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 » All things PLAYOFFS! » GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET

GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET

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WHO WINS GAME 5?

GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET Vote_lcap244%GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET Vote_rcap2 44% [ 4 ]
GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET Vote_lcap256%GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET Vote_rcap2 56% [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 9

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davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET PitPittsburgh at GAME DAY: SCP '09, SATURDAY JUNE 6, STANLEY CUP FINAL--PITTSBURGH AT DETROIT, 800 PM ET DetDetroit

GAME FIVE, 2009 STANLEY CUP FINALS
SERIES TIED 2-2

8:00 PM ET, June 6, 2009
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

CBC/NBC/RDS

Penguins-Red Wings Preview

DETROIT (AP/ESPN) -- Call this one the Fickle Finals.

Two games into the Stanley Cup championship series, all signs pointed to a Red Wings redux. They may be older and more worn-down than the youthful and energized Pittsburgh Penguins, but experience, guile and winning history seemed more than enough to carry Detroit to a repeat.

That's how it played out last year. The Red Wings won the first two games in Detroit, split the next two in Pittsburgh, then wrapped up their 11th championship in six games.

Why would this time be different?

A 5 1/2-minute stretch in the second period of Game 4 Thursday turned around the series, and the opinions of many watching it. Instead of carrying a 3-1 lead back to Hockeytown, the defending champions are locked in a 2-2 fight.

Game 5 is Saturday night in Detroit, and a return to Pittsburgh for Game 6 is a sure thing.

"If you listen to what people on the outside say, Pittsburgh was done after two games. I don't think anybody in our locker room thought that," Red Wings coach Mike Babc0ck said Friday. "Now if you listen to what people on the outside say, the Red Wings are done after two games. I don't think that's what we think.

"What we think is that we've got a best of three, with two in our building, and we're going to come here and play well."

After the NHL crammed the first five games into an eight-day stretch, including
back-to-back contests to start the series, there will be two days off before Games 6 and two more before 7, should it go the distance.

That could be what the Red Wings need to get their legs back. The return of leading scorer
Pavel Datsyuk, who has missed seven games due to a foot injury, would provide a major boost.

Babc0ck said Friday that Datsyuk will play. The Russian forward nearly got back in the lineup Thursday, after skating in the pregame warmup, but was ruled out again.

While the Penguins felt better about the first two games than they did a year ago when they failed to score, much of the talk was about missed opportunities and bad breaks.

The chances were there, but the goals weren't as the Red Wings took a pair of 3-1 wins.

Now, after two 4-2 triumphs in front of a white-clad crowd yearning for Pittsburgh's first hockey championship since 1992, the Penguins suddenly look like the favorites.

"As a team, we're always focused on what we need to do," Penguins coach
Dan Bylsma said. "Hopefully we bring that levelheaded approach, whether it's a loss or whether it's a win. We're no closer to the end than they are.

"We have two more wins to get and we have a tall task going into a tough building against a very good team who is playing well."

For the third time since 1978, the home team has won the first four games in the finals. Six years ago, the
New Jersey Devils won the Cup by capturing all four victories at home. They lost all three games in Anaheim to the Ducks, coached by Babc0ck.

"We know we have to go in there and play a solid game," Penguins captain
Sidney Crosby said Friday, before the team hopped a flight to Motown. "We want to come back here obviously up."

So back it goes to old Joe Louis Arena and its bouncy end boards. They were more friendly to the hometown Red Wings and goalie
Chris Osgood than to Pittsburgh counterpart Marc-Andre Fleury in Games 1 and 2.

"I think we were tired after the last game," Red Wings captain
Nicklas Lidstrom said. "You should be tired after a hard game like that. But we're feeling good today. You see two teams that are matched up great together. Both teams play a lot alike."

Fleury has reclaimed the spotlight from Osgood, who had been 10-2 in his career in the finals before his latest trip to Pittsburgh doubled his loss total.

