Going down fighting

June 4, 2008

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PREGAME

A few sights from our walk to Mellon Arena:

-A couple Red Wings fans:

wingsfans

-The crowd outside is a little sparse compared to Game 4 because of the threat of thunderstorms, but it's still pretty packed out there:

screen

-A Johan Hedberg jersey:

hedberg

-Some dudes getting painted:

paint

-Probably the biggest Stanley Cup replica we've ever seen:

cup

-One of those "LET'S GO PENS!" stencils outside Gate 3:

letsgopens

-We can't see him, but we sure as heck can hear him:

-EN reader Nick Ribich, who works for Harley-Davidson in Wisconsin sported a Rick Tocchet jersey to the office today:

tocchet

(There's something natural about a Harley man wearing a Rick Tocchet jersey if you ask us.)

-Remember that dress made out of Penguins towels we told you a bout in Game 4? Andrew Santelli's sister Katherine made and wore it. Here's what it looked like:

dress

Katherine > Dress Barn.

EN friend Eric Mocadlo spotted this Rick Tocchet jersey and what we assume is a Kevin Stevens jersey:

tocchet2

We also spotted a Georges Laraque Oilers jersey:

laraque\

The view in the concourse:

crowd

-A few jerseys we've spotted:

Kevin Stevens:

stevens

Ulf Samuelsson:

ulf

Sidney Crosby Rimouski Oceanic:

crosby

Ulf Samuelsson and Rick Tocchet:

samuelsson

Matthew Barnaby:

stuff

Joe Mullen:

mullen

Ron Francis:

francis

Paul Coffey:

coffey

Martin Straka:

straka

For whatever reason, we've seen about four or five Rick Tocchet jerseys today. Perhaps those folks have a wager on this game.

-If you're reading along, hit us up at srorabaugh@post-gazette.com. Just a warning though, if the amount of e-mail we get tonight is anything like Game 5, it might be a while for us to get back to you.

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

-Detroit's 392 scratches can be found here.

-A highlight video with the goals scored by Maxime Talbot and Petr Sykora in Game 5 is shown to get the crowd pumped up.

-The ice projection video is played:

video

-Right before the national anthem is played, fans chant, "Ossssss... Gooooooodddd.... Osssssss.... Gooooooddd..."

-Jimerson dominates:

jimerson

-Public address announcer John Barbero announces Marc-Andre Fleury as the starting goaltender. Perhaps the loudest cheer for Fleury we've ever heard is delivered.

FIRST PERIOD

19:15: Without any prompting, a "LET'S GO PENS!" chant starts.

18:05: Ryan Malone steals the puck and comes down the left wing but is called offsides.

17:48: Niklas Kronwall makes a bad turnover sending a puck into the slot. Petr Sykora grabs it and shoots low to Chris Osgood's five hole. Osgood makes a big save.

17:08: Jarkko Ruutu and Gary Roberts have a chance at doubling up on Andreas Lilja in the corner. Thankfully for Lila's sake, he's able to dodge them both.

15:59: Darryl Sydor dumps Darren Helm along the boards.

15:43: Sydor ties up Kirk Maltby in the neutral zone. Two minute for interference. Fans boo but it's a good call. It was kind of an stupid thing for Sydor to do. It's Kirk Maltby. It's not like he's a point-per-game kind of guy.

14:57: The puck slides out to the point. Brian Rafalski takes it and fires a wrister from the right faceoff circle that beats Fleury on the glove side. Great shot. Never good to go down to Detroit early. Replays show the puck deflecting of Hal Gill's leg. Tomas Holmstrom was in front with a nice screen. The collection of Detroit fans here cheer. Penguins fans respond with a "LET'S GO PENS!" chant. Red Wings 1-0.

14:03: Ruutu throws a puck on net from the left boards. Osgood stops it but has trouble with the rebound. Evgeni Malkin jumps on it and tries to punch in the puck. He tries to "Adam Hall" it and throws it off the back of Osgood's leg. No dice.

13:37: Malkin crunches Dallas Drake along the board with a big check.

