Red Wings beat Penguins 3-1 in Game 1 of finals

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DETROIT (AP)—The Detroit Red Wings gave Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) flashbacks.

And, they weren’t good.

Johan Franzen(notes) scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Chris Osgood(notes) made 31 saves, helping the defending champions beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Saturday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Franzen and Brad Stuart(notes) had goals that bounced off Fleury, who sat on a shot that trickled in for Detroit’s series-clinching goal last year.

Replays of that moment had to haunt Fleury in the series opener.

Stuart simply dumped the puck behind Fleury and was rewarded with a fortunate carom that sent the puck off Fleury’s right skate and across the goal line in the first period.

Series at a Glance

Pittsburgh vs. Detroit
Penguins win series 4-3
  1. Game 1: at DET

    PIT 1, DET 3 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

  2. Game 2: at DET

    PIT 1, DET 3 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

  3. Game 3: at PIT

    DET 2, PIT 4 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

  4. Game 4: at PIT

    DET 2, PIT 4 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

  5. Game 5: at DET

    PIT 0, DET 5 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

  6. Game 6: at PIT

    DET 1, PIT 2 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

  7. Game 7: at DET

    PIT 2, DET 1 - Final

    Recap | Box Score

Series Breakdown

“It’s kind of tough,” Fleury said. “Guy shoots and it misses the net, and it comes back pretty quick.”

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby(notes) didn’t have such luck when his third-period shot went off Osgood, a post and landed in the middle of the goalie’s back as lay on the ice.

“I knew it was there, but I’m not that flexible,” Osgood said. “I was kind of hoping for the best.”

Crosby was dumbfounded.

“I’ve never seen that before,” he said.

The Stanley Cup finals opener was full of reminders about last year.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin(notes) were slowed down and Detroit scored some fortunate goals.

“I don’t think there are going to be a whole lot of skill plays,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Detroit rookie Justin Abdelkader(notes) did come up with an impressive play.

He scored his first playoff goal by leaping to grab his own rebound, putting the puck on the ice and flipping it past Fleury.

“That was huge for us to get that insurance goal,” Lidstrom said.

Game 2 is Sunday night in Detroit.

“It’s good,” Pittsburgh’s Maxime Talbot said. “We don’t have to think long about it.”

The NHL and its TV partners likely were happy with the first Stanley Cup finals rematch since the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders met again in 1984.

The action, especially in the first period, matched the hype.

“When you’ve been here before, you know what to expect so you’re ready to start on time,” Babcock said.

End-to-end action, big hits such as Crosby’s left shoulder sending Henrik Zetterberg(notes) to the ice, scoring opportunities and a 1-1 score had to hold nontraditional viewers giving hockey a chance.

The Penguins didn’t need good fortune to tie it.

Malkin baited Stuart into trying to clear a puck off the boards and took advantage of the turnover with a slap shot that Osgood couldn’t control, leading to Ruslan Fedotenko’s(notes) backhander off the rebound.

Pittsburgh had a breakaway and two power plays in the first half of the second period, and had nothing to show for it.

Osgood got part of his glove on Malkin’s wrist shot on the breakaway, and Detroit’s penalty killers limited the Penguins to two shots on their first power play and none on their second.

“The goalie is the most important player every night,” Babcock said. “It’s hockey.”

Osgood had to make a pair of saves two-thirds of the way through the second, denying Miroslav Satan(notes) on a shot just outside of the crease after Malkin set him up beautifully and turning away Crosby’s backhander after a spectacular spin move.

Crosby and Malkin are running away with the postseason scoring race, but they know Detroit is different than any team they played in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“We expect it to be tight, and that’s the way it is,” Crosby said. “I thought we generated some good scoring chances. We just have to find a way to get a few more. We had a couple that didn’t go in, and maybe that was the difference.”

Detroit went ahead 2-1 in the final minute of the second period, scoring again off the boards and Fleury.

Rafalski shot bounced off the boards, Franzen got to the loose puck and flipped a backhander over and off Fleury and into the net.

It was Franzen’s his team-leading 11th goal of the playoffs and 24th in the postseason since the start of last year’s Stanley Cup run.

The Red Wings are shooting to be the first to repeat since they won back-to-back titles in 1997 and ’98, but their opposing coach says they’ve got work to do.

“This is a race to four,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. “They’ve got one on us.”

