Pavel Datsyuk returned to the Detroit lineup Saturday night, notching two assists in his first appearance in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals as his Red Wings lit up the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-0 win.
The Red Wings now lead the series 3-2 with a chance to claim their second consecutive Stanley Cup on Mellon Arena ice in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Chris Osgood made 22 saves en route to the shutout, his second of these playoffs and third against Pittsburgh in the last two Finals.
Detroit had to survive an early push by the Penguins. Pittsburgh got the game’s first power play and outshot the Red Wings 10-8 in the first period but it was the Wings with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Dan Cleary opened the game’s scoring with 6:28 left in the period. Datsyuk carried the puck into the Pittsburgh zone, drawing defenders to him before pushing the puck off to Cleary for heavy wrister past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from near the top of the right faceoff circle.
The Red Wings opened the game up in the second period, scoring four more goals including three on the power play, tying an NHL playoff record for most power play goals in a single period.
Valtteri Filppula put Detroit up by a pair just 1:44 into the period, five seconds after Chris Kunitz got out of the penalty box for goalie interference.
Osgood sent a long outlet pass to Marian Hossa, catching the Penguins in a line change. Hossa gained the offensive zone and centered the puck on to Filppula, who drove to the net and lifted a backhander over Fleury.
Niklas Kronwall scored the first of Detroit’s power play goals at 6:11 of the second. Kronwall gained the Pittsburgh zone and passed the puck off to Johan Franzen at the right point before driving to the net. With no play, Kronwall went down to the corner, getting the puck back from Franzen then jumping back out to the top of the crease, lifting a shot over Fleury.
Just 2:15 later, Brian Rafalski snapped a shot from the high slot past a screened Fleury to make it 4-0.
Henrik Zetterberg ended the game’s scoring with 4:20 left in the period. Jiri Hudler sent a hard pass from the left point down to Zetterberg in the left faceoff circle and Zetterberg roofed a shot that saw Fleury chased from the crease, replaced by backup Mathieu Garon.
The five Detroit goals came on 21 shots against Fleury. Garon would go on to stop all eight shots he faced in 24:20 of playing time.
The Red Wings finished the night with three goals on nine power play chances after having scored just once with the extra attacker in the previous four games of the series. The Penguins were held without a goal on two power play tries.
Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals will take place Tuesday.
With Datsyuk’s return, rookie Ville Leino was scratched.