Cleary who gets called for a penalty and Pittsburgh making the most of it.

Cleary gets sent to the box for holding Mark Eaton and the Penguins having a man up on the ice for two minutes. Kris Letang evens the game at 2-2 scoring on the power-play with less than five minutes to go before the first intermission.

Detroit and Pittsburgh both go scoreless in the second period and the Penguins get some luck after not getting caught with six men on the ice for nearly half a minute. The easy goals the Red Wings got at home seemed to hit nothing but iron in Game Three.

Over half way in to the third and final period, the Penguins get their third power-play of the night. Pittsburgh gets the man-advantage after Jonathan Ericsson gets called for interference on Matt Cooke.

The Penguins defensive leader Sergei Gonchar puts Pittsburgh ahead to stay scoring on the power-play goal. With the 3-2 lead Pittsburgh gets a goal with an empty Detroit net by Maxime Talbot. The goal is Talbot’s second of the game and gives the Penguins a 4-2 win.

After looking nearly unbeatable at home in Detroit, the Red Wings net-minder Chris Osgood looked mortal in Game Three. After saving 64 of the 62 shots he faced in goal at home in the first two games. Osgood only saves 17 of 20 shots in Game Three and gave up three goals.

The Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury played better in net in Game Three and gets better defense in front of him in the game as well. Fleury saves 29 of the 27 shots he faced and only allowed two goals while it is not great but for Fleury and the Penguins it’s good enough for a win.

If the Red Wings do not seem worried after Game Three do not be surprised by it. They lost Game Three in Pittsburgh in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. They went on to win Game Four for a 3-1 lead and finished the series off in six games.

Pittsburgh hopes they can change the script and win Game Four to tie the series. Another concern for the Penguins is the fact that Sidney Crosby still does not have a point in this series yet.

They have to be happy that Evgeni Malkin collected three more points in Game Three. The Penguins will see if they can change the way this series has gone so close to last year’s when they play Game Four on Thursday.


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