Greetings from a humid but cooler day in Pittsburgh. It's roughly 70 degrees out and cloudy. It's going to be difficult to keep the ice in shape here today.
-The fountain at PPG Place is up and running:
-If you didn't know anything about Louis Kossuth, you do now:
-A couple of Penguins fans at the intersection of the Boulevard of the Allies and Smithfield Street:
-The dinosaur in front of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh is getting hairy and hungry for seafood:
-Looking down Grant Street:
-More Penguins fans near the Allegheny County Courthouse:
-Someone's invoking the spirit of Bob Prince:
-The line to get into the Souper Bowl:
-Consol Energy Center:
-We're not sure the lettering on here is legit, but here's a Craig Simpson jersey:
-The crowd outside Gate 3 here at Mellon Arena:
-Some Marc-Andre Fleury fans:
-What more do you need than a penguin suit and nachos (and WTAE-TV's Jon Greiner looking like he's going to hit Darren Helm):
-Some rather brave Red Wings fans:
-And NBC doesn't want this?
-Red Wings playing soccer:
-A few more sights around the arena. A Mats Sundin Maple Leafs jersey. Again, no jersey foul on account of the Toronto-Detroit rivalry:
-Hopefully for the Penguins, this is the most mobile we see anyone in a Pavel Datsyuk jersey:
-We totally screwed this picture up, but Hollywood isn't a fan of Marian Hossa:
-Pavel Datsyuk did warm up. It was hard to tell if he was in any sort of discomfort.
-A few sights around the arena. A few more brave Red Wings fans:
-Jeff Jimerson rocking:
-A couple of Winnipeg Jets fans are in the house:
-Hmmm... under normal circumstances, this would be a jersey foul. But we'll let it slide this time:
-The shirts and towels being given out:
-Mario Lemieux Laval:
-A couple of Stars fans wearing Sergei Zubov and Brenden Morrow jerseys:
-The Great Dick Tarnstrom:
-Datsyuk has been scratched. Detroit's other scratches are Justin Abdelkader, Derek Meech, Chris CHelios, Darren McCarty, Aaron Downey, Jakub Kindl, Tomas Kopecky and Jimmy Howard.
-The Penguins' scratches are Alex Goligoski, the great Mike Zigomanis, Petr Sykora, Jeff Taffe, Eric Godard, Chris Minard, Dustin Jeffrey, Philippe Boucher, Ben Lovejoy and John Curry.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Chris Osgood are your starting goaltenders.
18:48: Behind the Detroit net, Niklas Kronwall takes down Evgeni Malkin. That was kind of weak. Not sure Malkin didnt' sell that a bit. Bill Guerin, Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang are on for the power play.
17:21: The Penguins cash in early. And they do it with a lucky bounce. Malkin controls the puck down low to the left of the cage. He dishes a pass to Jordan Staal in the crease. Staal's shot is kicked out by Osgood. Letang moves in and rockets a wrist shot wide. It hits off the end boards and bounces back out. Malkin is right there and backhands it by Osgood who had no chance. Letang and Staal get assists. The "Hey Song" takes an early shift. "GEEEE-NO! GEEEE-NO!!" Penguins 1-0.
16:32: Miroslav Satan get a chance in front and pushes it wide. A defender might've deflected that a bit.
15:15: Darren Helm cranks a slapper from the right faceoff circle. Fleury eats it up.
14:16: Cooke pounds Nicklas Lidstrom in the corner.
13:12: Brad Stuart cranks a slapper from the right wing. Fleury boots it out.
12:39: Valtteri Filppula maks a nice play to knock Malkin off the puck.
12:13: Chris Kunitz steals a puck in the neutral zone and dishes it to Crosby. Crosby races in against Lidstrom, veers to the left of the slot and whips a low wrister five-hole. Osgood is able to slide over and close the gates for a save.
11:43: Staal works his way down the left wing and whips a feed into the slot. Tyler Kennedy is there but can't get a stick on the puck.
11:19: Henrik Zetterberg whips a wrister from a tough angle on the right wing. Fleury fights it off.
10:44: Fleury's on his game early. He fights off two chances by Dan Cleary in tight then he denies a shot in from the point.
10:23: Malkin steals a puck in the corner in Detroit's zone. He moves it into the slot. Osgood says no. Maxime Talbot picks up the rebound and tries to push it in with a backhand. Osgood denies that too. The Red Wings' defense was a little sloppy there.
10:18: Brooks Oprik and Kris Draper getin to a tussle near the Penguins' bench. Draper ends up without his lid.
