NHL: Crosby and Pens come back to life
PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins are 0 for The Joe but downright perfect at home. After two shutout losses to the Red Wings at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, Sidney Crosby scored Pittsburgh's first two goals of the Stanley Cup Finals and carried the Penguins to a 3-2 victory last night.
PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins are 0 for The Joe but downright perfect at home.
After two shutout losses to the Red Wings at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, Sidney Crosby scored Pittsburgh's first two goals of the Stanley Cup Finals and carried the Penguins to a 3-2 victory last night.
The Red Wings still lead the series, two games to one.
The Penguins improved to 9-0 at home in the playoffs and have won 17 straight games there, dating to a loss to San Jose on Feb. 24.
They were outscored by 7-0 in Detroit.
"Whether it was me or anybody else, we just wanted to get the first one," Crosby said. "We wanted to get a goal, find a way. That was the mind-set going in, and it was nice to get it for sure."
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who hasn't been beaten at home in 19 games, made 32 saves.
He allowed Johan Franzen's power-play goal with 5 minutes, 12 seconds left in the second period, which cut Pittsburgh's lead to 2-1, and Mikael Samuelsson's tally in the third. That again got Detroit within one.
The Red Wings' Chris Osgood stopped 21 shots, but fell to 6-1 in his career in the Finals. It became clear this wouldn't be his night when Adam Hall banked a shot in off his skate from behind the net at 7:18 of the third period.
"We didn't play as well as we should have," Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski said. "We were playing well until they got that first goal - that gave them a lot of momentum and got the crowd into it. They took it from there."
Crosby had been bottled up by the Red Wings' top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom, but got free at times on home ice, where the Penguins enjoyed the last change.
His first goal came at 17:25 of the first period, with that Detroit trio on the ice, and the second at 2:34 of the second period, on a power play.
"His work ethic was there," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "He stuck to the plan. That's what you're looking for from your captain - show an example. Good players, when the challenge is there, they like to play those type of games."
"We're one game away from tying up the Stanley Cup Finals, after a lot of you guys counted us out," defenseman Ryan Whitney said.
Pittsburgh has a chance to equal the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who suffered two shutout losses in New Jersey to start the 2003 Finals before rebounding to get even with two wins at home.