Three Questions: Wings-Penguins
DRW.com analyzes Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals
After playing to a 2-2 tie in the first period, the Wings had control of the game in the second. The Wings outshot the Penguins 14-4 in the middle marker, but they failed to convert on their chances. That gave the Penguins hope heading into the third period, and defenseman Sergei Gonchar’s power-play goal in the third period reinvigorated the Mellon Arena crowd. The Wings had done a great job of keeping the crowd silent for the majority of the game, with their quick goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen in the first period. But when Gonchar scored, and the Penguins’ fans sensed a victory, they exploded, and it was one loud Mellon Arena during the Wings’ comeback bid.
Who was the Wings’ player of the game?
I have to go with Franzen. He had an outstanding goal in the first period that gave the Wings’ a 2-1 lead. He was standing in the slot, and Zetterberg fired a pass his way. It was knocked down however, so Franzen had to stretch out to get to the loose puck. Not only did he reign in the puck, but he fired a rocket to the top shelf at the same time. The shot beat goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and it gave Franzen his team-leading 12th goal of the postseason.
Franzen also picked up the secondary assist on Zetterberg’s goal in the first period. He finished plus-one on 19:15 worth of ice-time. He recorded two shots, one hit, and won the only face-off he took in the contest.
Credit also needs to go to goaltender Chris Osgood, even though the Wings pull out the win. It certainly wasn’t Osgood’s fault. After giving up two goals in the first, Osgood buckled down, and held the Wings in the game for as long as he could. He ended up with 17 saves on the night.
What do the Wings need to do for Game 4?
To put it simply, they need to stay out of the box. Even though they only took three penalties tonight, the Wings allowed goals on two of the penalty-kills. Pittsburgh’s second and third goals came from their offensive defensemen on blasts from the point. Since the Wings were shorthanded, they weren’t able to keep the traffic away from Osgood’s net-front. No goaltender would be able to stop Gonchar’s shot. There must have been at least three bodies screening Osgood as Gonchar’s shot came through.