10:20: Tomas Holmstrom enters the offensive zone one-on-one against Hal Gill. He snaps off a wrister. Fleury hangs on to freeze play. Holmstrom and Gill renew their relationship and give each other the business.
8:51: Mark Eaton is nabbed for dropping Tomas Holmstrom in the crease from behind. That's two minutes. Staal, Cooke, Gill and Rob Scuderi are on for the penalty kill.
8:40: Staal steals a puck and throws it down ice.
8:34: Cooke drops Lidstrom with a hit on a forecheck in Detroit's zone. Cooke is on a mission. He was hitting anything in white and red in Game 3 and he hasn't let up.
8:00: Staal whips a puck down ice to kill more time.
7:38: The Penguins' power play is just controlling this two minutes. Cooke and Scuderi team up to take the puck off Hossa and chip it down ice.
6:51: Mark Eaton's penalty is killed. The Penguins really looked good there.
6:29: Rafalski snaps off a wrister from the right point. It gets through traffic. Fleury fights it off. With Helm and other scrumming for position, Fleury lunges out and covers his blocker with his glove.
6:15: Malkin enters the zone and takes a pass at the left point. He moves in and snaps off a wrist shot. Osgood fights it off.
5:35: Off a faceoff, Satan snaps off a tricky backhander from the slot. Osgood kick it out with his left foot. Talbot is there for the rebound and drives it into Osgood. Osgood freezes play as a bunch of bodies fall in the crease. Lot of action in front of each net.
4:15: Orpik dumps a puck from his end into Detroit's. Kronwall goes back to retrieve it. It takes a funny bounce on him and he loses it to Malkin. Malkin grabs it, moves in and leaves a drop pass
4:11: Off a faceoff, Gonchar blasts a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. It gets deflected and sails just wide.
3:38: Kunitz races down the left wing and cranks a slapper. Osgood fights it off with his blocker.
3:33: Kunitz and Jonathan Ericsson wrestle for the rebound. The puck comes loose. Kunitz goes after it. Ericsson's stick comes up and gets Kunitz on the side of the helmet. Kunitz jerks his head back to buy the call. Ericsson goes off for high sticking. Crosby, Letang, Guerin, Gonchar and Letang are on for the power play.
3:23: Guerin moves in with the puck loses it and brings his stick up on Stuart. It catches Stuart in the kisser. Stuart goes down. The official's hand goes up. Two minutes for high sticking. Four-on-four for 1:50.
2:00: Stuart enters the Penguins' zone on the left wing. He tees up and fires a slapper. Old reliable Rob Scuderi is there to deflect it out of play.
1:41: Just as we get done saying how Scuderi is reliable, he does that. He controls the puck in the corner and tries to play it through the faceoff circle. Helm takes it right off him, moves in and snaps off a sick wrist shot that beats Fleury on the glove side. That was a nearly perfect placement on that shot. The goal is unassisted. Scuderi should get one. In all fairness to Scuderi, Helm made a wonderful play there. He took the boards away and forced Scuderi to go towards the crease. He then took the puck and ripped a wonderful shot. Penguins 1, Red Wings 1.
0:58: From the left point, Hossa steps up and hammers a slapper. Fleury kicks it out.
0:30: Fleury fights off a wrist shot from the slot.
0:22: The puck bounces in on Osgood. He stops it but doesn't handle it cleanly. Osgood loses it for a moment with Malkin hovering around. Thankfully for Detroit, a defender is able to play it away.d
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Red Wings 1.
-The Penguins came out like demons in that period and dominated the first 15 minutes or so. But Detroit slowly got back into the flow of the game and earned a tie.
-Fleury has been strong. He's maintained his level of play from Game 3.
-Osgood made some key saves too. This game could easily be a 2-1 Penguins lead right now.
-At what point do the Red Wings consider sticking Zetterberg on Malkin when they can? He's flying around out there.
-The Red Wings have a 19-11 lead in shots.
-Malkin leads the game with four.
-Cleary, Stuart, Helm and Johan Franzen each have three.
-Detroit has a 14-11 edge in faceoffs (56 percent).
-Helm is 3-for-3 (100 percent).
-Malkin and Talbot are each 2-for-3 (67 percent).
-Lidstrom leads the game with 9:23 of ice time.
-Malkin leads the Penguins with 8:38.
-Scuderi and Craig Adams lead the game with two blocked shots each.
19:14: Brad Stuart controls the puck at the right point. He tees up and blasts a slapper that sails to far side and beat Fleury on the blocker side. Guerin had a terrible screen set up on Fleury. What was he even doing there? Zetterberg gets the only assist. Red Wings 2-1.
