Detroit leads series, 1-0
New year, same result as Chris Osgood made 31 saves and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena to take a 1-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
While result of of game 1 was the same as last year, a Red Wings win, the Penguins were a much different team last night than the one that the hockey world saw last year in game 1.
Pittsburgh outshot the Red Wings 32-30 and they were able to generate a number of scoring chances.
“Last time we played them, it took them a couple games to get going. They were very good tonight. They were very competitive,” Detroit head coach Mike Babcock said in his post-game press conference.
While the Penguins played the Red Wings tight, Pittsburgh was not able to make the most of their prime scoring chances.
The Red Wings had three key defensive breakdowns that Pittsburgh was not able to take advantage of.
An Evgeni Malkin breakaway in the second period was a turning point in the game. Malkin came in all alone on Osgood and couldn’t beat Osgood high glove side.
Malkin scores there, Pittsburgh goes up 2-1.
The Red Wings had another rare breakdown which led to Miroslav Satan nearly beating Chris Osgood as Satan tried to go to the backhand and the puck rolled of his stick.
Pittsburgh was not able to solve Chris Osgood and were not able to generate enough traffic in front of Osgood.
A key for Pittsburgh in game 2 will be crashing the net and establishing a presence in the painted area.
Ruslan Fedotenko scored the Penguins lone goal, his 6th of the playoffs in the first period as he drove to the net and buried an Evgeni Malkin rebound.
For Pittsburgh there were a lot of things to like from their performance in game 1.
The team appeared confident following the game and there was not as much frustration and uncertainty that was seen after Games 1 and 2 of the 08 finals.
Burying golding opportunities, getting stronger on draws and getting a better performance from goaltender Marc Andre Fleury will be the keys to the Penguins heading back to Pittsburgh with the series tied at 1-1.
Game 2 is Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.