-First things first. Happy Memorial Day.
-If you know someone who has served or is serving, buy them a beer or shake their hand or something. They did a lot for you already.
-With Joe Louis Arena mostly empty, O.A.R.'s "Hey Girl" is pumping through the arena:
A few sights before the game:
-Barry Sanders has apparently resorted to scalping tickets in retirement:
-This is the line of fans near the ramp where the Red Wings park their cars:
-We'd hate to see the deductable for these two vehicles:
-Some fans at the back gate:
-Great sign about the sellouts:
-A Gordie Howe Statue in the concourse:
-These are the towels they're giving out tonight:
-EN Reader Andrew Santelli of Celebration, Fla. (by way of O'Hara Township) sent us this picture of himself in front of impressionist painter Paul Cezanne's house in Aix-en-Provence, France.
-EN is more of a Toulouse-Lautrec fan but we'll take it.
-EN reader John Naugle sent us two videos of the atmosphere in side Mellon Arena during Game 1:
-If you're reading along, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-At about 6:20 p.m., a spontaneous "LET'S GO PEN! LET'S GO PENS!" chant started.
-Some fans making the climb:
-Some jerseys we have seen:
-This can only be a good thing for the Penguins. This idiot was wearing a Derian Hatcher Detroit jersey:
-The concourse is a madhouse again:
-Green Day's "Basket Case" is played:
At 7:59: "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap) "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap).
-We're doubting we'll be able to post any more pictures tonight. Joe Louis Arena has an atomic number of 82 and apparently and isn't letting too many cellular signals through.
-The Penguins' scratches are Darryl Sydor, Jeff Taffe, Georges Laraque, Kris Beech and Dany Sabourin.
-Detroit scratched Darren McCarty in place of Johan Franzen. The rest of the Red Wings' scratches can be found here.
-The national anthem is sung. Solid, but no Jimerson.
-Al Sobotka twirls the the octopus at the gate to the ice.
19:25: The Penguins start with a line of Tyler Kennedy, Jordan Staal and Gary Roberts. Roberts goes after Red Wings on the forecheck like a badger who hasn't been fed in weeks.
18:49: Sidney Crosby gets chased out of the faceoff circle. That draws a loud appl
19:25: Malone has a chance with a one-timer in the slot but fans on the shot. He needs to bury that.
18:02: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
17:59: Malone and Pavel Datsyuk get tangled up in the neutral zone.
17:09: "LET'S GO RED WINGS" is combated with "LET'S GO PENS!"
16:44: Niklas Kronwall tagged Jarkko Ruutu pretty good.
14:05: Staal appears to get away with a hold on Brett Lebda. Staal had a Heimlich Maneuver on him in the corner.
13:05: The Red Wings strike first. Brad Stuart enters the offensive zone, pulls up and fires a slapper on net. Valtteri Filppula skates in front of Marc-Andre Fleury screening him. The puck appears to hit something and hop by Fleury. Not a good thing to be playing from behind on the Red Wings. Red Wings 1-0.
10:43: As Filppula pushes the puck up ice, he gets bumped into by Hal Gill. Gill's stick swings up and clips Rob Scuderi in the nose. Scuderi drops to the ice holding his nose. Trainer Chris Stewart comes out to attend to him. Scuderi gets up with a towell on his nose. The fans offer a polite applause. Scuderi leaves the ice to get some repairs.
10:00: The Penguins have yet to record a shot on goal halfway through the period. Detroit has six.
9:47: During a stoppage, some of the Red Wings' great former players such as Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay are introduced to the crowd. They get a standing ovation.
8:42: Is this over already? Tomas Holmstrom dishes a puck into the slot to Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg holds off a poke by Ruutu and manages to shuffle it under Fleury's pads. The Red Wings have more goals (two) than the Penguins have shots (zero.) Red Wings 2-0.
8:26: The Penguins get chance to get on scoreboard as Stuart is nabbed for tripping.
7:46: Crosby has a chance to punch it as he collects a loose puck in the crease but he falls to the ice and loses the puck.
6:26: Detroit kills off Stuart's penalty.
4:46: Malone is sent off for interfernce. He slammed Zetterberg into the boards away from the puck. He shoves Zetterberg after the whistle. A scrum ensues. The Penguins need a kill here.
2:46: Malone's penalty is killed off.
2:11: Evgeni Malkin brings the puck into the neutral zone. Dan Cleary hooks him. Two minutes.
0:51: Staal flips a backhander on net. It goes into Chris Osgood's equipment. Roberts tries to chop it in. Osgood holds his ground. "Ozzz-Eeeee! Ozzzz-Eeeee!"
0:43: Staal gets a quick wrister on net. Osgood kicks it out with a nice save.
0:13: Roberts throws Datsyuk to the ice. Two minutes for roughing.
