Detroit Shuts out Pittsburgh at Home; 1 Win From Cup
Sometimes a little bit of home ice advantage goes a long way in the Stanley Cup Finals. For the Detroit Red Wings, hosting game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a series tied at two games a piece, it also didn't hurt to get MVP candidate player Pavel Datsyuk back in the lineup. Nor did it hurt to be nearly continually on the power play, particularly throughout the second period during which the Red Wings scored four of their five goals en route to a 5-0 victory.
Detroit grabbed a 1-0 advantage thirteen minutes into the first period, when surprising playoff star Dan Cleary tallied his 9 th postseason goal. Guess who got the assist on the play? Datsyuk fed Cleary a soft cross ice pass on the break, setting him up for the scoring opportunity.
The game stayed at 1-0 until the end of the first, and the Penguins actually out shot Detroit 10-8 in the period. The second period would be a completely different game however, with the Red Wings putting up 15 shots to Pittsburgh's 6. Four of those 15 shots found their way behind Marc Andre Fleury and into the back of the Penguins' net.
Fleury certainly did not have his A game on Saturday night, but the rest of his teammates didn't offer him very much in the way of help. The Penguins took five penalties in the second period, to Detroit's 0. Two of those penalties came from stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Other players vital to the Penguins success in this postseason, Sergei Goncar, Chris Kunitz and Maxime Talbot, accounted for the rest of the time away.
Detroit would not let an opportunity like this pass them by. Just as Pittsburgh zoomed to a dominating game 4 win on the strength of a commanding second period, Detroit would follow up in game 5 with an impressive display of their own.
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Valtteri Filppula put in a backhand less than two minutes into the period. The Red Wings then scored three power play goals in a 10 minute span, starting six minutes into the session. Niklas Kronwall, Brian Rafalski and Henrik Zetterberg did the damage, and before all of the dust settled and the smoke cleared it was a shocking 5-0 heading into the third period.
The Red Wings will have a chance to close out the series and win the Stanley Cup on Tuesday evening in Pittsburgh.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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