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Takara_Soong

Detroit Red Wings

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From NHL.com:

Wings go wire-to-wire to capture Cup

Phil Coffey - NHL.com Editorial Director

lidstrom_cup.jpg

PITTSBURGH – The Stanley Cup is returning to “Hockeytown!”

 

The Detroit Red Wings, stunned to have lost Game 5 at home in triple overtime, played a perfect road game Wednesday night at Mellon Arena, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, in Game 6 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final to go wire-to-wire as the best team in the National Hockey League this season.

 

Henrik Zetterberg was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the postseason.

 

The Wings won the Presidents’ Trophy for the best record in the regular season and proved to be the best team in the postseason as well, utilizing the smart, selfless brand of puck-possession hockey that has become the trademark of coach Mike Babcock.

 

The Wings last won the Cup in 2002, and prior to that in 1997 and ’98.

 

Brian Rafalski, Valtteri Filppula and Zetterberg scored for the Red Wings in Game 6, offsetting Penguins’ goals from Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar, whose power-play goal at 18:33 of the third period closed the gap to just one goal, creating a wild battle to the final buzzer with the Wings staving off one last drive by Marian Hossa, who sent the puck across the goal line as time expired.

 

The Wings stunned the big crowd into silence at 7:36 of the third period when Zetterberg scored to make it 3-1. Gaining the Pittsburgh zone, Zetterberg took a wrist shot from the left circle with Gonchar on him. The puck got through and Marc-Andre Fleury dropped to his knees, apparently stopping the puck to the point where some of the Pens held up, expecting a faceoff.

 

But the puck had trickled through Fleury and was rolling toward the net. Fleury realized the puck was free and dropped to the ice, inadvertently sending the puck across the goal line. Referee Marc Joannette was right behind the net on the play and immediately signaled the goal that made it 3-1 for Detroit.

 

The Wings dominated play in the third period, shooting holes in the theory that they would be the tired team after Monday’s triple-overtime loss. But the Wings had plenty of energy and at one point had a 12-1 lead in shots. Time and again, the Wings made heady plays in their zone to force shots wide and then get the puck deep, eating up chunks of clock that proved to be every bit as detrimental to the Pens as the score.

 

Rafalski got the Red Wings on the scoreboard early, netting a power-play goal at 5:03 of the first period after Pittsburgh defenseman Darryl Sydor had been boxed for interference on Kirk Maltby at 4:17.

 

The Penguins’ inability to clear the puck cost dearly on this goal, as Pittsburgh had a couple opportunities to get the puck out of their end, but failed each time, resulting in Rafalski moving into the left faceoff circle and then sending a rising shot on the Penguins’ net that deflected home off the right leg of Pittsburgh defenseman Hal Gill.

 

Zetterberg got the primary assist, making the goal happen with a sharp pass from the right circle to Rafalski. Pavel Datsyuk also got an assist, but Tomas Holmstrom was equally deserving, having done good work keeping the puck alive in the Pittsburgh zone.

 

The Wings got into penalty trouble when Dallas Drake was called for charging at 8:28 and Kris Draper was called for roughing Gonchar up high at 8:55, giving the Pens a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:33.

 

But as they did in a Game 4 win, the Red Wings’ penalty killers came up huge, limiting the Penguins to a couple long drives while keeping the front of their net open for Chris Osgood to see the plays.

 

The Penguins got a scare early in the second period when Sidney Crosby was plastered against the boards on a Brad Stuart hit with the Pens on a power play. Unsteady, Crosby got to the bench, collected himself and returned to action.

 

Filppula made it 2-0 Detroit at 8:07, scoring on a shot Fleury would love to have back. Mikael Samuelsson gained the Pittsburgh end and moved to the right circle, taking a wrist shot instead of indulging in a slapper. Fleury kicked the rebound out in front and Filppula, tied up with Brooks Orpik, got his stick free and backhanded the shot into the Penguins net.

 

The Pens almost broke through with 6:25 left when Maxime Talbot was stopped by Osgood from the slot, but left the rebound to Gary Roberts. Osgood stopped Roberts’ first drive and then made a remarkable save with the glove portion of his blocker to prevent the rebound from going in.

 

The Detroit goalie could do nothing about Evgeni Malkin’s power-play goal at 15:26 that got the Pens on the board. Taking a Crosby pass just off the dot of the left circle, Malkin had plenty of room and took his time, driving a heavy shot between Osgood’s pads to halve the Detroit lead.

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hey great series and congrats to the Red Wings, Pens are still young, the youngest in the NHL and I know this team will be back, Detroit just has alot more experience. But you got to hand it to Pittsburgh, just a few years ago they were the worst team in the NHL and now they are the 2nd best team

 

I see a bright future for the Pittsburgh Boys of Winter

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Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings and our Detroit / Michigan members who are Red Wing fans. Being old fashioned, I love it when longtime franchises rise to win it again!

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The Penguins and the Titanic have a lot in common. They both look good until they.......hit the ice... :yawn:

You may laugh now but in the end it will be the Penguins that will laugh best. The Pens are a darn good young team and as Crosby, Malkin and Fleury mature, they'll only get better. They are a well balanced team and only need to make a few minor changes but they have a core group that will keep them in the race for many, many years.

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