Fighting back

May 28, 2008

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Led by two goals by Sidney Crosby, the Penguins get back into the Stanley Cup final by defeating the Red Wings, 3-2.

Greetings from Mellon Arena. You are reading live from the bowels of the arena.

-First things first, Darry Sydor is in. Kris Letang is out.

-The Penguins got some goodwill from the Pacific Northwest from EN reader Brian Glaister of Seattle (by way of Upper St. Clair). He wrote a message on the Olympic coast this weekend and sent us a picture:

ocean

A few sites we have seen already:

Walking up to Mellon Arena:

mellon

A "Red Wing" being hanged:

noose

They've set up souvenir stands outside:

junk

Fans are actually being searched a little bit more closely:

wings

-If you haven't left already, leave right now. The lines look a little long.

-If you're reading along, hit us up at srorabaugh@post-gazette.com.

-A few sights we have seen:

Scotty Bowman:

bowman

There are a bunch of these huge air conditioners outside:

ac

actubes

Some Detroit fans:

zetterberg

A Ville Siren jersey. That's obscure:

siren

Fans outside:

outside2

outside3

outside4

A Joe Mullen jersey:

mullen

A Darius Kasparaitis jersey:

kasparaitis

TSN is here:

tsn

A Mario Lemieux Canada Cup jersey:

lemieux

Jaromir Jagr jersey:

jagr

A Steve Yzerman jersey:

yzerman

We can't even talk about this:

huh

The Cotton Candy Guy:

ccguy

-The Penguins scratches are Kris Beech, Georges Laraque, Jeff Taffe, Kris Letang and Dany Sabourin.

-Detroit's can be found here.

-Jeff Jimerson sings the national anthem. Kudos to the Penguins or the NHL for using him in this spot instead of bringing some lame celebrity in for NBC. The fans care about him. He delivers:

jimerson

-Scotty Bowman is brought out to drop the ceremonial faceoff. He apparently can't be bothered to allow John Barbero to finish his introduction and just drops the puck.

FIRST PERIOD

19:59: The Penguins begin with Max Talbot, Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy, Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill.

18:56: Johan Franzen is nabbed for holding Marian Hossa. The theme from "Jaws" is played.

18:12: Ryan Malone dekes into the slot and pushes a shot juuuust wide of the net.

18:01: Sidney Crosby fires a one-timer in the slot. Chris Osgood comes up with a big save.

16:55: The Penguins get a little sloppy with the puck and turn it over at the blueline. Dallas Drake grabs it and fires a wrister. Marc-Andre Fleury knocks it away with a golve. Jordan Staal is called for holding.

15:45: Jiri Hudler fires a slow slapper from the point. Fleury is able to knock it away despite traffic.

14:33: Fleury covers a loose puck. A scrum ensues. Gary Roberts and Tomas Holmstrom tangle. Holmstrom ends up on his butt. "Garrrr-EEEEE! Garrrr-EEEEE!"

12:05: KDKA's Ken Rice, one of the stars of "Striking Distance," appears on the big screen and proclaims it time to "rock it out."

10:45: Pavel Datsyuk fires a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up. Brooks Orpik rips Holmstrom's lid off.

10:13: Kris Draper pumps a slapper on net from left side. Fleury fights it off.

10:00: The Penguins are being outshot, 6-1.

9:41: Prior to a faceoff, Holmstrom and Talbot are seperated.

8:46: Fleury absolutely robs Brad Stuart in the slot.

7:53: Sergei Gonchar hooks Franzen. Two minutes.

7:15: There's a sign in the F North balcony that simply says, "Murphy Dump."

6:19: Mikael Samuelsson directs a shot on net. Fleury eats it up. Franzen is in his grill. Fleury gives him a whack.

5:35: Hal Gil and Holmstrom get away with about 423 hooks and holds on each other. Remember the "new" NHL?

4:55: Crosby brings the puck up ice, crosses the ice, pulls up and dishes a pass to the slot. Darryl Sydor grabs it and fires a backhander on net. Osgood makes the save.

4:18: Without encouragement from the jumbotron or any other source, Penguins fans begin a "LET'S GO PENS!"

3:47: Gonchar throws a wrister on net. Malone in front and appears to tip it wide.

2:35: FINALLY! Stuart makes a bad turnover in his own end. Hossa grabs it. It gets deflected. Crosby grabs the loose puck and flicks it through Osgood's equipment. Crosby trips up, gets up and celebrates as if it were his first career goal. Penguins fans cheer like it is. It's almost as if a balloon were popped. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.

0:40: Sykora gets a shot on net. Osgood eats it up. Brian Rafalski is sent off for tripping. Time for the Penguins to double up here.