12:10: The Penguins do a wonderful job of keeping the puck onsides only to have Pascal Dupuis get sloppy with it and go offsides.

11:32: Drake takes a run at Ryan Whitney along the boards. He apparently left his feet and is sent off for charging.

11:05: The Red Wings are getting sloppy. Kris Draper runs Gonchar into the boards from behind. He used his hands to push Gonchar face first into the boards. Two minutes for roughing. Two-man advantage for 1:33. The Penguins MUST score at least one here.

10:14: Gonchar controls at the top of the slot and ropes a wrister. Osgood deflects it away.

10:00: Malkin blasts a slapper. Osgood fights it off with his glove=.

9:38: Lilja clears the puck and essentially kills the first penalty.

8:55: Detroit kills the second penalty. Give the Red Wings credit, they play amazing defense. That said, it's a complete failure on the Penguins or any team to not score with a two-man advantage. The ice only three players have to cover over that span is immense.

8:45: Live by the high stick, die by the high stick. Adam Hall is sent off for high sticking Nicklas Lidstrom. Big two minutes for the Penguins here.

7:31: Ryan Malone gets away with a trip on Kronwall.

6:43: Dupuis clears the puck and kills off the rest of Hall's penalty.

6:38: Sidney Crosby takes to the ice with Marian Hoss and Evgeni Malkin.

4:25: Lilja hauls down Malone with as blatant of a trip in the neutral zone as we've seen. No call. Remember the "new" NHL?

3:15: Cleary gets a chance in tight. He fires a slapper. A Penguins defender blocks it.

2:15: Jordan Staal drops Pavel Datsyuk in the corner.

1:02: Ruutu slams Valtteri Filppula behind the Red Wings' net. "RUUUUUUUU!"

0:41: A Red Wing directs a shot on net. It gets deflected by a stick and flutters into the air. Fleury easily gloves it.

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

-Detroit has a 9-8 edge in shots.

-The Penguins have a 14-10 advantage in faceoffs.

-Even with that Detroit goal, the play that period was fairly even.

-If he's hurt, he's playing through it. Gonchar leads the Penguins in ice time with 8:05.

-Lidstrom leads all skaters with 10:03

SECOND PERIOD

18:45: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

17:54: Rob Scuderi sends a pass across two lines to Malkin at the Detroit blueline. Malkin enters the offensive zone, cuts behind Brad Stuart and dishes a pass to Malone on the left side. Malone tries to get a shot off but is slashed by Lilja. Two minutes. Time for the Penguins to get even.

17:32: Ryan Whitney blasts a one-timer from the point. Osgood makes the save but has trouble with the rebound. Malone digs for it but Osgood hangs on.

16:57: Crosby gets smashed in the corner by Stuart.

16:12: Hossa fires a one-timer from the right side. Osgood fights it off.

15:39: Crosby is on the bench in some discomfort.

15:35: 17,132.

14:53: Replays show Brooks Oprik dropping Darren Helm inside the blue line.

14:04: Mikael Samuelsson tags Gary Roberts along the boards.

13:38: The Red Wings get a shot on net. Fleury covers it up for a stoppage. Malone and Holmstrom exchange shoves in the slot.

12:12: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

11:54: Samuelsson throws a weak shot on net from inside the blue line. Fleury stops it but gives up a bad rebound. Filppula gets by Orpik and follows up on puck shuffling it under Fleury. Bad goal to give up. Red Wings 2-0.

10:53: Dupuis blasts a slapper from the point. Osgood gloves it.

10:53: Off a faceoff, Draper ties up Crosby. No call. "New" NHL?

9:53: Staal works the puck up ice. Johan Franzen dives and pokes it away from him. Nice play.

8:03: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

7:02: Whitney has a chance. He fires a wrister that Osgood fights off with his glove. Big save.

6:30: Whitney ropes a wrister on net from the point. Despite traffic, Osgood is able to eat it up.

6:22: Off the faceoff, Talbot forces his way to the net. He gathers a loose puck and tries to beat Osgood on the stick side. Osgood hangs tough and denies him. Huge save.

