DETROIT - Hockeytown is halfway to hoisting the Stanley Cup again.
With first-period goals from Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom and another lockdown defensive effort, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, 3-0, to take a lead of two games to none in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The puck-possessing Red Wings held onto the puck again all night and registered 34 shots.
They also put the clamps on the Penguins, who have yet to score in the finals. After a 19-save effort in a 4-0 series-opening win Saturday, goalie Chris Osgood stopped 22 shots in a rocking-chair game and gained his third playoff shutout this season and the 13th of his career.
The often-overlooked Osgood owns the Red Wings' record of 50 postseason victories, ahead of Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk, and is closing in on his third Stanley Cup with Detroit - two as the starting netminder.
Osgood is the first to post shutouts in the first two games of the finals since 2003, when New Jersey's Martin Brodeur did it against Anaheim. Of the 31 teams to win the first two games of the finals at home, 30 have captured the Cup.
The Penguins are 8-0 at Mellon Arena in the postseason and have a 16-game winning streak there dating to Feb. 24. Detroit needs two wins to lock up its 11th Stanley Cup title and fourth in 11 seasons.
Unlike Game 1, when the teams played a scoreless first period, the Red Wings came out flying. Showing none of the nerves Detroit coach Mike Babcock said his team had in the opener, the Red Wings got goals from Stuart and Holmstrom 4 minutes, 23 seconds apart.
Valtteri Filppula scored at 8:48 of the third period, streaking to the net around defenseman Kris Letang with the teams skating four on four.
Pittsburgh had only six shots in the first period, despite four revamped lines, and none came at even strength. The Penguins didn't get much of a lift with the hard-hitting, 42-year-old Gary Roberts back after a four-game absence, and Detroit again shut down young scorers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Osgood hasn't allowed a goal in 137 minutes, 33 seconds, dating to Game 6 against Dallas in the Western Conference finals. For the second straight game, he heard adoring chants of "Oz-zie, Oz-zie" that easily drowned out the large pockets of cheering Penguins fans who made the four-hour trip from Pittsburgh.
Detroit at Pittsburgh, tomorrow night at 8.