18:24: Off a faceoff wing, Ericsson pounds a one-timer from the top of the slot on net. Fleury hangs on for the save.
16:44: Crosby takes a shift with Satan and Pascal Dupuis.
16:28: Dupuis whips a backhander at the net from the corner. Osgood fights it off.
15:37: Kunitz takes out Franzen and Rafalski with a check in front of the penalty boxes.
14:37: Malkin creates another chance. He moves into the zone offenisve zone on the right wing, drives twoards the slot and zips a pass to Fedotenko on the right wing. Fedotenko moves and and snaps a wrister that Osgood fights off. Talbot is on the other side for the rebound but can't collect it.
14:16: Malkin hauls down Jonathan Ericsson. That's two minutes. Officials break up a long scrum. Adams, Scuderi, Gill and Staal are on for the penalty kill.
13:28: Rafalski is on the left point and cracks a one-timer. Cooke is in front and deflects the shot wide.
12:35: Talbot forces the puck up ice and whips a backhander at the net. Save by Osgood.
12:22: Kronwall hammers a one-timer from the right point. Hossa is in the slot and re-directs it on net.
12:17: Orpik trips up Filppula behind the net. Filppula takes a tumpble.Two minutes for Orpik. Five-on-three for two seconds.
12:01: Malkin comes out of the penalty box and steals the puck off Rafalski at the left point. Malkin hustles down the right wing moves in on net and puts a shot on net. Osgood kicks it out as Malkin gets hauled down. No call.
11:25: Ohhhh wow. Welcome to the Stanley Cup final 2006-07 version Jordan Staal. Staal gets the puck and moves up ice shorthanded. He forces his way by Rafalski who looked like a pylon. Staal moves in on net, goes with the forehand and puts the puck by Osgood on the blocker side. What a play. That looked like something he used to do his rookie season. The Penguins and Staal needed that badly. Talbot and Eaton get assists. The "Hey Song" is busted out. Penguins 2, Red Wings 2.
10:18: The Penguins kill off Orpik's penalty. This crowd is roaring.
9:48: Franzen kicks out Gonchar's leg. No call.
9:26: Wow. What a play. Malkin and Crosby come up on a two-on-one against Ericsson. Malkin moves towards the net from the right ring. Ericsson flops down to take away the passing lane. Somehow, Malkin is able to get a pass through to Crosby who bangs it home by a helpless Osgood on the blocker side. Letang comes over to celebrate with Crosby and tackles him to the ice. Crosby seems like he's a little shaken up actually. Osgood tosses his stick on top of the net in disgust. The "Hey Song" is back out. Malkin gets the only assist. Mike Babcock calls a time out to organize his team. Penguins 3-2.
9:07: "Ozzzzzz.... Gooooooooddddd.... Ozzzzz.... Gooooooddd....."
8:54: Guerin gets a pass in the slot, kicks it to his stick and rips a wrister. Osgood juuust gets a piece of it with his stick.
8:14: Orpik hits Zetterberg against the glass and shoves him over.
7:05: Malkin leaves a drop pass for Eaton. Eaton shoots. Osgood kicks out the rebound. Fedotenko is there but his shot is wide.
6:38: Letang enters the offensive zone on the right side and dishes a feed to Malkin trailing in the slot. Malkin delays and shoots. The puck hits a stick and deflects out of play.
5:48: Was that sick. When did the Islanders show up and put up Red Wings jerseys. The Penguins made them looks silly on that play. Kunitz controls the puck on the left wing and zips a pass to Crosby across the crease on the right wing. Crosby tic-tac-toes it to Kennedy on the back door and he slams home his fourth goal of the playoff behind a helpless Osgood. Wow. That was just stunning. The "Hey Song" is played. So is that WWE "KENNEDY"! clip. Penguins 4-2.
3:50: Letang and Holmstom stage a Roman-Greco wrestling match in the left faceoff circle. No call.
3:33: Hossa hammers a slapper from the left wing. Fleury almost spins sideways in the air to make the save. Holmstrom was down on the ice and might've taken out Fleury's feet causing him to tumble.
3:25: Attendance is announced as 17,132. It is the 117th consecutive sellout.
2:24: A puck comes loose in the crease. Ville Leino is there with a possible shot but takes a tumble and can't get his stick on the puck.
1:25: Mikael Samuelsson makes an appearance and snaps off a low wrister from the right wing which Fleury goes to kick out.
0:30: Hossa gets behind Gill on the left wing for a second. Before he can do anything with the puck, Gill uses his pool skimmer to reach back and interfere with Hossa's possession just enough to prevent a shot.
