Pittsburgh took six straight penalties between the 1st and 2nd periods and Detroit capitalized on four of them (three officially and another goal was scored five seconds after a penalty expired) to go up 3-2 in the series. Detroit's PP was struggling in the final up until last night but it broke out in a big way. We wondered the other day if Marc-Andre Fleury could maintain his fine form away from home but it was not meant to be as the PP was too much and he was chased after allowing five goals on 21 shots.
At the other end of the ice, Chris Osgood only had to stop 22 shots but he was unbeatable and did come up big when he needed to... Ozzie improved his gaa at home in these playoffs to a remarkable 1.33.
Another goal last night for Valtteri Filppula and that's 3+6=9 in his last 10 games and it was encouraging to see Val keep his place on the 2nd line despite Datsyuk's return as Coach Babs is showing a lot of faith in the kid and he's responded.
If Henrik Zetterberg takes the Conn Smythe again we'll be pretty piffed as despite being good defensively and leading the Wings in points in these playoffs, his numbers are misleading... look at his points last night, cheap secondary assist on Kronwall's PP goal and then the fifth goal in a 5-0 blowout. He doesn't have a first goal or game winner in these playoffs, four of his goals are empty-netters and nine of his 11 goals have come when the Wings are already up by two goals or more... sham, we say. Unfortunately, nobody else for Detroit has really stepped up to grab hold of the Connie so it might be going to Zetts or one of Malkin/Crosby.
Pavel Datsyuk did actually return last night after many false alarms and he looked good as he picked up two assists.
What's distracting us today? Last week on Coach's Corner the top prospects for 2009 paid a visit to Don Cherry. If you didn't see it you should have a look because John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Evander Kane, Brayden Schenn, and Victor Hedman are going to be important fantasy players very, very soon.
In the video Schenn, Tavares and Duchene told Grapes their favourite player is Sidney Crosby. Later that day they got to meet their hero in a very awkward conversation.