By Bryan Mongeau-Eastmond, staff writer
PITTSBURGH (RPRN) 06/10/09– Itâ€™s not every day you see a team such as the Pittsburgh Penguins respond so well coming off a 5-0 loss in Game 5 in Detroit. Itâ€™s not every day that you see a team rebound and tie the best-of-seven series after dropping the first two games in the Stanley Cup finals. Itâ€™s not every day that the Stanley Cup winners will be decided in one game. Thatâ€™s what adversity combined with a touch of desperation can add to a teamâ€™s demeanor.
No, history will not repeat itself in the form of another six-game Cup loss to the Motor City. Pittsburgh has made sure of that by defeating the Red Wings 2-1 last night.
But last yearâ€™s end result may very well be the same if they do not win the deciding Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The home side scored first, a Jordan Staal goal courtesy of a 2-on-1. Leading by a goal after two periods, the Pens turned to defense and aggressive play on attack for the remainder of the way. It didnâ€™t hurt that their goalie Marc-Andre Fleury came up big by making a couple of great saves towards the end of the game.
â€œThe breakaway (on Cleary) in the third is a pretty big save at a pretty big time for our team. And that’s what Marc-Andre has been able to do for us throughout this playoffs. He’s shown that repeatedly here in Pittsburgh,â€ Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said.
Fleury finished with 25 saves and more importantly seemed to have put his five goals on 21 shots from Game 5 in the distant past.
Tyler Kennedy added the insurance goal in the third giving his team a slight 2-0 cushion in a must win scenario. Coming into this game, the Penguins were 9-0 in this yearâ€™s playoff when leading after two periods.
Unwilling to gracefully hand the game away to the home town boys Detroitâ€™s late push made for an interesting finish. A juicy rebound from a Jonathan Ericksonâ€™s shot found itâ€™s way onto Kris Draperâ€™s stick and behind Fleury to cut the lead to one. But that was all she wrote in this one.
It appears that Pittsburgh hasnâ€™t lost a home game in nearly four weeks. In fact, in this series both team have won all their home games. This bodes well for the Red Wings, the defending champs.
Series tied 3-3
GAME 7: June 12 @ DET, 8pm
Photo of Sidney Crosby trying to squeeze one through Chris Osgood courtesy the National Hockey League.
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