So last thursday night saw game 4 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals in Pittsburgh, such an important game in deciding where Sir Stanley's mug will go. A Detroit win and its back to the Joe with the Wings 4-1 up in the series with a chance to lift the cup. A Pittsburgh win and the series is tied, and that game 5 at the Joe becomes a whole new ball park.
As a fan of the NHL and of both teams, my hope was for a Pittsburgh win in game 4. Makes the series interesting for the neutral and leads, hopefully, to the holy grail of all hockey games - a game 7!
So the puck drops and Pittsburgh really need the first goal if they want to tie the series. They duly got it too, after a couple of minutes, and on the powerplay, Malkin backhands the 3rd attempt on Osgood's net and the Pens fans go wild. Both teams then traded some pretty good chances, with the Wings laying seige to Felurey's goal at one point. But the big man stacked the pads and repelled every advance. The Wings did make it onto the board before the hooter, after a poor clearing pass from inside the Pens zone, Helm picked up on the pick and wristed a perfect short over Fleurey's glove.
Things got even better for the Wings, no less than 46 seconds into the re-start, Zetterberg makes the zone rounds the net and passes to Stuart on the point, who then shoots through 3 or 4 bodies into the net. This prompted a made scoring rush in the second period. Then, on the penalty kill Staal picks the puck up on his own blue line, passes the Wings defence and with one hand fending of the Wings D man, lifts the puck sweetly over Osgood. Easily one of the best goals you will see in the Finals! The Pens would go one better when Sidney Crosby was found on the back post all alone, something you really should not let happen! Then, in addition to Staal's earlier goal, the Pens fourth was a thing of beauty! Kennedy picks up the puck in the Detroit zone and passes cross ice to Crosby who then passes back across the ice to Kennedy who slots home! Two fantastic goals worthy of a Stanley Cup Final! Scores now 4-2 Pittburgh in the second!
The third period really couldn't live up to the Second, and neither team were able to breach the defences. A little bit of frustration creeping in for the Wings throughout the period ensure the Pens would hold on to win.
So two games a piece, it seems obvious but the key really will be for the away team to become more effective. Both home pairs have been dominated by the home team, so the key to win will be for the away team to get the early goal and nullify the home support. Either way this will turn out to be a memorable final series!
2-2 and all back to the Joe for tonights game 5!