0:40 into the Second Period- Mikael Samuelsson gets a weak shot on M-A Fleury to start the first period.
3:25 into the Second Period- Pens forward Pascal Dupuis gets a quality shot on net when he cuts into the middle and wrists a shot on Chris Osgood.
Writer's Note: Dupuis' scoring chance happened after an uncharacteristic turnover in the neutral zone by 5-time Norris Trophy Winner Nicklas Lidstrom.
3:44 into the Second Period- Jordan Staal takes an obstruction interference penalty.
Writer's Note: Not good for Pittsburgh for two reasons: they were playing well and Staal is one of their top penalty killers.
Pittsburgh does a great job of killing Staal's penalty and easily neutralized Detroit's Top 5 (minus the injured Holmstrom)
8:10 into the Second Period- Detroit has the fresh legs after the last power play. Datsyuk is looking especially good in the Pens zone. Also, Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik had two bodychecks on that last shift that were very effective.
Writer's Note: Orpik seems to be the only defenseman that seems to understand the importance of standing Detroit's skilled players up at the blueline. If you're wondering yourself why this is important, then look no further than the first period when the Wings were walking in and blasts 30 footers on Fleury (Samuelsson, Rafalski)
13:30 into the Second Period- Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby both have great scoring chances in close on Osgood.
Writer's Note: Osgood made three great saves there as his defenseman clealry took an early intermission break.
16:04 into the Second Period- D-man Brian Ralaski takes a hooking penalty.
Writer's Note: This would be a great opportunity for Pittsburgh to get something going here on the power play as their previous two opportunities were pretty bad.
17:24 into the Second Period- The Penguins are still having problems activating their defensemen into the rush with the man advantage. Gonchar and Whitney just can't seem to move the puck up the ice with speedsters Crosby and Malkin.
19:37 into the Second Period- Rafalski coughs the puck up to Marian Hossa but he can't get a good shot on net as he does a spin-a-rama in front of Lidstrom.
Writer's Second Period Analysis: That period was a little sloppy. No goals and no sensational scoring chances. The Penguins get the slight shot advantage in the frame 8-7. I would give the period to Pittsburgh for their physical presence and offensive zone pressure. Pittsburgh failed to capitalize on several quality scoring chances and continue to be overly-fancy in the offensive zone. Detroit, on the other hand, was giving the puck up way too much....
For Illegal Curve, I'm Ezra Ginsburg.
Saturday, May 31, 2008