Pens Win! Even Series With Wings
Total Pro Sports – Just when it looked all too much like 2008, the Pittsburgh Penguins used back-to-back penalty kills to change the script and defeat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2, evening the 2009 version of the Stanley Cup Finals at 2-2.
It had looked like the Wings seized control of the game early in the second after a Brad Stuart goal just 46 seconds into the frame put them up 2-1. The shots were becoming incredibly lopsided at that point as well, and after an Evgeni Malkin penalty just past the 5 minute mark, it seemed to be a matter of time before the Wings would add some insurance. Surprisingly, the opposite happened.
The Pens would have a strong penalty-kill, but with seconds remaining in it, another infraction, this time to Brooks Orpik, would set them a man down again. As if last time was just a warm-up, this time out it would be the Pens penalty killers producing the best offensive chances. First Malkin almost sprung himself for a break-a-way before being chased down by a back-checking Johan Franzen. Moments later, Jordan Staal would take advantage of a flat-footed Brian Rafalski and score the equalizer a man down.
The Penguins used that momentum to score two more before the period was done, and held on to the 4-2 lead throughout the third, evening the best-of-seven series at 2-2.
Things look to be turning around for Pittsburgh as Marc-Andre Fleury was solid again in goal and outplayed Chris Osgood for the second straight game. Sidney Crosby also scored his first goal of the series, and has been coming along with each game. The Pens now have the momentum, but momentum is only as good as your last shift, and with the Wings heading back to Detroit for game 5, expect the defending cup champions to come out with an added kick in their step. Whether that will be enough to weather the Pens storm remains to be seen, but I think I speak for most when I say that this series deserves to be settled in seven. With the way things are currently going, it looks like that is exactly where this season’s Stanley Cup Finals is headed.