0:03: With the clock running down, Malkin gets free on a breakaway. He winds up an shoots from just outside the right faceoff circle. Osgood gloves it as the horn sounds. Dupuis skates for a possbile rebound and sprays Osgood with show. Just as Dupuis is pulling up, Osgood puts his stick in his face. What a dirty play. Officials break it up before anything develops instead of you know... calling a penalty.That reminds us of something that happened in the 2008 Western Conference final between Detroit and Dallas when Osgood just slightly stuck the butt-end of his stick in the face of Stars forward Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro responded by lumberjacking Osgood in the chest:
0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Red Wings 2.
-What a comeback that was. Staal's goal was so huge for the team and him. It gave them momentum to get a score shorthanded and it had to tons to boost his spirits.
-The Penguins' passing was fantastic the latter half of this period. We can't fathom how Detroit is allowing the Penguins this much space to pass.
-Fleury is standing tall once again. He as much a part of this win as Crosby and Malkin.
-The Red Wings need to do something about Malkin. Put Zetterberg on him. Right now, he's the leading Conn Smythe Award candidate.
-The Penguins can't make the mistake of letting up. Keep taking it to Detroit.
-The Red Wings have a 28-22 lead in shots.
-Malkin lead the game with six shots.
-Hossa leads Detroit with five.
-The Red Wings have a 25-19 lead in faceoffs.
-Kronwall leads the game with 16:44 of ice time.
-Malkin leads the Penguins with 14:30.
-Orpik leads the game with three shots.
-Lidstrom leads the Red Wings with two.
18:38: Hossa chopse a backhander from the right of the cage. It gets deflected wide.
18:05: Helm zips into the offensive zone against Orpik. Helm snaps off a wrister which Fleury boots out.
17:30: Helm hammers Talbot to the ice with a big body check in Detroit's zone. That probably felt good for Helm who was on the receiving end on more than few of those in Game 3.
16:22: Samuelsson collects a puck in the right faceoff circle and whips a wrister at the net. Fleury fights it off. Detroit has controlled the play so far this period. They have outshot the Penguins, 4-0.
15:44: Hossa's doing everything he can to get his team back in this thing. He snaps off a wrister from the left wing. Fleury pushes it away.
14:57: letang moves in from the Detroit blue line down the right wing. He curls into the left faceoff circle and snaps a backhander on net. Osgood eats it up. Adams shoves a Red Wings player to the ice. That was the Penguins' first shot this period.
14:09: After a turnover by Kennedy, Jiri Hudler steps up and whips a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off as Orpik drops Zetterberg in the crease.
12:58: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
12:38: Crosby controls the puck behind Detroit's net and does that thing where he just stick his butt into the defender to hold him off as something develops. Kronwall. made a nice play to fight off Crosby and take the puck away from him. You don't see too many defenders to that.
12:20: Crosby backhand chips a puck into Osgood who covers up with Kunitz barging in.
11:32: Fedotenko motors down the left wing and snaps off a wrister. Osgood eats it up. As he skates behind the net, Stuart clips Fedotenko high. No call. With Bill McCreary calling this game, Stuart will have to scalp someone to get sent to the box.
11:02: Staal gets behind Rafalski again and pushes a backhander on net Osgood fights it off. Rafalski is having trouble with Staal.
10:09: Maltby hacks out Crosby feet in the left faceoff circle. Crosby lays on the ice in a heap. No call. "New" NHL?
9:07: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"
8:40: From the left faceoff circle, Helm snaps off a wrister which Fleury fights off.
8:24: Talbot steals a puck off Kronwall at the right point, moves up the left wing and throws a soft wrister on net which Osgood makes an easy save on.
7:27: Cotton-Eye Joe is busted out during a commercial break:
7:20: Holmstrom holds up Crosby just a bit near the Detroit blue line. No call. We can't believe this is supposedly the best officiating crew in the NHL.
6:31: Crosby coasts up the right wing and leaves a drop pass for Guerin trailing a bit towards the slot. Guerin steps up and hammers a low one-timer. Osgood closes the five hole for the save.
6:25: Guerin chips a wrister in from the right point. Osgood goes to the butterfly and eats it up.
5:40: Fedotenko appears to get away with a trip on Zetterberg at the Detroit blue line.
4:55: Stuart touches up a puck behind his net for icing. Not a great play by the Penguins there.
4:33: Filppula goes behind the net with the puck, comes back around and from the left faceoff circle, he snaps off a wrister. Fleury fights it off.
