Game 5 Pregame News and Notes


Series Tied, 2-2 Morning notes as both teams prepare for game 5 * Pavel Datsyuk participated in the Red Wings morning skate and as expected he will play wing tonight. Datsyuk has missed 7 consecutive games with a small fracture in his foot. Datsyuk’s lateral movement has looked much better than it did a few days ago. Datsyuk will replace Ville Leino in the lineup. With winger Dan Cleary ( Groin, GTD) missing the morning skate, the lines for tonight are unknown but it is expected that Datsyuk will play with Marian Hossa and Valtteri Filppula. Babcock will also likely use Zetterberg and Datsyuk together at times. Datsyuk is not 100% but he gives the Red Wings a much needed boost and options. The Red Wings remain banged up with a number of injuries. Brian Rafalski remains bothered by a right shoulder injury and did not skate this morning. RafalskiRead More »

The Zetterberg – Crosby matchup returns to Detroit; Datsyuk expected to play in game 5


Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in game 4 and all of a sudden, Pittsburgh has both of star centers playing at the top of their game heading into game 5. Evgeni Malkin has arguably been the M.V.P. of the series, while through the first three games of the series, Sidney Crosby was unable to solve Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood. With the series heading back to Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg will be matched up against Crosby nearly every shift as Zetterberg kept Crosby in check during games 1 and 2. The matchup will be at the forefront and the question for the Penguins will be whether Crosby can build off of his success in game 4? Crosby was the faster more energized player in game 4. Zetterberg looked tired in the waning moments of game 4 but Zetterberg is a world class player and heRead More »

Penguins have right of way in extended series


By Paul Ladewski When Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma talks about the importance of his team to play “The Right Way,” it’s code for an aggressive, up-tempo style designed to accentuate its youth and athleticism and tire opponents late in games. So far, so good. Not only did Penguins get back into the Stanley Cup Finals with back-to-back victories against the Red Wings at home, but they made considerable inroads in the war of attrition as well. In the four games thus far, the Penguins own a 43-25 advantage in shots on goal in the third period, which was fairly indicative of their edge in play. The Red Wings were some tired puppies late in games, a fact that even head coach Mike Babcock alluded to after Game 4 on Thursday evening. “Sometimes we can read too much into energy level, just because when a team gets going, it hasRead More »

Red Wings lacked composure in game 4; Veterans pointing fingers at Marian Hossa


It was a rare sight Thursday night as the Detroit Red Wings imploded and Pittsburgh rattled off 3 goals in less than 6 minutes to take a 4-2 lead in the second period. The Red Wings lacked composure and Penguins players indicated after the game that the team could hear the Red Wings chirping at each other on the bench. Sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports, the finger pointing has begun from established veterans towards Marian Hossa. The Red Wings have not been able to slow down Evgeni Malkin because of the absence of Pavel Datsyuk. Hossa, the teams highest paid player with Nicklas Lidstrom, has zero goals in the series and has not stepped up and done his part to replace Datsyuk’s production. . The Red Wings are rattled right now but they aren’t down and out just yet. The team has the leadership and poise to rebound from GameRead More »

Penguins depth down the middle proves to be too much for the Red Wings in game 4


Series tied 2-2 Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby each had a goal and an assist and Marc Andre Fleury made 37 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 Thursday night at Mellon Arena to even the series at 2-2. The series now turns to a best of three as the series shifts back to Detroit, Saturday night. Looking to avoid going down three games to one and end the pattern of last year’s finals, Pittsburgh looked to it’s two super star centers in Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and their goaltender Marc Andre Fleury to tie the series at 2-2. The absence of M.V.P. Finalist Pavel Datsyuk finally came back to haunt the Red Wings who could not combat the Penguins depth down the middle in game 4. Evgeni Malkin (35pts) who is enjoying the best postseason since Wayne Gretzky (40 pts) in 1993, was the gamesRead More »

Penguins face an enormous challenge in game 4/ Datsyuk out


Detroit leads series, 2-1 updated: 7:56 p.m. – Pavel Datsyuk participated in the pregame skate but will not play tonight. From Earlier ***Game 4 a must win for the Penguins*** Morning Buzz — Pittsburgh has taking the ice as the team begins their morning preparations for game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The focus around the room is that this game is a elimination game for the Penguins.   Of the 44 teams who have got out to a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals, 41 of those teams have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh knows how important this game is. “We know how big this Game 4 is now,” Penguins winger Max Talbot said. * A hot topic right now heading into game 4 is special teams. The league has told officials to call the games closer after what went on in gamesRead More »

The Latest buzz from the NHL GM meetings in Pittsburgh


Rumor Mill Heating Up NHL GM’s have convened in Pittsburgh for the annual GM meetings, trade winds and free agent talk is starting to heat up. Here’s the latest. Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell has his most important off-season ahead for him as his star forward Ilya Kovalchuk is entering the final year of his contract. Word is Waddell will be aggressive in free agency and will make a strong run at the Sedin twins with Waddell prepared to make long-term offers to both players worth as much as $6 million per season. *Another player on the Thrashers radar is San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau according to a league source. The asking price is steep. *The Atlanta Thrashers have approached forward Colby Armstrong about a long-term extension in the range of $3.1 million per season. Armstrong set a career high with 22 goals during the regular season. * The SedinRead More »

Gonchar nets game winner; Penguins beat Red Wings 4-2


Detroit leads series, 2-1 Sergei Gonchar (3) scored mid way through the third period to break a 2-2 tie and Max Talbot (6) added two goals including an empty net goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 Tuesday night at Mellon Arena to cut the Red Wings series lead in half, (2-1). In a must win situation, Pittsburgh was led by NHL scoring champion Evgeni Malkin Tuesday night who added three assists to record his 11th multi-point game in the playoffs and push his playoff points total to 33.

Physical play, strong performances from key role players, fuels 4-2 win


Post-Game Notebook Pittsburgh showed the hockey world Tuesday night that they will not go down lightly, winning a pivotal game 3 and cutting the Red Wings series lead in half. The 2009 Stanley Cup Finals are following the same trend of the 08 finals when Detroit won both games in Detroit, then lost game 3 in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is hopeful game 4 doesn’t follow the trend from last years finals. What the Penguins have now is confidence that they can beat the Red Wings. Even after losing both games in Detroit, the Penguins remained confident heading into game 3 but there was this vibe that it didn’t matter how well they played, Detroit would find a way to win. Pittsburgh gets strong performances from key role players Pittsburgh got strong contributions from key players such as Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Marc Andre Fleury but it was the performance of theirRead More »