Crosby scores twice to carry Penguins back into series, win at home
Penguins fans cheer for their team as they take on the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night.
The Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom in the first period.
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby flies by Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood as he scores in the first period.
Sidney Crosby celebrates his first period goal.
The Penguins' Jarkko Ruutu and Marian Hossa congratulate Sidney Crosby on his goal in the first period Wednesday night.
Sidney Crosby, left, celebrates his first-period goal.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on a shot by the Red Wings' Johan Franzen in the second period.
The Red Wings' Johan Franzen scores a goal on Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period.
Sidney Crosby gets his second goal of the night against the Red Wings' Chris Osgood in the second period.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury makes save on Red Wings Johan Franzen.
The Penguins' Hal Gill and the Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom get seperated in the second period.
Adam Hall reaches to shoot the puck for his team's third goal.
Tomas Holmstrom ends up in the net as he's injured behind Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the third period.
Marc-Andre Fleury handles the puck past the Red Wings' Kris Draper.
Ryan Malone battles for a loose puck.
Sidney Crosby is held up by the Red Wings' Brian Rafalski in the third period.
The Penguins' Adam Hall (right with mouth open) is mobbed by teammates after scoring in the third period.
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The Penguins entered Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final intent on throwing more pucks at Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.
They wanted shots from the slot. From inside the circles. From along the boards.
They probably never thought about getting any from behind the goal line.
Happily for them, Adam Hall decided midway through the third period that it wouldn't be a bad idea and came away with a winning goal to show for it.
Hall banked a shot off Osgood and into the net at 7:18 to provide the Penguins' margin of victory in their 3-2 decision against the Red Wings at Mellon Arena.
Nothing flashy, to be sure -- "I just tried to throw it off the back of him," Hall said -- but it is one of the main reasons there still is some suspense about how the series will turn out.
"You have to give them credit," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They found a way to win a game."
Detroit leads the series, which will resume at 8:08 p.m. Saturday at Mellon Arena, 2-1. The final will shift to Detroit for Game 5 Monday.
Had the Penguins lost last night, the series would have been all but officially over. Only two teams in NHL history have overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.
"For sure, we needed this one," center Sidney Crosby said.
To a man, the Penguins played like it, no one more than Crosby. He scored their first two goals -- not only of the game, but of the series -- and was strong all over the ice.
"He was Sidney Crosby," center Max Talbot said. "We don't expect anything less."
The Penguins are 9-0 at home during the playoffs, and have won 17 games in a row overall at Mellon Arena.
"That was one of the loudest buildings I've ever been in," Talbot said. "That was awesome."
The decibel level spiked when Hall made it 3-1 with his second goal of the playoffs, and probably the biggest of his career, even though it won't make the short list of the prettiest he has scored.
"That's one of those dirty goals Coach talked about having to get," defenseman Ryan Whitney said. "That was a smart play. That's a huge goal by a guy you don't see score that many."
Hall made sure his goal stood up as the winner by helping to kill a hooking minor Evgeni Malkin picked up at 15:42 of the third.
The Red Wings have a scary power play and had been pressing hard for the tying goal when Malkin was penalized, but the Penguins weren't rattled when Detroit got the last of its five tries with the extra man.
"Guys kept their focus and were like, 'We're going to kill it,' " Talbot said.
They did, and came away with a victory that rewarded the confidence they retained despite being shut out twice in Detroit. And being pretty much written off in a lot of places.
"There was a lot of second-guessing from everybody outside of this room," Hall said. "We just kept telling each other that it's going to come. ... If we stick to what we know and the way we want to play, we believe we're going to have success."
They had to figure they would score a goal at some point, too, and it finally happened at 17:25 of the opening period.
The Penguins grabbed a 1-0 advantage -- their first lead of the series -- when Crosby took a feed from Marian Hossa and put a shot between Osgood's legs from the left side.
The scoring sequence began when Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg was unable to control a pass from Brad Stuart. Crosby pounced on the loose puck, gave it to Hossa, then got it back before scoring the Penguins' first goal of the series. It came on their 46th shot of the series.
"When we got that first one, it was a total sigh of relief," Whitney said.
They breathed another when Crosby made it 2-0 at 2:34 of the second, as he rapped in a loose puck from the right side of the crease.
Detroit made it 2-1 on a spectacular individual effort by Johan Franzen at 14:48, but Hall's goal put the Penguins up by two and allowed them to absorb a goal by Mikael Samuelsson at 13:37 of the third without jeopardizing their chance to get back into the series.
"It feels good to come out of this game on the [winning] side, for sure," Crosby said. "But we realize it's only one."
First Published May 29, 2008 12:00 am