3:34: Malkin gets a pass in the slot and fires a wrister. Stuart is there to block it out of play.
3:04: Filppula gets a chance in tight but Fleury is able to fight it off.
2:47: Staal cracks a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Osgood fights it off.
2:00ish: Osgood is pulled for an extra attacker.
1:33: Kunitz breaks in on net with the puck. He gets hooked up by Kronwall and shoots the puck wide. Detroit recovers the puck and Kronwall is given two minutes foor hooking. Eaton, Gonchar, Malkin, Crosby and Guerin are on for the power play.
1:18: "WE WANT THE CUP! WE WANT THE CUP!"
1:00: Public address announcer John Barbero announces there is one minute remaining and the crowd roards in approval.
0:22: Orpik holds the pukc behind his net and eats up some clock.
0:03: Cleary comes up the wing the with the puck and gets tackled by Cleary who then puts a stick into his face. Officials break it up. Cleary gets two minutes for tripping. Orpik gets two minutes for roughing. Apparently his skates scuffed up Cleary's stick. Jerk.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 4, Red Wings 2.
-What more can you say about Evgeni Malkin? He makes everyone on his team better. Even Sidney Crosby. So much has been made out of this series about the Crosby-Zetterberg match up. The Red Wings need to find someone to stop Malkin. And they need to do it fast.
-Marc-Andre Flery had another huge effort. He was always in position, he dealt with players like Tomas Holmstrom and other in his face crashing the crease and he just seemed totally composed. He was only beaten twice on two goals his teammates left him out to dry on. There was a reason he was named the first star of the game.
-Crosby and Staal each broke out of slumps. Staal's shorthanded goal changed the game and gave the Penguins all the momentum. Crosby looked like he was playing a regular season game against the Islanders at times tonight.
-Staal's goal very much reminded us of the player that burst onto the scene here in 2006-07. He just used his body (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) to blow by the much smaller Rafalski (5-foot-11, 191 pounds) and showed the scoring touch that allowed him to punch in 29 goals his rookie season.
-Detroit as a whole looks a little worn down. The Penguins have played them pretty physicial for three of the four games and you have to wonder if the smaller older team is starting to run out of gas.
-Has anyone seen Nicklas Lidstrom? He's not normally a guy who does too many things that really stand out that much. That's just the nature of the position. But he has seemed rather ordinary for most of this series. We wonder how healthy he is. Brad Stuart has been Detroit's best blue liner.
-We won't say the Penguins have Chris Osgood figured out. They beat him by simply generating some fantastic scoring chances. You find us a goaltender who can stop some of the chances he gave up goals on.
-Matt Cooke continued to just hit anything in red and white. He's really inflicted a lot of punishment on Detroit.
-Officiating continues to be horrendous. Each team got away with stuff that would've been called in the regular season.
-Helm has been Detroit's best forward this series for our money. He played well in all three zones and has been strong in the faceoff circle.
-Hossa's getting chances but he's not converting. Detroit fans have to be disappointed in his offensive production.
-We'd bench Draper regardless of his health. Justin Abdelkader has been a far better player.
-The Red Wings ended up with a 39-31 lead in shots.
-Hossa, Franzen and Malkin each led the game with six shots.
-The Red Wings had a 34-27 lead in faceoffs.
-Malkin was 4-for-5 (80 percent).
-Helm was 8-for-12 (67 percent).
-Lidstrom led the game with 24:10 of ice time.
-Gonchar led the Penguins with 21:34.
-Scuderi and Orpik each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Lidstrom paced the Red Wings with two.
-Malkin, Crosby and Staal each had a goal and an assist.
-Crosby (31) and Malkin (35) became first pair of teammates to hit the 30-point plateau in the same postseason since Brian Leetch (34) and Messier (30) with the 1994 Rangers.
-Malkin now has has the eighth highest single-postseason point total in NHL history. Geez.
-Malkin has seven points (two goals, five assists) this final.
-Speaking of Malkin, check out the mob around his dad after the game:
-If they handed out the Conn Smythe Award today, it would prompt a lot of questions as to why they handed it out so early and Malkin would get our hypothetical vote.
-Malkin recorded his 60th and 61st career postseason points.
-Staal's shorthanded goal was the first of his postseason career and it was his first overall since a 5-3 loss at Colorado, Jan. 10.
-Staal reached a career-high with his eighth postseason point.
-Letang picked up his 15th career postseason point and moved into the franchise's top 30 career postseason scorers.
-Talbot scored his 20th career postseason point.
-Kennedy moved into the top 50 among the team's career postseason leaders with his 11th point.