0:30: With Osgood prone, Malkin swats a backhander wide of the empty cage.

0:02: Hossa pumps a one-timer just wide of the cage. He needs to bury that.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Red Wings 0.

-We're going to go out on a ledge here and proclaim that the Penguins' best period of play so far this series. Even without the goal, they actually controlled the play for stretches.

-The Red Wings are outshooting the Penguins, 9-6.

-Faceoffs are even 10-10.

-The Red Wings haven't had a shot for about 6:20. (Kudos to EN co-writer Chuck Finder for digging that up.)

-Statistically anamoly of the night: Ryan Whitney has three blocked shots already.

-Luckily we have the option of watching the CBC broadcast up here. It's much better that the crap NBC puts out.

-There weren't any notable text messages sent to the Jumbotron.

-The Penguins will get 1:20 of power play time on clean ice.

SECOND PERIOD

19:40: Crosby walks in on net and lifts a shot out of play.

18:24: Sykora pumps a slapper on net. Osgood fights it off with his blocker.

17:58: The Penguins get another power play as Niklas Kronwall is sent off for hooking. The Penguins need to get another goal with these chances.

17:26: Gonchar throws a puck on net from the top of the slot. It hits a body. Malone touches the rebound. Hossa touches it. Crosby gets a hold of it and plants in the twine beind Osgood. This is why Crosby is the captain. His team is reeling from two losses on the road and he is giving them life. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 2-0.

16:35: OOOSSSSS-Goooodddd.... OSSSSSS-Goooooood....."

15:40: Draper drops Crosby in the neutral zone with a nice check. Dupuis give Draper the business.

14:42: "GEEEE-NOOO! GEEEE-NOOO!"

14:17: Crosby just ran over Brett Lebda in the corner.

13:58: Gonchar pumps a slapper on net. Osgood eats it up.

13:33: Crosby comes up ice with open space, crosses the blue line, pulls up and dishes a pass to Hossa in the slot. HOssa misses the net. He needs to at least get that on net. This is why he's here.

13:25: Nicklas Lidstrom tackles Crosby. No call.

12:17: 17,132. It's the 65th consecutive sellout here.

11:06: Gill tackles Holmstrom in front of the net. Two minutes.

10:53: Kronwall ropes a wrister on net from the point. Fleury makes a big save despite traffic.

10:34: The Red Wings get a shot on net from the point. Fleury makes the save. Orpik checks Jiri Hudler into the net and dislodges it. Franzen shoots the puck into the dislodged cage. Officials immediately wave off the goal.

8:33: Our apolgies if we're being slow with e-mail tonight. About 920,421 of you have e-mailed us tonight and "we're" only one man. We will respond eventually.

7:33: Valtteri Filppula (whose name we've finally learned to spell without looking it up) grabs a loose puck and gets a shot on net from the slot. Fleury makes a huge save.

7:03: Gill and Holmstrom seemingly have been arguing about when "Fibber McGee and Molly" came on the air. Gill is sent off for cross checking again.

5:30: Ralaski get a shot on net from the point. Fleury saves it. Holmstrom digs for it like a coal miner. Orpik gets him out of there.

5:12: The Mule can skate too. Franzen grabs the puck in the neutral zone, skates through Adam Hall and Rob Scuderi and drives to the net. He forces it under Fleury's pads. It's a fantastic goal. Penguins 2-1.

4:02: During a stoppage that fantastic NHL Stanley Cup commercial and "Right Now" by Van Halen are played.

We want to cry and have a Crystal Pepsi.

2:53: Gary Roberts drops Rafalski to the ice with a check. During a stoppage, the letters "WWGRD" are shown on the Jumbotron. Then "That's What." is.

1:28: Hossa whiffs partially on a pass in the slot. Osgood easily covers the puck. Hossa needs to start doing something with his chances. This is why he is here. Replays show Crosby and Draper getting away with everything but fighting on each other.

0:00: Brooks Orpik grabs a dump in, goes behind the net and ends the period. Penguins 2, Red Wings 1.

-After getting a two goal lead there, the Penguins slept a bit there and let the Red Wings got back into it a bit there controlling the play. The Penguins need to keep their sense of urgency.

-Marc-Andre Fleury has played lights out so far. He's showing why he's a franchise goaltender.

-Gonchar and Whitney each have four blocked shot. Who needs Mark Eaton?

THIRD PERIOD

18:37: Malkin gets hooked down in the corner. No call.

17:43: Darren Helm throws a puck on net from the left side. Fleury kicks it out.

16:27: Hossa tries a wraparound and hits the post. Arggh.

