By Bryan Mongeau-Eastmond, staff writer
The Pens got retribution against the Wings last night in Game 7 and a Stanley Cup ring to go along with the hardware.
DETROIT (RPRN) 06/13/09– The city of Pittsburgh and its sports fans certainly have a lot to be proud of in terms of accomplishments this year. The Pittsburgh Steelers were crowned Super Bowl champs just a few months ago and now the city stretched its reign as champions to the NHL after winning a 2-1 thriller Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
â€œI would have loved to do it in four (games), it would have been a lot easier on the nerves,â€ said Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, the youngest captain to win the Stanley Cup at age 22. â€œIt was so hard watching the clock tick down for that whole third period.â€
Despite a mediocre performance in the Detroit series, Sid the Kidâ€™s quest for a Cup was settled in a Game 7. The NHLâ€™s best-run organization and not to mention defending champions, could not stand in the way of Crosby, who is slowly winning over the majority of the hockey world with his brilliant play.
But the Kid was quick to acknowledge that those around him were able to pick up the slack and come up big when they needed it most. â€œBlocking shots. Great goaltending. Different guys stepping up. I mean, we did exactly everything it takes to win.â€
Of course the Penâ€™s captain was alluding to his fellow Canadian teammates: goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury and center Maxim Talbot.
Fleury made two career defining saves to keep his team in the lead until the final horn. His victims: Henrik Zetterberg with an impressive pad save, the other against Nicklas Lidstrom which saw Fleury literally throw himself from one side of the crease to the other and somehow keep the puck from hitting the back of the net. Talk about keeping your team in the game.
With Fleury repeatedly closing the door on the Wingsâ€™ prolific attack, Talbot rose to the occasion and opened the scoring with two goals in the second period. With a 2-0 lead and just 20 minutes separating a young Pens team from a blissful ending, all the xâ€™s and oâ€™s went out the window and shutting down the Wings became priority.
Detroitâ€™s Jonathan Ericsson kept the game within reach for his club with a slap shot, cutting the lead to one. But thatâ€™s all she wrote for the Motor City.
Similar to Wayne Gretzky, who won the Cup in his early twenties; this might only be the beginning for Crosby as he will look to build an already impressive legacy.
SERIES STATUS: PENGUINS WIN SERIES, 4-3
Photo of Crosby kissing the Cup and celebrating with teammates, courtesy of the National Hockey League.
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