Penguins Finally Score, Take Game Three 3-2

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally got on the board Wednesday night, scoring three times to earn a 3-2 win after being shut out in their first two Stanley Cup Final matchups with the Detroit Red Wings.

With the win, the Penguins avoided going down 3-0 in the series, which now stands at 2-1 with Game Four on Saturday night.

Sidney Crosby led the way for Pittsburgh, scoring the game’s first two goals.

With 2:35 left in the first period, the Pittsburgh captain capitalized on a Detroit turnover. Brad Stuart sent a pass into the skates of Henrik Zetterberg in a failed attempt to clear the Detroit zone. Ryan Malone worked the puck back on to Marian Hossa for a shot that deflected off of both of Nicklas Lidstrom‘s skates to Crosby, who snapped a shot past Chris Osgood.

Just 2:34 into the second period, Crosby banged in the rebound of a power play shot by Hossa and the Penguins had a two-goal lead.

Johan Franzen scored his first goal of the series to get the Red Wings on the board on a Detroit power play. With 5:12 left in the second, Franzen went outside-inside to get around defenseman Rob Scuderi on the left wing and drive to the net. He lifted a near-side shot from in close over the shoulder of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net.

On a broken play at 7:18 of the third, Adam Hall put the Penguins back up by a pair, banking a shot from behind the net off the back of a scrambling Osgood.

With 6:23 left in the game, Mikael Samuelsson snapped a shot from the right wing past Fleury to pull the Wings back within a goal but they would be unable to tie things up, with Pittsburgh holding on for the win.

Fleury stopped 32 of 34 shots in earning the win while Osgood made 21 saves on 24 Pittsburgh shots.

Red Wings to Play Blackhawks in Winter Classic II

TSN of Canada reports that the Chicago Blackhawks will host the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s second Winter Classic, scheduled for New Year’s Day, 2009.

The first Winter Classic was played at Ralph Wilson Stadium this year, as the Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh won in a shootout.

It is not yet known whether the second iteration of the event would be played in an NFL stadium – Chicago’s Soldier Field – or another venue. The Blackhawks have a good working relationship with Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs and could play the game at their Wrigley Field.

Previously-rumored hosts of the game included the New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium and the Montreal Canadiens at Percival Molson Stadium.

Osgood Blanks Penguins Again, Wings Lead Finals 2-0

Goaltender Chris Osgood earned his second consecutive shutout as the Detroit Red Wings rolled to a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night, giving them a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Osgood stopped 22 shots in the effort and became the second goalie in NHL history to start his Finals career with six consecutive wins.

The Red Wings got on the board just 6:55 into the game when Brad Stuart rifled a shot off of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net.

Valtteri Filppula gained the Pittsburgh zone on the left side and slid a pass across to a trailing Stuart while going to the net. Stuart waited for Filppula’s screen before blasting a shot on net. Fleury got a piece of it but not enough as it deflected up and in.

Tomas Holmstrom stretched the lead to two 4:23 later, finishing off a chance by Henrik Zetterberg.

Holmstrom sent the puck from behind the net to Zetterberg in the slot to bang between Fleury’s pads. It slowly slipped through and Holmstrom reached in behind Fleury to push the puck across the goal line.

A highlight reel goal by Valtteri Filppula finished off the game’s scoring at 8:48 of the third.

With the teams skating four aside, Filppula was sprung on a rush into the Pittsburgh zone with a pass by Johan Franzen. He raced around defenseman Kris Letang and cut back in front of Fleury while being hooked. On one leg, he put a shot past Fleury before flying through the air.

The game ended with the Penguins trying to assert themselves physically, as Petr Sykora bumped Osgood, leading to a scrum that saw Pavel Datsyuk drop Gary Roberts. After time ran out, Maxime Talbot approached the celebrating Red Wings but was led away by the officials.

The Red Wings will look to take a stranglehold on the series in Game Three from Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a virtual must-win for the Penguins.

Franzen returned to the lineup after missing six games with concussion-like symptoms. Darren McCarty was scratched to clear room for him.

Samuelsson, Osgood Lead Red Wings to Game One Win over Penguins

Mikael Samuelsson scored two unassisted goals and Chris Osgood stopped all 19 shots he faced to guide the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday night.

Samuelsson had scored only two goals in the previous 16 games of the playoffs before notching the game’s first two tallies.

His first goal came with 6:59 left in the second period. The Penguins went for an ill-timed line change while Samuelsson had the puck in the neutral zone. He used the extra space to race in down the left wing and wrap around the net, banking a shot in off of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Just 2:16 into the third he scored again, breaking up a short pass from Fleury to Evgeni Malkin and knocking the puck past Fleury to put Detroit up by a pair.

With 2:42 left in the game, Dan Cleary added a shorthanded goal. Kris Draper threw the puck the length of the ice and Cleary raced down after it as it came off the back boards, swatting a backhander high into the net.

With Jarkko Ruutu in the box for slashing Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg scored from the slot to wrap up the game’s scoring with 13 seconds left in the game.

That goal was the only power play goal of the night, with Detroit having six chances with the extra attacker and the Penguins five.

The Red Wings thought they had scored the game’s first goal with 4:40 left in the first period when Nicklas Lidstrom beat Fleury but the goal was negated with a controversial goaltender interference call on Holmstrom.

Fleury stopped 32 of 36 shots against in his first-ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

The win boosts Osgood’s record in the Finals to 5-0.

Game Two of the series will be on Monday night from Detroit.

The Red Wings were once again with Johan Franzen, who has resumed practicing with the team but has not been cleared to play.

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