6:05: Zetterberg gets a shot on net. Fleury fights it off.

5:44: Holmstrom has a chance in the slot. Fleury says no.

5:38: Datsyuk drives Staal into the boards head first. Two minutes for inteference. The Penguins need a goal here.

4:34: Perhaps when his team needs him the most in this series, Malkin finally delivers. Crosby delivers a pass from the corner to the opposite point. Malkin takes it, sneaks in and bombs a slapper that appears to burn Osgood through the five hole. The fans erupt. They begin chanting "GEEEE-NOOO! GEEEE-NOOOOO!" The "Hey Song" is played. Red Wings 2-1.

3:47: Roberts is called for high sticking Stuart behind the Detroit net. Two minutes.

2:02: Franzen tries to jam in a puck through Fleury's equipment. Fleury holds his ground. Franzen and Orpik get into it behind the net. Two minutes for each roughing.

1:47: Scuderi clears the puck and essentially kills off Roberts' penalty.

0:50: The Penguins go offsides after basically controlling the play inside the Red Wings blue line for 25 seconds or so. They passed way too much there. They simply need to just get a shot on net and hope for a rebound in some spots here.

0:02: Malkin fires a slapper from the neutral zone. It hits a Detroit player in the leg and deflects away.

0:00: End of period. Red Wings 2, Penguins 1.

-Detroit has an 18-16 advantage in shots.

-The Red Wings are killing in faceoffs, 27-17.

-Lidstrom is tops in ice time with 18:23.

-Gonchar leads the Penguins with 17:00.

-Malkin and Frazen each lead the game with four shots.

-20 minutes to stay alive.

-We have the raw CBC feed here. Prior to hearing their "sideline reporter" Elliote Friedman exclaim "OH #(@!", to someone off camera, Friedman said Crosby told a reporter he was only winded after the Stuart hit and not injured.

-Another CBC reporter just reported Darren Helm is dealing with a lower body injury.

-The text messages sent to the Jumbotron were lame once again. Thank goodness we don't have to read them again this season. They had tailed off badly the last round.

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: Staal begins the period on a line with Sykora and Malone.

19:13: Hossa comes out with Malkin and Crosby. Michel Therrien is going for broke now.

18:11: Talbot takes to the ice with Dupuis and Hall.

17:30: Franzen flies down the left side, gets by Gonchar and drives to the net. He looses control of the puck and gets drilled into the cage by Orpik. Huge hit. The net is dislodged and play is halted.

16:30: Malkin tries to wheel through the defense. He flips the puck by Lidsrom. Lidstrom holds him up and Malkin falls. No call. "New" NHL?

15:47: Roberts hits Rafalski behind the net.

12:24: That may have ended it for the Penguins. Zetterberg fires a puck on net. Fleury makes the save but it rests just behind him. Fleury falls back to cover it but ends up knocking it into the net. What an awful way to give up a goal. Officials give the goal sign. A replay confirms the goal. Penguins fans respond with "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!" Red Wings 3-1.

11:41: Zetteberg comes up ice on a two on one. He shoots a wrister. Fleury makes a save.

10:47: Another "LET'S GO PENS!" chant. A fan in the north E balcony is holding up a "WE BELIEVE" banner.

9:16: "Right Now" by Van Halen is played:

8:18: Zetterberg jumps in on net and gets a wrister off. Fleury fights it off.

7:55: Datsyuk fires a shot on net. Fleury eats it up. Detroit has all the pressure on net right now. You wouldn't think they were the team with a two goal lead.

6:01: The Red Wings are basically pinning the puck against the boards and trying to kill time.

4:17: It's almost as if the Red Wings have a wall at the Penguins' blue line. Nothing is getting beyond that point.

2:49: Orpik fires a slapper from the point. A Red Wing blocks it.