16:20: A puck is centered into the slot. It hits off a skate and gets behind Osgood. Osgood reaches back to keep it out. After the whistle, Kirk Maltby tries to get Crosby to take a penalty by jabbing him with his stick. Crosby reacts by grabbing him by the collar and sort of holding him like Ivan drag holding up his manager in "Rocky IV."

15:22: Franzen skates in again and rifles a wrister. Fleury shrugs it off.

13:47: Whitney rockets a one-timer from the right boards. Osgood swats it away with a glove.

12:42: We don't know what happened. Too much did. Fleury made sick save on a deflection. Tyler Kennedy got run over by a Red Wing. Orpik gave him the business. Roberts destroyed a Red Wing in the corner. Hall got the puck behind the net and deflected off Osgood's butt. That all happened in like two seconds. The "Hey Song" is played. Insane. Penguins 3-1.

10:32: Brooks Orpik just abused Dallas Drake in the corner in with two big checks. We can't even hear the usher next to us cheer.

9:26: Jordan Staal fires a shot from the left side. Osgood makes the save.

7:25: Sydor tees up a slapper. Drake flops to block it.

6:39: The Penguins ice the puck. We gets a stoppage for the first time in at least eight minutes. During a commercial time out, the fans being chanting "ORRRR-PIKKKK! ORRRR-PIKKK!" This has been crazy to try and keep up with. Apologies if theres a few holes. John Barbero announces that Roberts got an assist on the third goal. The crowd erupts chanting "GARRRR-EEEEE! GARRR-EEEE!

6:23: Samuelsson positions himself at the point and fires a wrister on net. Orpik waves it it with his stick and it deflects by Fleury. Big goal for Detroit. This will be interesting the rest of the way. Penguins 3-2.

5:50: Gill dumps a charging Holmstrom into the Penguins net. Holmstrom lays on the ice stunned. Flyers fans... er. we mean Penguins fans boo. Not classy folks. Not classy.

5:38: Samuelsson gets another shot on net. Fleury eats this one up.

4:43: Orpik absolutely dumps a Red Wings in the corner with a slew foot. How in the world was that not called?

4:18: Malkin hooks Kronwall to the ice behind the net. That's the right call, but the officials have been completly inconsistent tonight. Big two minutes coming up.

2:46: The Red Wings deflect a shot onto the net from the slot. It hits a body. Someone, we presume Fleury, holds it out.

2:00: Zetterberg brings the puck up ice with space, crosses across the slot and fires a wrister. Fleury eats it up easily.

1:41: Orpik blocked a shot by Datsyuk.

1:00: John Barbero announces there's one minute to play. Everyone stands the rest of the way.

0:27: Osgood leaves the net for an extra attacker.

0:07: Hall clears the puck an essentially ends the game.

0:00: End of game. "Song 2" by Blur is played. Penguins 3, Red Wings 2.

POSTGAME

-This is what teams do when they get punched in the mouth. They fight back and that's what the Penguins did. That was about as gritty of a performance we've seen all season from them.

-Sidney Crosby played like the defending Hart Trophy winner he is.

-Marc-Andre Fleury played like the franchise goaltender he is.

-Brooks Orpik played like the rugged blue-liner he is.

-Gary Roberts played like the demi-god he is.

-Ryan Whitney played like Mark Eaton and led the game with five blocked shots.

-Marian Hossa played like the scoring winger he... er.. nevermind.

-Malkin played somewhat better.

-What else can you say about Darryl Sydor? He hasn't played since the general elections in Malta but he steps in like he's been in every playoff game.

-Hal Gill had a bit of an up and down game. He did a solid job against Holmstrom, but at times looked a little slow to the pace of play.

-Marian Hossa played the most among any Penguins forwards at 19:45.

-Sergei Gonchar led all skaters with 26:15.

-Detroit still out-shot the Penguins, 34-24.

-The Red Wings had a 28-27 advantage in faceoffs.

-The atmosphere here was incredible. We realize we're lucky to be here on a professional basis. We realize we basically get to watch hockey games for free. But we can't cheer or yell "RUUUUUU!" We would've gladly paid the $100 or so our seats in D-7 are worth to wear a Lemieux jersey and cheer just to be a little bit more a part of what this was tonight.

-Maybe our position in Mellon arena has different acoustics, than the press box at Joe Louis Arena, but Mellon Arena tonight was louder than at any point in Games 1 or 2.

-We just paused for a moment and realized Adam Hall had the winning goal. Whoa.

-The Penguins need to bottle up whatever they ate, drank or snorted tonight and save some for Saturday night. Detroit will do whatever they can to keep a lead in this series.

-Selfishly, we're jacked over the fact that we get to go back to Detroit for one more game at least. Even if it's Detroit, it's one less day in the office.

-Game summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:







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