Penguins come home, slow down Red Wings

Times Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Every goal was a thing of beauty for the Pittsburgh Penguins, with Adam Hall's bank shot off the derriere of Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood seeming no less gorgeous to that goal-starved team than Sidney Crosby's skillful icebreaker in the first period.

Shut out twice in Detroit, the Penguins came home to Mellon Arena on Wednesday for a dramatic 3-2 victory that made the Stanley Cup finals a series again.

"It's huge for the confidence, especially the way that we play at home, the way that the crowd supports our team," Coach Michel Therrien said.

The Penguins are 9-0 at home in the playoffs and have won 17 straight games at the arena known as the Igloo.

They won Wednesday because Crosby scored twice, but also because defenseman Brooks Orpik recorded four teeth-jarring hits just before the midway point of the third period, when the Penguins were guarding a 3-1 lead.

Crosby scored his team's first goal at 17:25 of the first period, beating Osgood with a wrist shot after a bad pass by Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart kept the puck in the zone. That ended the Penguins' scoreless streak at 153 minutes, 22 seconds, going back to the third period of the final game of their Eastern Conference finale against Philadelphia.

Crosby extended the lead to 2-0 at 2:34 of the second period.

Johan Franzen rallied the Red Wings by dodging several defenders and flicking a shot over Marc-Andre Fleury at 14:48, but the Penguins rebuilt a two-goal cushion at 7:18 of the third when fourth-liner Adam Hall banked a shot off Osgood's derriere and into the net. Mikael Samuelsson's shot at 13:37 again brought Detroit within a goal, but Pittsburgh held on.

"They found a way to win a game," Detroit Coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't feel that we were dominated or anything."


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