Stanley Cup final | Detroit motors to 3-1 lead
The Detroit Red Wings wrecked the Pittsburgh Penguins' home-ice streak and gave themselves a shot to hoist the Stanley Cup in Hockeytown...
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — The Detroit Red Wings wrecked the Pittsburgh Penguins' home-ice streak and gave themselves a shot to hoist the Stanley Cup in Hockeytown.
Jiri Hudler snapped a third-period tie for the Red Wings, who rallied from an early deficit to beat the Penguins 2-1 Saturday night and grab a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Final.
Detroit will get the first of three potential chances to secure the Stanley Cup in Game 5 Monday on its home ice.
"We know as a team we haven't won anything yet ... but, sure, you're excited about being in a position like this," said Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who tied the score with a first-period goal.
The Penguins were a perfect 9-0 at Mellon Arena during the postseason and hadn't lost at home since falling in a shootout to San Jose on Feb. 24 — a span of 17 games. They will have to figure out how to win at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to force the series back to Pittsburgh for Game 6, which would be Wednesday. If necessary, Game 7 would be Saturday in Detroit, where the Penguins failed to score in either of the first two games of the Final.
Six teams have survived long enough to reach Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in the Final, but only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs — who fell behind 3-0 to the Red Wings — came all the way back to win the Cup.
Pittsburgh would have to win twice in Motown, where the Red Wings are 9-1 during the postseason. Detroit is on the brink of its fourth title in 11 seasons.
Hudler set up the Red Wings when he smacked in a backhander from the bottom of the right circle with his back to the net 2:26 into the third period. Brooks Orpik's clearing attempt from behind the net was kept in by Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart, who sent the bouncing puck back down low.
Rookie center Darren Helm chipped it to Hudler, who snapped a drive off Marc-Andre Fleury's left arm and inside the post for his fifth goal of the playoffs.
"It's a lot of fun, obviously, in the Stanley Cup Finals," Hudler said. "It was kind of a lucky goal, but I'll take it."
Chris Osgood, a former Seattle Thunderbird, made 22 saves to improve to 13-3 in the postseason. He has allowed four goals in the series.
"I'll clear my mind all day tomorrow and not even think about anything," Osgood said. "Just come to the rink and be prepared to play another game."
Fleury stopped 28 shots.
Pittsburgh had a golden chance to tie the score past the midway point of the third period when Andreas Lilja's interference penalty on Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins a five-on-three power play for 1:27. Crosby had the best scoring opportunity, but Selke Trophy finalist Henrik Zetterberg tied up the Penguins captain's stick at the right post and didn't allow him to get off a shot.
"It's a challenge to play against such good players, especially when you're down two guys," Zetterberg said.
Pittsburgh didn't put a shot on goal with the two-man advantage.
"There's no doubt we needed to get that goal," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We didn't execute well."
Detroit's Dallas Drake took a roughing penalty that led to Marian Hossa's power-play goal early in the first period.
Crosby said, "They scored two, we scored one, so I don't think they're running away with it. We'll battle them in Detroit and see what happens."
|Pittsburgh vs. Detroit|
|Stanley Cup Final: Best-of-seven series. Detroit leads 3-1.|
|May 24||At Detroit 4, Pittsburgh 0|
|May 26||At Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 0|
|May 28||At Pittsburgh 3, Detroit 2|
|Sat.||Detroit 2, at Pittsburgh 1|
|Mon.||at Detroit||5 p.m.||KONG|
|Wed.*||at Pittsburgh||5 p.m.|
|Sat.*||at Detroit||5 p.m.|
|*If necessary. Check local listings for Games 6 and 7. All games are on CBUT.|
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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