Penguins-Red Wings: The Pens Got the Message

Dustin PollackContributor IJune 5, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 04:  Tyler Kennedy #48 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the second period with teammates during Game Four of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 4, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Looking back at game four, it really was a do-or-die game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. A win turns the series into a best of three and loss puts Pittsburgh on the ropes, down 3-1 heading back to Joe Louis.

Not exactly the rink I would want to be playing in facing elimination. The Wings are 10-1 when playing at Joe Louis this postseason.

Well the Pens don’t have to worry about staving off a five game elimination come Saturday night because of a huge performance in last nights game.

I guess they got my role call.

After both teams peppered apposing goaltenders in the first period, each getting rewarded with a goal, Brad Stuart scored early in the second to put the Red Wings up 2-1. But that was all the Wings could muster and shortly after a few unlikely heroes took charge for the Penguins.

Those of you who read my post yesterday know that I thought Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy among other Wings needed to have big games in order for the Pens to tie up the series.

Jordan Staal went to back to doing what got him noticed early in his career. Those of you who remember Staal from his rookie season, remember him most as a penalty killing machine. Staal notched 29 goals that season, seven of them being shorthanded which was the most in the NHL.

Last night, Staal split two Detroit defensemen, drove his six foot four frame to the net and on what many believe to be the turning point of the game put the puck over Chris Osgood’s blocker to tie the game 2-2.

Only two minutes later, the Pens, Sidney Crosby finally got the monkey off his back and took a feed from co-star Evgeni Malkin and notched his first goal of the championship series.

Only four minutes after Crosbys goal, Pittsburgh potted another. Tyler Kennedy started the play with a great forecheck, knocking defensive specialist, Henrik Zetterberg off the puck and allowing teammate, Kris Kunitz to pick up the puck just inside Detroit's blue line.

Kunitz found Crosby with a pass, and Kennedy continued hard to the net to finish of what was a pretty play by the Pens trio.

Capping off a three-goal barrage by the Pens, all coming in under six minutes.

In the third period, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 11 stops to hold off the Red Wings and give his team another win at home.
Max Talbot and Kris Letang each had one assist as well in the victory as the series heads back to Detroit dead locked at two a piece.

This series may not come down to which superstars put up the most points but rather which team has the deeper depth chart.

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