The Red Wings might be able to rattle him again in Game 5, but it probably won't be enough to grab the momentum again if they can't slow down
Evgeni Malkin. The NHL's regular-season scoring champion is tops in the playoffs with 35 points, and his 14 goals are second only to Crosby (15).

Malkin energized Mellon Arena in Game 4 by staking the Penguins to a 1-0 lead in the first period, then nearly brought that old building down by setting up Crosby's go-ahead goal -- and first of the series -- in the decisive second period.

That marked the fourth time Crosby and Malkin scored in the same game during these playoffs. Malkin has the most points in the playoffs since
Wayne Gretzky had 40 in 1993.

The Penguins shook off Detroit's 2-1 lead in the middle frame and scored three goals in a span of 5:37 -- a spurt that started with
Jordan Staal's short-handed tally at 8:35.

Making that momentum stick will likely be necessary for the Penguins to come all the way back from their 2-0 hole. They have the experience, having pulled it off that comeback against Washington in a seven-game series in the second round.

Keeping an even keel through the ups and downs isn't easy.

"We're so focused on playing the right way and doing the right thing," Crosby said. "We take a lot of pride in that, so we don't let our focus sway too much. That's probably the biggest challenge of the playoffs, mentally.

"We've been in this situation before and we know that it gets more difficult as the series wears on. We've done a good job here at home, but we've got to move on."

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
So...

Who wins tonight?

What are the keys to the game?

How many goals?

Who scores the winner?

Who is the 'Sudden Unsung Hero'?

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
Important game for both teams tonight. Pitt will be looking to continue and build on the momentum they got from the wins back home and Detroit will be looking to turn their ship around and get back to winning. The return of Datsyuk will be a boost to Detroit but will it be enough to contain the Pens? Crosby and Staal seem to have found their mojo and if they heat up... it could be trouble for the Wings. Both Osgood and MAF have been playing very solid in net so far.

Pivotal game tonight.

I think the Pens take this one too, in OT.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
I agree with Shabbs about this match being a possible turning point...though I differ with him on Ozzy...allowing seven goals in the last two after only giving up a pair in the first two, has to be of concern to Detroit.

Marky Flower seems to have gotten stronger with each game as Chris has been less than crisp.

Is Dats ready to come back? Sure, you can freeze the foot, but the intensity level of these matches will be a severe test.

IMHO everything hinges on whether the Pingus can continue to knock the Wings off their game and hammer Lids and Raf, who looked less than fresh in Game Four. Even Jonny Ericsson seemed to be labouring--the effects of the appendectomy finally manifesting themselves?

The Red Wings will have to execute with zero defect, stay out of the box, and not commit the defensive zone turnovers that have been so costly. Hossa's been hamstrung, but Franzen's failure to make the twine bulge in Game Four has to change too.

To steal this one, the Penguins need to play a perfect game, as less than a full court press from start to finish will allow Detroit to regain the Big Mo.

A one-goal spread--even OT--would not surprise me...

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
davetherave wrote:I agree with Shabbs about this match being a possible turning point...though I differ with him on Ozzy...allowing seven goals in the last two after only giving up a pair in the first two, has to be of concern to Detroit.
I'd offer up as defense to my statement that the majority of those goals were due to complete defensive breakdowns that Osgood had no chance on. If I were the Wings, Osgood would not be my primary concern right now.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
Datsyuk is in...

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/06/05/wings_datsyuk_game5/

beerandsens

beerandsens
Sophomore
Sophomore
I think the layoff helps the Wings. I think the younger Penguins benefit in a big way from the compressed schedule through the first 4 games. I think the Wings win tonight by 1 goal. Franzen contributes. Osgood bounces back.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
shabbs wrote:
davetherave wrote:I agree with Shabbs about this match being a possible turning point...though I differ with him on Ozzy...allowing seven goals in the last two after only giving up a pair in the first two, has to be of concern to Detroit.
I'd offer up as defense to my statement that the majority of those goals were due to complete defensive breakdowns that Osgood had no chance on. If I were the Wings, Osgood would not be my primary concern right now.

