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Notebook: "No air" for Crosby & Co.

Monday, 05.26.2008 / 11:14 AM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - Special Writer
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Notebook: \"No air\" for Crosby & Co.
Crosby said Sunday that the Pens haven't faced a dominant defense like they did against the Wings in Game 1.
DETROIT — Seven shots through the final 40 minutes of Game 1. Just one shot from Sidney Crosby and none off Evgeni Malkin’s stick over the same time span.

And a fat goose egg in the column marked “goal.”

But if looking at the scoresheet wasn’t horrifying enough, the Penguins had an opportunity to look at tape of the Red Wings evoking Jordin Sparks’ hit “No Air” prior to practice on Sunday afternoon.

How is Sidney Crosby supposed to breathe with Selke Trophy nominees Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg pitted against him?

While the Penguins plan on shifting around lines, the Crosby-Zetterberg dual will continue in Game 2 on Monday.

“We're still okay with it,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “Five on five, I think it was pretty equal. And obviously that line for us, it's a big part of our success. And it's the same thing with them. That was a good matchup.”

Zetterberg recorded his goal on the power play with 13 seconds left in the game. Datsyuk’s defensive effort was highlighted by six hits, including a knock on Crosby into the boards.

It wasn’t just the shutdown effort of the top guns, though. Pittsburgh didn’t even register a shot in the third period until over seven minutes elapsed.

But the Penguins wouldn’t give the Red Wings all the credit for the suffocation after practice on Sunday. Remember, Pittsburgh did fire 12 shots on Detroit netminder Chris Osgood in the first period before the smothering began.

“I give them credit for not allowing us do some of the things,” defenseman Rob Scuderi said of Detroit’s puck control. “But at the same, we had so many turnovers in the neutral zone. I just thought it was not the way we play. They did clog up the middle, but even on the boards, even when we had a chance to get it deep, we didn’t do it.

“And it came back to bite us.”

At his post-practice press conference, Crosby was convinced he could make his line’s matchup work — and find that breathing room to convert the few offensive opportunities.

“I don't think they did a whole lot to shut us down completely,” Crosby said. “It was tight checking, and they got their chances. We got ours. And we'll continue to try to create things and battle.”

HOLMSTROM NO-GOAL DEBATE: After being asked five times about Tomas Holmstrom’s interference penalty on Nicklas Lidstrom’s goal in his press conference, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock asked reporters to “go to the next topic.”

Babcock didn’t get his request — it was still the talk after practice Sunday afternoon.

He said he hasn’t met with anyone regarding the call, but will meet with the series supervisor tomorrow before Game 2.

“I assume at that time we'll get some sort of explanation,” Babcock said.

Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien had no trouble with referee Dan O’Halloran’s call.

“I was pleased about the call, there's no doubt,” Therrien said. “You don't want to see obstruction with the goalie. So I think it was the right call.”

Therrien added that Red Wings’ netminder Chris Osgood should get the same kind of protection from Penguins forwards like Ryan Malone, who often crashes the crease.

But has the league gone too far — is just a swipe between the legs from outside of the crease really goaltender interference?

“We just need to define the rule in the offseason here and decide what it's going to be,” Osgood said. “I don't believe they're overprotecting the goalies. I don't think guys are running the goalies this year in the playoffs like they have in the past, because they know they can't go there.

“But to me that was a goal last night.”

MULE WATCH CONTINUES: Johan Franzen practiced full contact on Sunday. He will meet with doctors again and practice Monday morning, and has not yet been ruled out to play in Game 2.

“He's been cleared to do everything,” Babcock said. “So one of these days he'll get cleared to play.”

With Mikael Samuelsson and Dan Cleary pitching in on Saturday, Franzen was asked in jest if his secondary scoring would be needed in the Red Wings’ lineup. .

“I hope I get my spot back,” Franzen said. “But you never know, you never know.”




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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