Notes

Detroit was without Pavel Datsyuk(notes), an MVP finalist along with Malkin, a fellow Russian, because of a foot injury, but welcomed the return of Lidstrom and Jonathan Ericsson(notes). … Fleury finished with 27 saves. … Game 1 winner has won 54 of 69 finals series since 1939. … Detroit is an NHL-best 9-1 at home this postseason.

458 Comments

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  1. Linh T
    458. Posted by Linh T Sun May 31 11:16pm EDT

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    The Stanley Cup final this year have the two teams from the cities where their NFL teams were champions and the 0-16. Come on! Let the Red Wings win; their Lions have been the worst, and their people have suffered enough. As for the Pittsburghers, they should have already been happy to have witnessed the most ever lucky touchdown in Super Bowl. They do not need the Stanley Cup.
  2. Ken M
    457. Posted by Ken M Sun May 31 11:09pm EDT

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    I really liked the whinning Pit did after the goal at the end of the period. Why didn't Hossa get a slashing penalty? Cuz Hossa didn't slash him and break his stick. The Pit player actually broke his own stick as he came back around it was in one piece. Then it hit Hossa in the skate and it cleary broke at that point. Hahaha. Gotta love TiVo and slow mo replay. Can't wait for Tuesday night in Pit. Good luck Cindy C.
  3. Robert C
    456. Posted by Robert C Sun May 31 11:04pm EDT

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    hey wasnt that a good game tonight witch doctor? so when is the series going to be over and the cup going to pittsburg? NEVER!!!
  4. eric m
    455. Posted by eric m Sun May 31 10:54pm EDT

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    Get thicker bi-focals. 1) Zetterberg was not laying over the goaline. 2) The replay never showed the puck crossing the line NOR Zetterberg covering it up. Had Zetterberg covered the puck, why was it not a penalty shot? Penguins fans always something to cry about. Like I said all along. Wings in 5. But I kinda hope they sweep them again. Only time you will get to see the cup hoisted in the next decade:) Malkin is lucky the refs came. Zetterberg is no Crosby. He regained his balance and was about to uppercut the poop out of him. How about Satan, for third man in? Penguins got away with a lot of slashing and checking after the whistle. Need to stop crying.
  5. Micajah
    454. Posted by Micajah Sun May 31 10:50pm EDT

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    how can you not call it a goal when zetterberg lays across the line when crosby shoots
  6. Witch Doctor
    453. Posted by Witch Doctor Sun May 31 7:58pm EDT

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    Well said Guy, Dont agree with everything you said. But all was excellent points
  7. Witch Doctor
    452. Posted by Witch Doctor Sun May 31 7:56pm EDT

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    rwfan1 . Finally someone who has done their homework. Your right about the population. I did see those numbers you posted. I was going by the greater Detroid area, Those that would attend Redwing games. Either way Detroit has twice as many people. The comment was made cuz someone said your arena was bigger than Pittsburgh by 5000. My point was that you had twice as many people but we sell out.. In the end does any of this really matter
  8. Guy F
    451. Posted by Guy F Sun May 31 7:48pm EDT

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    Here's my take (not that anyone gives a sh-t, but I'll make my list nonetheless) 1) Crosby is a very good, not great, player. He is not Gretzky, Lemieux or even Yzerman. 2) He is 21 years old. How many here were perfectly mature at 21? 3) He did not ask to be the face of the league 4) Babcock obviously thinks Sid is pretty good, he has Zetterberg and Lidstrom out against him every shift. If anyone's a disappointment, it's Malkin. He gets nowhere near the defensive attention of Crosby. If Malkin had to go against Zetterberg and Lidstrom you may not even know he was playing 5) Speaking of which, why do Wings fans spend so much energy ripping Crosby? BTW, it's the brilliance of Babcock combined with the incredible talent and defensive commitment of Lidstrom and Zetterberg that renders Sid ineffectual. Try highlighting that 6) NBC is all over Sid's d-ck? My T.V. comes with this thing called a mute button. Does yours? 7) Everyone knows the boards at the Joe are bouncey. Move on. 8) Conspiracy theorists are beyond pathetic. 9) The officiating was fine last night. Zetterberg's hand on the puck should have been a penalty shot. Cooke should have been called for hitting Holmstrom. Beyond that, get over it. 10) Why is ripping a mouthguard out of someone's mouth "funny" but a love tap on the shinguard "totally classless"? Johan Franzen has 6 inches, 60 pounds and almost 10 years on Pat Kane. He was yapping and Franzen had enough. Maltby won and continued yapping so Crosby gave him a tap. BFD!!! Has anyone here played hockey? Newsflash; you get annoyed! Crosby also had enough. For people who have actually played (what, 7% of the board) would you rather someone tap your shinguards or rip your personal mouthpiece out of your mouth and throw it on the ice? Exactly. 11) The Wings will not be looking for "revenge" today, they will be looking to go up 2-0 (and probably will)
  9. Guy F
    450. Posted by Guy F Sun May 31 7:45pm EDT