0:00: End of period. Red Wings 2, Penguins 0.
-The Red Wings have 12 shots while the Penguins have six.
-Forget about winning the game. The Penguins need to worry about scoring a goal first.
-Holmstrom was credited with Detroit's second goal.
-The Penguins actually have an advantage in faceoffs, 10-8.
-It's not over by any stretch of the imagination, but the Penguins need to play with some desperation here. Like they're down in a series 3-0.
-Hal Gill really looks out of place so far. The Red Wings are skating rings around him. The Penguins might want to start considering getting Darry Sydor some playing time this series.
-Detroit will start the period with 1:46 of power-play time.
18:59: Scuderi returns and makes a nice play to break up a pass.
18:25: The Red Wings gets a shot on net. Darren Helm tries to dig for a rebound but Hal Gill moves him out of the crease. We'd be more descriptive but Versus is a horrible network and can't be bothered to show a replay. What a joke this is the NHL's "national" television carrier.
17:58: Roberts appeared to get away with a slight elbow to Kris Draper's head. No call.
16:10: Kronwall has Kennedy lined up. Kennedy adjusts a bit to avoid the hit a bit but Kronwall still drops him.
15:32: Adam Hall fallas at Detroit's blue line. A Penguins fan feels he was tripped and yells "Pull the whistle out of your #*@!"
13:48: EN reader Tom Rubitz of Orlando, Fla. tells us Mike Yeo got some face time at the 1:32 mark (into) of the period.
10:09: Petr Sykora gets tagged into the boards by Stuart.
9:19: The Penguins get their second shot on net. We have no idea who got it. Versus can't be bothered to show a replay.
9:19: During a television timeout, a member of the U.S. Army is acknowledged. He gets a standing ovation.
8:43: Brook Oprik and Holmstrom get tangled up. They're sent off. Orpik for roughing. Holmstrom for slashing. Maybe some four-on-four will help the Penguins open things up.
7:26: Filppula takes a pass and has a chance to get behind the defense. Staal reaches back and swats it away. Good play.
4:42: More combatting "LET'S GO PENS!" and "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap.)
4:28: Andreas Lilja falls with the puck in the right faceoff circle. Roberts jumps on the puck and dishes a pass in the slot to Staal. Staal has Osgood dead to right but fires the puck into the boards. The rebound kicks out to the other side and Osgood appears to make a save. They missed a bit opportunity to get on the scoreboard there. They need to bury that.
3:16: "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap)
2:38: Crosby comes up the left side and centers the puck. Marian Hossa comes flying into the zone and can't quite direct the puck on net.
2:30: Malone is called for slashing.
0:21: Draper comes up the right side and pushes a backhander on net. Fleury kicks it out.
0:00: End of period. Red Wings 2, Penguins 0.
-The Red Wings have a 23-12 advantage in shots.
-Faceoffs are tied, 17-17.
-The Penguins played a little better that period. They had more urgency.
-Quality jeering by whoever handles the music at Joe Louis Arena. As the Penguins come on to the ice, "Swan Lake" is played. As the Red Wings come on, some Andrew W.K. is blasted.
-This is pretty much do or die here for the Penguins. Going down 2-0 in a series to this team would be nearly impossible to overcome.
19:45: Sergei Gonchar lobs a wrister on net. It gets re-directed by something. Osgood manages to tip it away with his glove.
19:38: Hossa is called for slashing.
16:48: We thought we smelled Marlboros and cruddy beer. Kid Rock is shown on the big screen during a stoppage sitting in the first row.
16:18: Zetterberg gets a chance in the slot. His backhander is denied by Fleury. As he skates away after the play, Zetterberg is crunched into the board by a late hit by Malone. A scrum ensues. Malone is sent off for roughing and so is Datsyuk. The Penguins got a lucky break there. Four-on-four.
14:57: "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap)
13:41: During a stoppage, the Red Wings have "cheer people" hold up signs on opposite sides of the arena. One sides yells "GO!" The other, "WINGS!"
12:34: Kennedy chases after a loose puck in the slot. Osgood comes out to play it. Kennedy bumps into him. Osgood falls into the cage and dislodges it. Given what passed for goaltenders i
12:11: Dallas Drake trips up Roberts. Two minutes. The Penguins need a goal bad here.
11:56: Malone is called for goaltenders interference. Osgood tried to shove him out of outide the crease and fell over. That was an iffy call to be nice. So much for that power play. Four-on-four.
11:12: Wow. What a goal. The Red Wings get the puck up to Filppula. He gets behind Kris Letang, holds him off, dekes to the left and beats Fleury to the stick side. Fantastic goal. The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani is played. Red Wings 3, Penguins 0.
