Stanley Cup Finals, Game 7 (6/12/09)

Everything was on the line tonight as the Penguins and Red Wings faced off in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.  The building was electric. The crowd was noisy and the team was pumped and ready to go.

Osgood and Fleury were the goalies for the final time this season. There were no lineup changes for Detroit. For Pittsburgh, Sykora was out and Satan was in.

The Red Wings started the game with a lot of hits and a lot of hustle. Early on Cleary won a race to negate an icing and Helm was flying around hitting everybody. Both teams had some great scoring chances but both goalies were looking good. The Penguins had the first power play when Stuart was called for a slash. The Wings did a good job killing the penalty.

The first period ended with no score. Both teams seemed to be playing their best. The Penguins outshot the Wings, but they also had a power play and the Wings didn’t.

Early in the second period Stuart tried to clear the puck from the corner. Malkin intercepted it with his skate and directed it towards Talbot. He shot and put it between Osgood’s legs and into the net for the first goal of the game. Eddie Olcyk later pointed out that the puck was dumped in from the Penguins side of the ice so it should have been an icing but it wasn’t called.

A few minutes later Franzen put a good hip check on Crosby. With Crosby hanging on his back, Franzen rode him into the boards. Crosby’s leg got pinned between Franzen and the boards and it seemed to hurt him. He was very slow to get to the bench and then went to the dressing room, still very slowly.

A few seconds later Gill was called for holding and Detroit went on the power play. The Wings failed to score on the power play but they did generate some good chances.

Just passed the midpoint of the second period Talbot took the puck away from Stuart and had a two on one breakaway against Kronwall. Talbot shot it and beat Osgood high on the glove side. That put Pittsburgh up two to nothing.

Throughout the second period Pittsburgh seemed to have more energy. The Wings were turning the puck over a lot. They didn’t seem to be clicking. They were going offside a lot and looked pretty sloppy for a few minutes.

The second period ended with the Penguins still up two to nothing.

Detroit was pressuring for the entire third period. It looked like a power play most of the time. The Red Wings finally got on the scoreboard late in the third period. Lidstrom got the puck from one point to Ericsson at the other point. Ericsson one timed it and beat Fleury. That made it two to one Pittsburgh with just over six minutes left in the game.

The Red Wings pulled Osgood for the final minute but weren’t able to tie the game. Right at the buzzer Lidstrom had a glorious chance but Fleury dove and stopped the puck with his body.

The Penguins won the Stanley Cup. The Conn Smythe trophy went to Malkin.

As great as the Red Wings were, they were outplayed in this game and this series. They had too many turnovers, and spent too much time in their own end. It was a great battle. I think both teams were better this year than they were last year but Pittsburgh improved just a little bit more. Stuart had a tough game in tonight. None of the Red Wings top scorers were able to generate much offense in this series. Hossa, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Holmstrom, and Franzen were pretty effectively shut down by the excellent defense of the Penguins.

Osgood was not the weak link as he was predicted to be. He was fantastic. The weak link turned out to be fatigue in my opinion. The Wings were somewhat banged up and looked tired at a lot of points in this series.

Congratulations to the Red Wings on a great season. They’ll be back next season and will probably be better than ever.

Congratulations also to the Pittsburgh Penguins on a legendary playoff run and on winning the Stanley Cup.

This 1-2 loss finishes this Stanley Cup final series at 3-4 Pittsburgh.

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