Penguins Win Game 3, Close Series Gap
The Pittsburgh Penguins have closed the gap against the Detroit Red Wings, winning game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals by a score of 4-2.
The Penguins were able to win without getting goals from either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, although Crosby had an assist and Malkin had three. That's good news for Pittsburgh, their star players haven't been scoring (one goal combined in three games), but their role players are filling the gap and getting the job done for the club.
Pittsburgh scored first, just under five minutes into the opening period. Maxime Talbot sent a one timer past Chris Osgood as Malkin and Kris Letang got assists. Just over a minute later however, Malkin's sparring partner Henrik Zetterberg grabbed a loose puck and sent it over the shoulder of Marc Andre Fleury, with an assist from Johan Franzen.
Eleven minutes into the session Johan Franzen scored on the power play, this time with an assist from Zetterberg, to give the Red Wings the lead. The Penguins early advantage was reversed, and there had to have been some questions as to how they would respond. But with the season on the line they responded with a power play goal just four minutes later. Letang mishandled a pass, regrouped and then sent a slap shot past Osgood with assist from Malkin and Sergei Gonchar to tie the game at 2.
The score was tied, but Pittsburgh had gotten away with some sloppy play and was out shot 12-7 in the period. The second period was the first scoreless period in the series. Pittsburgh played with much more control, but didn't generate much offense, as the Red Wings put up 14 shots to their 4 in the session.
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In the third period, the Penguins came out with a fury, and put up nine unanswered shots. Finally, midway through the period one of those shots found its way in the net, as Gonchar grabbed a power play goal, with assists from both Malkin and Crosby. With the crowd revved up and the team applying pressure, Pittsburgh dominated the third, out shooting Detroit 10-3 and stifling any attempt by the Red Wings to tie the game. Talbot added his second of the evening with an empty netter from center ice with a minute left in the game.
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be Thursday night in Pittsburgh, as the Penguins look to even the series before heading back to Detroit.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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