10:24: "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap)
10:09: Orpik fires a slapper from the point. Osgood easilty kicks it out.
9:02: Franzen gets hit by Gary Roberts. Roberts got his fist up and popped him in the side of the head. He falls to ice in a heap. That has to be scary for a guy with head problems. Roberts probably should've been given two minutes there. Franzen gets up and yells at the officials for the non-call.
8:43: Gonchar winds up and blasts a slapper from the point. Drake flops and blocks it with his mid-section. You would think Drake was on the team down 3-0 at this point.
8:09: Kronwall comes up the left side and fires a wrister on net. Fleury makes the save. A scrum ensues. Franzen throws a punch at someone. You would think he would try to avoid getting involved in any scuffles. Maxime Talbot is sent off for roughing.
6:28: The Red Wings pump a shot on net. Fleury saves it. A Red Wing gets shoved down in the crease. We'd love to tell you the particulars, but Versus fails to show a replay again.
5:51: "Fleurrrr-Eeeeeee..... Flerrrrr-Eeeeeee...."
4:57: Crosby fires a quicks shot on net. Osgood easliy kicks it out.
4:23: "LET'S-GO RED-WINGS!" (clap, clap, clap)
3:52: As a puck is deflected out of play, Ryan Whitney puts the butt-end of his stick into Franzen's ear. Two minutes. Boy was that stupid.
2:23: Zetterberg dances around Hal Gill like a pylon and throws a backhander on net. Fleury covers it up. Gill gives Zetterberg a shove after the play. The Penguins are taking all sorts of extra shots at the Red Wings after the play. They're playing like the Flyers.
1:23: "Ozzz-EEEEE! Ozzzz-EEEEEE!"
1:08: Sykora clips Osgood behind the net and knocks him down. All heck breaks loose. Sticks, gloves and helmets are every where Gonchar and Zetterberg have a hold of each other. Datsyuk and Roberts appear to have a hold of each other. Orpik is kicked out of the game. He appears to have some blood on his jersey. Someone throws an octopus onto the ice. An attendant skates out and hands it to Al Soboktka and he twirls it at the gate. If they have this stupid rule about twirling it on the ice, why is he allowed to do it at the gate? About 30 people are sent to the box.
0:43: "Ozzzz-EEEEE! Ozzzzz-EEEEEE!"
0:15: Red Wings fans stand and give their team a standing ovation. It's well deserved.
0:00: End of game. Red Wings 3, Penguins 0.
It's not over, but it's not looking good. From where we sat, we saw two different classes of teams. One is efficient, sharp, disciplined, making the most of its chances and executing it's game plan. The other is completely out of whack and getting frustrated. The Penguins better hope coming back to Pittsburgh gives them a boost.
-Following the game, Michel Therrien blasted Chris Osgood by calling him a diver. On the two goaltender interference penalties, he said Osgood was diving. Therrien also called him a good actor.
-Sidney Crosby didn't rip Osgood as harshly but pretty much backed up Therrien's opinion. Crosby said of the Malone interference call, "That was pretty obvious. He went down pretty obviously. If that's a forward, that's a penalty."
-Osgood dismissed Therrien's charge saying, "I've been called worse. I'm not concerned about it right now. I'm more concerned about the next game than this game."
-Here was Osgood's dive at the end and the brawl that followed:
(Pavel Datsyuk owes that official a beer for saving him from Gary Roberts.)
-Sykora makes contact, but Osgood reacts as if he were hit by Georges Laraque.
-That said, Osgood antics weren't the reason the Penguins lost.
-Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Malone and Maxime Talbot, all fairly important players to the Penguins to say the least, all failed to record a shot on goal.
-Marian Hossa had one shot.
-Henrik Zetterberg and Crosby led the game with six each.
-EN reader Jeff Ammerman looked up the shutout record for a Stanley Cup final:
MOST SHUTOUTS, ONE TEAM, ONE SERIES
3 -- Montreal Maroons in 1926. Mtl. Maroons won series 3-1 vs. Victoria Cougars.
-- Toronto Maple Leafs in 1945. Toronto won series 4-3 vs. Detroit.
-- Montreal Canadiens in 1965. Montreal won series 4-3 vs. Chicago.
-- New Jersey Devils in 2003. New Jersey won series 4-3 vs. Anaheim.
FEWEST GOALS, ONE TEAM, FOUR-GAME SERIES
2 -- Montreal Canadiens in 1952. Detroit won series 4-0, outscoring Montreal 11-2.
3 -- Victoria Cougars in 1926. Mtl. Maroons won series 3-1, outscoring Victoria 10-3.
-- Boston Bruins in 1927. Ottawa won series 2-0-2, outscoring Boston 7-3.
-- St. Louis Blues in 1969. Montreal won series 4-0, outscoring St. Louis 12-3.