Monday, May 26, 2008

Red Wings begin Cup quest on the right skate

The game didn’t seem quite won until Daniel Cleary’s short handed goal with three minutes to go in the third period polished off the Pittsburgh Penguins, the punctuation mark to a workman like performance by the Wings.

Though for the most part of the debut of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals the veteran Red Wing squad looked perfectly if not comfortably in control of the proceedings.

Detroit took game one of the best of seven Stanley Cup final with a solid performance and a 4-0 victory, thanks largely to the efforts of Mikael Samuelsson who picked up two unassisted markers to pace the Wings on to victory.

The Wings penalty kill was in top shape as they killed off four first period opportunities for the Penguins, a frustrating situation for the high Flying Pens who couldn’t seem to get their offence untracked on Saturday night.

The Wings had opened up the scoring in the first only to have the call overturned on an inside the crease call combined with goaltender interference; it had no effect on the final score as the Wings effectively shut down the Penguins and their many high profile scorers.

What the Wing defenders and back checkers didn’t control, Chris Osgood did, as the Red Wing goaltender once again provided solid work in the Red Wing net, a most reliable last line of defence for the winged wheelers.

Detroit’s experienced line up took game one from the energetic but perhaps just a little nervous Penguins, who never seemed to recover from the early chances in the first that did not quite finish as planned.

Detroit patient as always just waited until the flow of the game settled down and then took charge, slowing down the Penguin attack while creating opportunities of their own through all three periods of play.

It was described by Penguins head coach Michael Therrien as possibly the Pens worst performance so far in the playoffs, a bad game that they will be hoping is out of their system.

We find out what adjustments the Pens make for game two later on Monday, when they try to even up the series at the Joe Louis arena before heading to Pittsburgh for games three and four.

Globe and Mail-- Red Wings win opener
National Post-- Red Wings storm past Penguins to win Game 1
National Post-- Samuelsson terrorizes former team
CBC Sports-- Detroit beats Pittsburgh in Stanley Cup opener
ESPN-- Will sudden line changes rekindle Malkin's game?
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Moving forward: Therrien shuffles lines hoping to make a difference
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Can Malkin get back into overdrive?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Red Wings decisively won first battle over center ice
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Pens' Malkin looks for boost heading into Game 2
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Red Wings GM's faith in Osgood pays off
Detroit Free Press-- Here's how good the Wings' Mikael Samuelsson was
Detroit Free Press-- Sam Slam! Red Wings prove Pens aren't mightier
Detroit Free Press-- Forever red: Sticking around has its privileges in Hockeytown
Detroit News-- Osgood finding his way home
Detroit News-- Wings legends still close
Detroit News-- Streaky Sammy feeling better
Detroit News-- Franzen practices, awaits decision on playing status
. Stats Pack

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