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Red Wings' goalie solid in Game 5 win

Despite low shot totals, Osgood stands up to Nashville heat in OT win

Friday, 04.18.2008 / 11:24 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Red Wings\' goalie solid in Game 5 win
DETROIT -- After two straight losses in Nashville to even the Western Conference quarterfinal series, Detroit coach Mike Babcock decided it was time to change the man between the pipes.  Fortunately for Babcock, the backup for the Red Wings is a Stanley Cup winner and the starting goalie for the Western Conference in this year’s All-Star game.

Chris Osgood stood guard in Detroit’s crease for Game 5, his first playoff start in a Red Wings sweater since April 23, 2001. However, the Hockeytown atmosphere should feel like home for Ozzie; he leads all active goaltenders in games played, wins, and shutouts at Joe Louis Arena.

After Dominik Hasek gave up seven goals in two losses in Nashville, the starting job in front of the Red Wings’ net is Osgood’s to lose. Here’s how he did:

First period: Hockeytown gave Osgood a standing ovation when his name was called during the starting lineup announcements. According to the official score sheet, Osgood made eight saves in the first, which seemed to be a generous count for the Predators.  His first true shot came four minutes into the game, with a shot fired right into his stomach.  Osgood faced one penalty kill in the first, and the Wings allowed only one shot. The 35-year-old netminder showed he still knows how to move the puck behind the net, which aided the Red Wings’ breakout.

Second period: Osgood was able to catch his breath in the second period, where he only faced three shots. With Detroit controlling the play (out-shooting the Predators, 20-3), Osgood didn’t have much to do. However, he did have a small duel with Nashville’s Radek Bonk who had two scoring chances in the second. Early in the second, Bonk grabbed a shot from the point, and nearly wrapped it around Osgood, who was down to make the initial play. Bonk misfired however, sliding it through the crease from right to left and missing an open net. Minutes later, it was Bonk again, when he fielded a rebound off the end boards and fired it towards the Detroit net. Osgood slid across the crease from right to left and sealed his pads to keep Bonk’s wrister from finding its way across the goal line. The Predators’ only power play was killed off successfully by the Red Wings again, not allowing a single shot to get through to Osgood.

Third period: Osgood got his nose dirty two minutes into the third, freezing the puck and getting knocked on the head by former University of Michigan standout Josh Langfeld.  Nine minutes into the period, he directed a Vernon Fiddler wrist shot into the corner with his blocker; not a spectacular save, but he showed good rebound control. Two minutes later, Osgood made the initial stop on a scrum in front, and his defense bailed him out when they fired it out of the zone. The play sparked the first ‘Ozzie’ chant of the game.   

Osgood’s bid for a shutout ended with 44-seconds left when Bonk finally beat him, tying the game with a snap-shot one timer from the left side of the slot.  J.P. Dumont found Bonk from behind the net, and Bonk fired the puck top shelf, up over Osgood’s glove.      
Overtime: Osgood was tested right off the opening face-off, when Jerred Smithson let loose a slapshot from the left point, and Osgood made a good toe save. A few moments later, Franzen scored on a breakaway to end the game.

Analysis: Osgood played well, but the real story was the Detroit defense that only allowed 21 shots – including one on three Predators’ power plays -- get through to the Red Wings goaltender. Detroit had 53 shots on goal. 

“I thought he was good,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said of Osgood. “When the other guy is standing on his head and you’re not getting any opportunities to make save, it’s tough to be the hero; it’s easy to be the goat. I thought he did a real good job, showed his experience and gave us an opportunity to win.” 

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