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    # 429 : Nova Scotia is in America?
  10. kentt
    449. Posted by kentt Sun May 31 7:44pm EDT

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    Ok thats enough I am sick of all you idiots comparing Pittsburgh to the 1984 OIiers!! even," i took too many pucks off my head" Mario Lemieux " We have Cindy Crosby an Chockin Malkin ,they had Gretzy an Messier", are you kidding!!! all you other morans!!! there is NO comparison !! an if thats not enough, I bet you think Grant Fuhr is in the goal !! witch one is pretending to be Paul Coffey, maybe you can point out Jari Kurri, and i know, some one has got to be Glenn Anderson!!!, stop !! its just a bad dream, wake up ,you sh#! The bed !!!!!
  11. <i>eric-thiele@...</i>
    448. Posted by eric-thiele@... Sun May 31 7:34pm EDT

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    Tonight's game will produce three things (1) A Lot more hits. (2) More penalties. (3) Another Red Wings victory.
  12. great
    447. Posted by great Sun May 31 7:14pm EDT

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    447. Posted by rwfan1 - hmmmm... I agree with you it's hard to believe that Gretzky would think that. Like you stated, McTavish, Fuhr, also to add two more very important people Juri Kurri, and Paul Coffey, not to mention Glen Anderson, and grinder Esa Tikkanen. That is a lot of "team depth", that is why they dominated the 80's in hockey. Hey the irony! Detroit has "team depth", and have been mostly dominated over the last 10+ years.
  13. Handsome Pete
    446. Posted by Handsome Pete Sun May 31 7:13pm EDT

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    @447 - Obviously you haven't had a look at the Pens' roster. Ever heard of guys like Jordan Staal? Miroslav Satan? Ruslan Fedotenko? Sergei Gonchar? Marc-Andre Fleury? The Pens are eerily similar to the 1984 Oilers - loaded with young talent, including the best players in the game, key role players, and a young goalie that is just about to get the respect he deserves! I'm not a Pens fan either, by the way - I just see things as they are!
  14. rwfan1
    445. Posted by rwfan1 Sun May 31 6:30pm EDT

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    Just read a story about Gretzky & Messier and how they alone won a Stanley Cup, there was no one else on the Oilers team at the time. Now those two are comparing Crosby & Malkin to themselves and saying they are ready to win the Stanley Cup. Well somehow I believe there were others on that oiler team that helped, heck Craig McTavish may have even helped and Grant Fuhr may have stopped a few shots I don't know. The problem with the Pens is that they have only Crosby & Malkin and until that changes they will have a hard time winning it all, unless they play a team other than the Wings who have been able to shut those two down. All you Pens fans need to lobby your team for some help for those two before their time passes. Good Luck...
  15. Mike
    444. Posted by Mike Sun May 31 5:50pm EDT

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    Not making excuses, but I personally know 4 season ticket holders that had scheduled days off of work next week for what was supposed to be the start of the finals, and couldn't get out of work for last night's game. Additionally, if you look on Craigslist or StubHub, you'll see a lot of people seemed to be in the same boat. I'm not saying it makes up for the number of empty seats...I was working, so I couldn't pay constant attention, but I didn't notice that many, but it could be one explanation for some of them. As far as Pens fans questioning our loyalty to the team, that's just ludicrous, as I'm sure it seems to you when some Detroiters call you guys bandwagoners.
  16. rwfan1
    443. Posted by rwfan1 Sun May 31 5:40pm EDT

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    Hey witch doctor, actual population for the city of Pittsburgh is 334,563 (2008) while Detroit lists a city population of 916,952 (2008) but the actual number is much lower, they just need the tax money based on the population. However if you knew anything about the fan base in Detroit you would have known about consecutive sell out years when the economy was better. The fans haven't given up the team, the economy has dictated how many can go.
  17. Skipper
    442. Posted by Skipper Sun May 31 5:02pm EDT

