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Special teams make difference in Game 3

Wednesday, 06.3.2009 / 12:06 AM ET / News
By Christy Hammond  - Community Relations Manager
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Special teams make difference in Game 3
PITTSBURGH -- The Penguins continued their success on the power play with two markers coming on the man-advantage in Game 3.

Including Pittsburgh’s power-play tally on its lone opportunity in Game 2, the Penguins have successfully converted on three of their past four chances.

Pittsburgh’s two power-play goals Tuesday night came at critical times.

“In the playoffs we’ve had a chance to get on that track, and when you can get two power-play goals in a key game like this – it was a great thing to have,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

Defenseman Kris Letang scored at 15:57 in the first period with the man-advantage to even the game up at 2-2. Midway through the final frame, defenseman Sergei Gonchar took a shot from the point and, with the help of a screen down low, scored to snap the tie. The marker ultimately stood as the game-winner.

“I don’t think [Chris] Osgood saw my shot until the last minute and it was a great effort from everybody to control the puck,” Gonchar said.

Bylsma credited the team’s success on the power play with their ability to win puck battles on Tuesday night.

“The power play was an unbelievable job by a handful of guys out there, winning puck battles,” he said. “Keeping that thing alive for a long period of time, and giving Gonch a chance to rip that one home.”

Detroit went 1-for-2 on the power play thanks to a goal from forward Johan Franzen. Unfortunately the penalty kill struggled, allowing two goals on three penalty kills.

The Red Wings have struggled on the penalty kill this postseason. After killing off all seven Columbus power-play attempts in Games 1 and 2 of the first round, the Red Wings had allowed at least one power-play tally in 13 consecutive games setting an NHL record. The streak was eventually halted in Game 5 against Chicago, but the team’s penalty kill was a determining factor in Tuesday’s loss.

“It was a power play game,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “They got three and we got two. You know, that’s the facts.”

SECOND INTERMISSION:
It appeared like the tide had turned in Detroit’s favor as they outshot Pittsburgh 14-4 in the middle frame alone. Pittsburgh tried to regroup heading into the second intermission with the game still tied at two goals apiece.

Veteran Bill forward Guerin knew that it would be a close, competitive game so he wasn’t surprised that the game was still even after 40 minutes of play.

“It was more of a chess match tonight,” he said. “I thought both teams stayed within their game plan so well and it was going to come down to one shot and it did.”

Coach Bylsma told his team to settle down during the second intermission and the team did just that, outshooting Detroit 9-3 in the third period.

“We just wanted to stay composed,” Guerin said. “We knew what was at stake going into the third and we knew we just had to keep our heads on straight and focus out there and play the game.”




SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80