1:48: If the Penguins had a chance, that was it. Staal dishes a pass into the slot. Malkin takes it and rockets a rising wrister. Osgood gloves it. Jiri Hudler is called for hooking. Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

1:27: There's still a heartbeat. Gonchar controls the puck at the point and fires a wrister. Hossa is in the slot and re-directs it by Osgood. Huge time for Hossa. The "Hey Song is played. Everyone is standing the rest of they way. Red Wings 3-2.

1:19: Fleury is pulled again.

0:45: A shot is deflected out of play. Time out is called. We've NEVER heard this building louder.

0:33: Malone comes up and shuffles a backhander towards the net. A stick deflects it. Osgood scoops it up.

0:03: OH DEAR LORD! THAT ALMOST WENT IN! Crosby directs a backhander on net. Osgood makes the save but gives up a rebound. Hossa tries to follow it up and shoots it over a sprawled out Osgood. The puck goes through the crease and fails to go in. Soooo close.

0:00: End of game. End of season. Continuation of something great. Red Wings 3, Penguins 2.

POSTGAME

Penguins fans cheer for their team after an agonizing end. "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

Malkin and Hossa lay on the ice in disappointment.

-The teams exchange handshakes.

shake

-The Penguins gather behind the Wings. They raise their sticks to salute the fans. Their fans offer an ovation for their team.

-Gary Bettman comes out to the ice to boos. He awards the Conn Smythe Trophy to Henrik Zetterberg. He deservs it. Penguins fans boo and chant "FLERRR-EEE!"

-The Stanley Cup is brought out onto the ice.

-Bettman begins talking and gets booed again.

-Lidstrom skate out to get the Cup. Bettman says, "It's yours to take back to Hockeytown."

-Unlike last season, the captain doesn't need to rip it out of Bettman's hands.

wings-Drake then takes it.

-Cleary holds it up.

-Chelios holds it up and gets booed. Have a little class folks.

-Normally the teammates skate around with the Cup as one player holds it. The Wings just have a player skate out of the pile with the Cup, do a lap and skate back into the pile.

-If you're an old school reader of this forum, you might remember what we said about the Penguins' exit from last seasons playoffs. Don't lose perspective. This is isn't a time to feel bad about the Penguins. This is a time to celebrate. This is was the next step for this team. They were the worst team in the league three seasons ago. They were the worst team in the Eastern Conference two seasons ago. They were just happy to get into the playoffs this season. They got to the Stanley Cup final this season. They will be back here soon.

-Think about this. One season ago, Josef Melichar was getting top six minutes for this team. Two seasons ago, Jani Rita was a regular on Sidney Crosby's line. Three seasons ago, Dick Tarnstrom was the team's leading scorer.

-The Islanders of the early 1980s didn't win their first Cup title until they figured out a way to get past the great Canadiens teams of the 1970s. The Oilers of the mid to late 1980s didn't win their first title until they figured out a way to get past the great Islanders. The Penguins are in a similar position as those two teams.

-The Red Wings are pretty darn good. (No duh.) The Penguins lost to an excellent team. They have a system in place. They have a few franchise players in place. They have several fine role players in place. They know what they're doing. There is no shame in losing to the Red Wings.

-Lidstrom, who became the first European-trained captain of a Stanley Cup champion, led the game with 28:10 of ice time.

-Zetterberg joined Lidstrom (2002) as the only European to win the Conn Smythe.

-This is why we love Wikipedia. Zetterberg is already listed as a Conn Smythe winner.

connsmythe

-Gonchar led the Penguins with 27:20 of ice time.

-If this was Brooks Orpik's last game, he went down with a bang. He was credited with 11 hits.

-The Penguins were outshot, 30-22.

-The Red Wings dominated the faceoffs, 35-23.

-It's hard for us to believe there won't be hockey for four months. We won't have to dig up the Islanders' leading scorer for previews. We won't have to find John Ogrodnick's goal total from the 1984-85 season (55). We won't have to link to the Cotton Candy Guy's MySpace page. We won't have to snap pictures of Petr Nedved jerseys. We sure as heck need some rest from doing this, but we don't necessarily want it.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights





-How many more days until Sweden?



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