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Staal's short-handed tally lifts Penguins

Thursday, 06.4.2009 / 11:49 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Staal\'s short-handed tally lifts Penguins
PITTSBURGH – While the penalty-kill was their Achilles’ heel in Game 3, it was an all-new –yet equally uncustomary – problem for the Red Wings in Game 4 at Mellon Arena.

The Penguins pounced all over four irregular giveaways by the Wings and scored on two of them in the second period, including a short-handed goal.

That’s all Pittsburgh needed in Game 4 to send the Stanley Cup finals back to Hockeytown tied at two games apiece.

Trailing 2-1, the Penguins got their comeback started, despite being a man down with Brooks Orpik serving a minor penalty for tripping. With Jordan Staal racing up center ice, Maxime Talbot made a perfect tape-to-tape pass to Staal who beat a Wings’ defenseman and skated in alone before bury a shot past Chris Osgood.

“Obviously we had the game going pretty good. The crowd was pretty quiet,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We were playing all right. Then our power play hurt us for sure, and sucked the life out of us.”

It was the first short-handed playoff goal allowed by the Wings since Game 6 of the Western Conference finals in 2007, a span of 41 playoff games.

Staal’s tying goal pumped life into the Penguins, who continued to play energized for the next several minutes. The swing in momentum was evident when Pittsburgh capitalized on another uncharacteristic mistake by the Wings.

Two minutes after they tied the score, Sidney Crosby, who had been held scoreless by the Wings in the previous three games of the series, send the sold-out crowd into a frenzy when he put Pittsburgh up for good.

After a Wings’ giveaway in their own zone, Evgeni Malkin and Crosby rushed up ice on a 2-on-1 break. Malkin made a beautiful cross-ice pass through the slot to Crosby, who re-directed the puck into the open side of the net.

“We didn’t execute the way we have to on the power play and we had some letdowns in that second period when they capitalized on some chances,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “When you give them odd-man rushes, they’re going to get some goals out of it.”

After Malkin gave the Pens a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal in the first period, the Wings scored the next two with Darren Helm converting on a giveaway in the first period, and Brad Stuart scored 46-seconds into the second.

HOME COOKING:
In all four 2009 Stanley Cup games, the home team has been victorious. It is just the third time since 1978 when Montreal and Boston split the first four games of the finals by each team winning on home ice.
Babcock was involved in the last such series when he led the Ducks into the 2003 finals against the New Jersey Devils.

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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80