And I would agree as to several of those goals...but Ozzy has not looked his usual comfortable and spry self these last two games. When having make save after save due to d-zone turnovers, that could be wearing on him.

Going back to the Chicago series, Conklin came in relief of Osgood in Game Four, not because the Wings had the big lead, but, as was revealed by Babs in the press conference, Ozzy was suffering from severe dehydration.

The toll of playing over 100 games a year for any hockey player is massive...for goalies over 35, the wear and tear of extended seasons and playoffs are exponential.

This may be a factor...whether it's being talked about is another matter.

But we shall see...

As for Beerandsens' reference to a 'layoff'...what layoff? They just played Thursday night. That's five games in eight days.

beerandsens

beerandsens
Sophomore
Sophomore
You caught me, I wasn't really thinking. Layoff is an exaggeration.

After the NHL crammed the first five games into an eight-day stretch, including
back-to-back contests to start the series, there will be two days off before Games 6 and two more before 7, should it go the distance.

That could be what the Red Wings need to get their legs back. The return of leading scorer
Pavel Datsyuk, who has missed seven games due to a foot injury, would provide a major boost.


I agree with this statement.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
beerandsens wrote:You caught me, I wasn't really thinking. Layoff is an exaggeration.

After the NHL crammed the first five games into an eight-day stretch, including
back-to-back contests to start the series, there will be two days off before Games 6 and two more before 7, should it go the distance.

That could be what the Red Wings need to get their legs back. The return of leading scorer
Pavel Datsyuk, who has missed seven games due to a foot injury, would provide a major boost.


I agree with this statement.

Beer> wasn't trying to 'catch' you... ;-)

This is an absolutely critical win for Detroit. Should they lose--'getting their legs back', one of those horrendous cliches hockey hacks use, may be irrelevant in the Igloo.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
This just in from Detroit:

Dan Cleary questionable with lower-body injury
Ansar Khan/MLive.com, June 06, 2009 11:26AM

Dan Cleary's status for Game 5 tonight will be determined after the pregame warmups. Cleary, who didn't skate this morning, said he sustained a "lower-body'' injury in Game 4. Cleary was vague, as you would expect this time of year. Asked if it was a new injury or something that had been bothering him, he said, "a little of both.'' He also said he had tests done but has not gotten the results back yet. He said it's nothing that would require a pain-killing shot.

"Cleary and (defenseman Brian Rafalski) didn't skate, both are supposed to play,'' coach Mike Babc0ck said. "(Justin Abdelkader) had a bit of the flu, so I think all those guys are available for tonight. And we'll make decisions at game time.''

beerandsens

beerandsens
Sophomore
Sophomore
I agree. Yet if any team can be the exception, it's the Wings. If the Wings lose the next one and somehow find a way to win games six and seven the city of Pittsburgh will be in a state of collective shock.

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
Beer> ;-) ...well, there's still this one to play first before any other scenarios become relevant.

Should be one helluva hockey match!

:##:

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
I think it's safe to say the Wings are hurting... they must be hiding a lot of injuries and the Pens seem to be quite healthy... the longer this series goes... the more this favours the Pens.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
shabbs wrote:I think it's safe to say the Wings are hurting... they must be hiding a lot of injuries and the Pens seem to be quite healthy... the longer this series goes... the more this favours the Pens.

Don't worry, everyone is hurting now. You saw the look on Sidney's face when Maltby gave him that vicious two-handed slash to the knee, right? That was, without doubt, the manifestation of the greatest pain a human mind and body can endure.

Or maybe he was just faking it. Shrug

Same thing with the walking wounded getting the time off from skating. We don't really know if they are just trying to feint an opponent or, perhaps, draw attention away from someone else.

What's all this talk (here and in the other thread) of Staal coming around? Rafalski was horrible on that play, and Ozzy wasn't much better. He basically went around a pylon and shoveled it at the net. What else did he do in the game? Sure, he had 4 shots, but a third-line centre who dishes out a single hit while winning just 2 of his 15 face offs is *not* coming around.

I say Wings take it.

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