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    Face it man, we all know that 50+% of the season tickets are held by private companies or corporations, now what they do with those tickets is reward employees or give them to other businesses they want to do business with that is called a "perk". Now knowing that,...the economy sucks right now in both cities (waaaaaay worse in Detroit) it's just a fact of life (i'm not trying to rag you about it) just stating a fact. The first thing a company does when they fall on hard financial times is to eliminate their "perks". I am sure (and again i'm not ragging you) GM, Ford and Chrysler (as well as parts suppliers, Unions as well as all the other small businesses that the big 3 helped to sustain)had a substantial amount of seats reserved for them in that building. I hate it when i see people ragging Detroit about the sellouts, but don't try to make excuses to feed these jerks.
  18. Skipper
    441. Posted by Skipper Sun May 31 4:44pm EDT

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    To mike post 440....... That is the most insane excuse i have heard yet, "a bunch of season ticket holders trying to unload tickets because they already had plans for Saturday night". WHATTTTT!?!? My wife could be in labor and i wouldn't miss GAME 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially if i was a season ticket holder.
  19. scannerman46
    440. Posted by scannerman46 Sun May 31 4:39pm EDT

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    I kept hearing how the pens where going to be different this year. Another year wiser. Faster and stronger and better etc. etc. etc. All the koolaid was served and slurped, but then something happened. They actually played the game and just like last year, Zetterberg shut down Cindy with ease the wings won and all the pens fans started crying and making up excuses.
  20. <i>eric-thiele@...</i>
    439. Posted by eric-thiele@... Sun May 31 4:21pm EDT

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    This is what these blogs are all about, to have fun poking fun at the opposite team of you're love. When we all start bringing other problems into the mix it's no longer fun. Saying how Detroit economy sucks, the big three suck and so on. News flash THE ECONOMY SUCKS EVERYWHERE WE GO. Just remember the backbone of our industrial economy are the big three and it's not JUST A DETROIT THING TODAY as is was years ago. Lets think of the families trying to scramble on how to support their families in this economic downturn and stop drifting from hockey. We are all effected by this not just Detroit. We are all in this together and need to look forward. Now lets enjoy some good hockey.
  21. Mike
    438. Posted by Mike Sun May 31 4:14pm EDT

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    About the Joe not being sold out, I just want to add that the short turn around may have had something to do with it. I know there were a bunch of season ticket holders trying to unload tickets because they already had plans for Saturday night. I have to assume that the short notice also people who may have been planning to purchase tickets for next weekend, but would not be able to attend this weekend.
  22. Mike M
    437. Posted by Mike M Sun May 31 4:04pm EDT

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    Thanks FL Winger. Just a shame that we spend so much time on here saying such nasty stuff and being so nasty to each other. Heck I like to argue and mix it up too. But lets have a little respect here. Its sort of like a 4th liner that sits there and talks smack all day during a game so when they get on the ice for about 3 minutes in a game and they make no differecne then what in the world did they talk about. I would venture to say a large protion of the people being nasty do it on the internet as they could not do it in real life. Sort of hidding. Again I love the Canes but yalls team in Detroit is awsome and congrats to yall for that. And the Pens are no way out of it, a few breaks here or there,and they can do it. My old man thoughts of the day " we got enouoh idiots in this world hating us, we are all on the same team. Talk a little smack , state your opnion, and be respectful! GO CANES
  23. wing nut
    436. Posted by wing nut Sun May 31 3:57pm EDT

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    In the end was the Joe sold out? With the help of the Pussburg fans it was. I all so heard that the broom business is booming in Detroit. Wings in 4.
  24. FL Winger
    435. Posted by FL Winger Sun May 31 3:53pm EDT

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    @Mike M - Good post - agree with the slanted calls against Canes/Caps/Flyers & Wings. Takes a really dominant team to overcome the opponent AND the refs. Thankfully, my Wings fit the bill. @Cynanthus L - Good post also, but Crosby is Canadian. Agree with what you stated tho.
  25. Witch Doctor
    434. Posted by Witch Doctor Sun May 31 3:34pm EDT

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    Robert Robert Robert I understand your pain. When the series is over and the cup comes back to Pittsburgh you will have to go back to living your painful life. Can i give you a little advice though. You live in Detroit not Detriot. I live in Pittsburgh not Pittsburg. I think i understand now what makes Detroit "Detroit"
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Three Stars

  Three Stars
C. Osgood
Chris Osgood
Red Wings - G
Saves: 31
Save Pct.: .969
E. Malkin
Evgeni Malkin
Penguins - C
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
D. Helm
Darren Helm
Red Wings - C
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Marc-Andre Fleury Pit 30 27
Chris Osgood Det 32 31

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