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Osgood's shutout isn't without controversy

Penguins save referees need to call Wings' goalie for diving

Tuesday, 05.27.2008 / 12:34 AM / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Osgood\'s shutout isn\'t without controversy
For the second straight game, Osgood stood his ground against the Pens in the Stanley Cup finals.
DETROIT -- For the second straight game, Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood has shut down the powerful offensive attack of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But it wasn't with controversy.

Along the way, Osgood drew two goaltender interference penalties on the Penguins’ Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora, the second leading to multiple fights in the Detroit corner.

“I’ll tell you something,” Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said, “I reviewed those plays. He’s a good actor. He goes to players, and he’s diving. Took away our power play.”

Pens center Maxime Talbot pointed out that it wasn’t the first time Osgood fell to the ice on a questionable play. In Game 2 of the Western Conference final, Dallas forward Mike Ribeiro swung his stick and knocked over the Red Wings' goaltender.

“I don’t think he got pushed really hard out there,” Talbot said. “He did the same thing against Ribeiro. If he wants to do that, that’s a shame. We’re not playing soccer.”

Questionable calls or not, Osgood got the job done once again.

Perhaps it's a case of soar grapes on the Pens' part sense they are heading home for Wednesday's Game 2, down 2-0 in the series.

Teams that have swept their first two games at home in the Stanley Cup finals have a 30-1 record of spending the summer with the Cup.

Osgood’s back-to-back shutouts marked the fifth time a Red Wings' goalie has turned the trick in the Cup finals. The others were Terry Sawchuk (1952), Harry Lumley (1945), John Mowers (1943), and Earl Robertson (1937) with all four eventaully leadnig Detroit to Cup titles in those years. Osgood extends his personal Stanley Cup finals record to 6-0, which includes his four wins over Washington in 1998.

“I don't know, I don't like bragging about myself very much,” Osgood said. “I played some good games in my career. But I feel pretty good about myself right now.”

Osgood only faced six shots in the first period, but those six saves may have been bigger than all 16 he made afterwards. It took Pittsburgh 12 minutes to register a shot, but when they came storming out on their first power play, the Detroit netminder was ready.

After the Red Wings jumped out to an early two goal lead, the Penguins top power play unit tested Osgood, generating their first three shots of the game. First it was a save on Sidney Crosby, who came flying across the slot, then Evgeni Malkin on a slap shot from the point, then another save on Crosby, who was on top of the rebound.

“He's been there the last two games,” Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom said. “No question about it. He seems like he's been just so focused, getting rebounds, if they get rebounds we have the "D" there. And he's playing some really good hockey for us right now.”

Osgood came up big at the end of the first as well.

With Dan Cleary in the box for hooking, he faced yet another rush from Pittsburgh. The Red Wings goalie stood his ground on Gary Roberts -- the Penguins’ line-up addition for Game 2 -- who was whacking away on the doorstep. Some of Osgood’s frame ended up behind the goal line, but the puck didn’t.

His save of the game, however, may have came in the second period, when a rare Red Wings turnover gave Jordan Staal the Penguins best opportunity. Andreas Lilja fell over, giving Roberts the puck inside the Red Wings' zone. He found Staal, who missed the net on his first try, but found the puck after it bounced off the end boards to the other side of the net. Osgood slid cross-crease to make the stop.

"In the second period they had some great chances and he made some great saves,” Wings defenseman Brad Stuart said. “He's maybe not getting as many shots as we're getting on their goalie but the ones he's getting, he's making big saves for us. When you have that, it breeds confidence from him up to the defense."

Pucks came in flurries all night for Osgood, who had to stay mentally sharp throughout the contest.

“He’s been real good,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “He made some good saves for us. He knows he’s not going to get a ton of rubber, but the rubber he does get; he’s got to be there for. And I think he’s playing well, and I think our team is.”

Still the Pens labored the point when Crosby said that goaltenders should be held accountable for diving calls, just like players.

“I would say he went down pretty easily there,” Crosby said. “And I mean, he’s trying to draw a penalty. But I think everyone has to be held accountable if that’s a forward and they go down. A ref is calling a penalty if it’s obvious. Why not call the same for a goaltender?”
 
Osgood said that his focus has already shifted to Game 3.

“A lot of times this stuff happens after the whistle or between,” he said. “It doesn't concern me. I've been called worse. I'm not really concerned about it right now. The minute the buzzer goes, it's out of my head. I don't think about the past. I just played between the whistles, that's all I do. I'm really   more concerned about the next game than about this game.”


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