|Osgood beats Penguins with finals-opening shutout|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 24 May 2008 18:40|
Osgood stopped 12 shots in the first period of the 4-0 victory and then sat back as his teammates bottled up Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of Pittsburgh's high-powered offense.
Detroit was short-handed four times in the first period, and Pittsburgh generated eight power-play shots but couldn't solve Osgood. The Red Wings took only one penalty the rest of the way and that didn't come until the lead was safe late in the third.
``We were in there way too much in the first period,'' Osgood said. ``After that, I thought we didn't turn pucks over as much. That's why we got the penalties.''
Brodeur made 16 saves in a 3-0 victory to start the 2003 finals - a series New Jersey won in seven games.
Osgood has two shutouts in these playoffs and 12 in his postseason career.
SID'S DEBUT: Sidney Crosby's debut in the Stanley Cup finals didn't go as planned, but the 20-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins captain didn't seem rattled a bit.
He drew tons of attention from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit's leading scorers in the regular season who also excel on the defensive side.
``That's playoff hockey,'' Crosby said after Pittsburgh's 4-0 loss. ``I don't expect it to be easy and skate around there freely. That's hockey and I expect that. That's part of the game and I don't think that's changed.''
What might be more alarming for the Penguins is that Evgeni Malkin was held without a goal for the fourth time in five games. Since scoring twice in Pittsburgh's victory over Philadelphia in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Malkin has one goal and one assist in five games.
``They played a really good game,'' Penguins coach Michel Therrien said of the Red Wings. ``We lost one game, and one thing we know is we've always bounced back. I'm expecting we're going to bounce back next game.''
The Penguins took 3-0 leads in each of their previous three playoff series. They fell to 4-3 on the road.
ROCKING CHAIR SPECTATORS: The two ageless players in this year's Stanley Cup finals had the night off. One took the benching in stride, the other was miffed.
One day after his 42nd birthday, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Gary Roberts skated with his teammates Saturday morning and spent quite a long time on the ice. He learned Friday that coach Michel Therrien planned to sit him for the series opener and fought to keep his displeasure in check.
Detroit counterpart Chris Chelios, the NHL's oldest player at 46, also put in some quality skating Saturday. Well after most of his teammates retreated to the dressing room, the defenseman did sprints on the ice with his 18-year-old son, Dean, who is prepping for tryouts for his junior team in the United States Hockey League.
Roberts has played in only six of Pittsburgh's 14 postseason games this year because of leg injuries and a bout of pneumonia that forced him out of the Eastern Conference finals after Game 2.
He declared himself healthy Friday, which is why he appeared disappointed and angry after being told he wouldn't immediately regain a spot in the lineup.
Therrien cited the good play of Tyler Kennedy, Jarkko Ruutu, Adam Hall, and Georges Laraque - a group of gritty forwards who dressed for the opener against the Red Wings.
``Obviously it's not an easy decision,'' Therrien said Saturday morning. ``It's something to say, 'Yes, we're going to bring in another player,' but the toughest decision is not that, it's who are you going to take out? Those guys did a great job so far.
``That's the number one reason why that we're not changing the lineup. It's not that we don't want Gary Roberts. That's part of being a good team. We've got depth, and we're going to start the series like this. I'm not saying that he's not going to play.''
Chelios sat out the final game of the West finals against Dallas, and the Red Wings are sticking with the winning formula.
``I hope we keep winning. It doesn't bother me one bit,'' Chelios said. ``I'm here and I'm ready when I'm needed. You come so far and get so close, I feel like I contributed well.''
DRAPER'S DAY: It doesn't get much better than this.
Red Wings center Kris Draper had a Saturday unlike any other. The veteran of 16 NHL seasons, 12 with Detroit, was beaming even though his face was still a bit swollen after he used it to score a goal in the clinching game of the Western Conference finals against Dallas on Monday.
``It's an unbelievable day for me,'' the newly turned 37-year-old Draper said. ``I'm celebrating a birthday, bringing home my baby girl, and playing in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. It's an awesome day.''
Draper's daughter Kamryn was born Thursday, and she joined new brother Kienan and sister Kennedi.
The rugged forward also had a laugh when asked about minor league baseball player John Odom, who was traded this week by the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League to the Laredo Broncos of the United League for 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats.
That's a king's ransom in the world of Draper, who was dealt by Winnipeg to Detroit 15 years ago for the whopping price of one dollar. Draper played in only 20 games for the Jets in four years after being chosen with the 62nd pick in the 1989 draft.
``Well, 10 bats are a lot more expensive than one dollar, so that's not too bad,'' said Draper, who has scored 141 NHL goals and won three Stanley Cup titles. ``To this day, I never found out if it was an American dollar or a Canadian dollar. That's the one looming question that I always have.''