DETROIT - Johan Franzen scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Chris Osgood made 31 saves, helping the defending champion Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena.
Franzen and Brad Stuart had goals last night that went off Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who sat on a shot that trickled in for Detroit's series-clinching goal last year.
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, though, 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 he lay on the ice.
Detroit rookie Justin Abdelkader scored his first playoff goal early in the third, providing a cushion.
Game 2 is tonight in Detroit. The teams met in last year's Finals, with the Red Wings winning, 4-2.
Crosby wasn't the only Penguin missing chances they often convert.
Evgeni Malkin on a breakaway, just missed. Miroslav Satan with an open net in front of him, just missed.
The Penguins were certain they had shed the inexperience, the shakiness, the lack of confidence and the unfamiliarity with the championship setting that marked their 4-0 and 3-0 losses in Detroit during the first two games last year.
The Penguins were a much different team than the one that swept Carolina in the Eastern Conference finals and rallied to beat Washington in seven games in the second round.
Pittsburgh 1 0 0 – 1
Detroit 1 1 1 – 3
First period: 1, Detroit, Stuart 2, 13:38. 2, Pittsburgh, Fedotenko 7 (Malkin), 18:37. Penalties: None.
Second period: 3, Detroit, Franzen 11 (Rafalski, Zetterberg), 19:02. Penalties: Lebda, Det (slashing), 4:38; Samuelsson, Det (holding), 7:05; Adams, Pit (hooking), 13:44.
Third period: 4, Detroit, Abdelkader 1 (Leino), 2:46. Penalties: None.
Shots on Goal: Pittsburgh 7-13-12–32. Detroit 11-11-8–30.
Power-play opportunities: Pittsburgh 0 of 2; Detroit 0 of 1.
Goalies: Pittsburgh, Fleury 12-6-0 (30 shots-27 saves). Detroit, Osgood 13-4-0 (32-31).
Referees: Paul Devorski, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Pierre Racicot.