Red Wings’ third goal is pain in rear for Pens
Detroit Free Press
PITTSBURGH — No one called any shots for the Pittsburgh Penguins this time.
Their goaltender was not their savior.
Nobody came back to play after having their nose broken by a slap shot to the face.
Nobody missed time with back spasms, only to come back and assist on the game-winning goal.
None of the things that helped the Penguins extend their Stanley Cup finals series with the Detroit Red Wings to six games was a factor in Game 6 on Wednesday night at Mellon Arena.
Not even the face of hockey, Sidney Crosby, could help extend the series to a Game 7.
But the Penguins didn’t go down without making it interesting. They gave their fans one more chance to cheer at Mellon Arena, but couldn’t give them another victory. The Wings won, 3-2, to finish off the Penguins.
Hart Trophy finalist Evgeni Malkin finally scored a goal in the series, but it was too little, too late. Malkin, who didn’t have a point in the series until assisting on the game-winning goal in Game 5, scored late in the second period of Game 6 to cut Detroit’s lead to 2-1.
Marian Hossa’s power-play goal at 18:33 of the third made Wings fans tense one last time. But the Pens couldn’t produce the tying goal.
Wings fans, who had been standing on edge the past three games, finally got a chance to sit down comfortably and soak in the title after goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury sat down on the ice after making the initial save on a shot by Henrik Zetterberg midway through the third period. Fleury fell back, and his rear end pushed the puck back in over the goal line.
Petr Sykora, who didn’t contribute a point in the series before scoring the game-winning goal in triple overtime in Game 5, missed a prime chance to score in the first few minutes of the game. After a Niklas Kronwall turnover, Sykora was all alone in front of the net, but Chris Osgood made the save.
The Penguins took three shots, but failed to score during a 73-second 5-on-3 midway through the first period, after Dallas Drake was whistled for charging Ryan Whitney and Kris Draper was penalized for roughing on Sergei Gonchar.
A miscue on the penalty kill led to the Wings’ first goal. Pens defenseman Rob Scuderi failed to clear the puck, and a few seconds later Brian Rafalski scored on a shot that went off the leg of Pens defenseman Hal Gill.
The Pens, who took a 2-0 lead in Game 5, trailed 2-0 in Game 6 after Valtteri Filppula’s second-period goal.
After stopping 55 shots in Game 5, Fleury gave up two goals on the first 13 shots he faced in Game 6.
Gary Roberts, the crusty 42-year-old vet who had provided a spark on the ice and on the bench to his young teammates, failed to score on a golden opportunity with six minutes left in the second period.
And in the end, because of Fleury’s rear end, the Penguins’ season came to an end.
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