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Sure, if you erase the first two games and act like they never happened, Pitt would be up 1-0 right now. But that's not the case and it's something the Penguins and us fans have to just accept and move on from. But if the Pens play the rest of this series like they did tonight, then the hockey world better prepare for one of the best series in years.
I'd like to also say a special thanks to our friends at Mile High Hockey for joining Pensburgh for the in-game open thread. I'll always have room for company on this site and you're all always welcome.
Now onto the game...
Guess what? Chris Osgood is human. The Pens charged ahead with an unprecedented assault in Game 3. Of course, when you consider their lack of such in the first two games, anything over 15 shots would be a relief. 24 shots on Osgood, 21 stopped. And who would've guessed the game-winner would come from one of the finest role-players on the Pens? He's not a big guy, or a man of finesse, but Adam Hall was just in the right place at the right time to tag the game-winner off Osgood's heel.
Bounces. The Pens got the bounces. The very thing that went against them earlier in the series worked to their advantage on Pittsburgh ice.
Just to get an idea of what kind of action this game possessed, there was nearly six straight minutes of hockey in the third period without a single whistle. Fast line changes, shorter shifts and even the veteran presence of Darryl Sydor worked to the team's advantage. Although Sydor got rocked out pretty good on the boards a few times, his flawless presence on the ice was in high regard. You'd never know the guy has been out for nearly two months. Props to Therrien for the move.
Between the pipes MAF was solid; not perfect, but solid. One save in particular (searching desperately for video) amazingly stayed out of the net. I wish I could describe it, but just the mental replay of said play causes angels to sing in harmony. The Wings out-worked Fleury (32-34) throughout the entire game. To say he wasn't the reason the Penguins won would be a lie. To say he nearly gave fans a heart attack in doing so couldn't come closer to the truth.
Johan Franzen showed us all why his nickname is The Mule when he charged through four Pittsburgh defenseman to tag the first red light for the Wings. The only other Detroit goal came on a easy-stop wrister that somehow managed to skimp out of Fleury's sights.
The penalties were few (definitely in comparison to Game 2) but they couldn't have come at worse times. Worst of all was the Malkin hooking call late in the third that could have tied the game for Detroit had they converted with the man advantage.
That about does it for Game 3. Everything the Pens did wrong in the previous games they did right on Thursday, minus the whole shutting out Detroit thing (more of a hope than a requirement).
If in the slight chance this game just wasn't enough bashing of Detroit for you, if you turned to ESPN you'd have witnessed the Celtics just barely beating the Pistons 106-102 in Game 5 of the series.
And now we wait till Saturday for Game 4 in Pitt.
Keep up on your Penguins news at Pensburgh.com