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Osgood keys Game 4 victory

Veteran goalie enjoying fast pace of Penguins' offense

Sunday, 06.1.2008 / 12:57 AM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - DetroitRedWings.com Special Writer
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Osgood keys Game 4 victory
PITTSBURGH — Let the Conn Symthe Trophy guessing begin.

Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood made his case for the playoff MVP award on Saturday, looking nothing short of spectacular in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Penguins.

Or better, if that’s possible.

When asked to comment on Osgood’s performance, Red Wings center Kris Draper summed it up in one word: “Unbelievable.”

Osgood saved his best for the third period, with the Wings clinging to a 2-1 lead. But even on Pittsburgh’s two-man advantage midway through the period, he was unflappable.

Evgeni Malkin’s shot appeared to go over the goal line just as the final power play ended.

The goal judge was fooled. The whole crowd stood and cheered as the red light flashed for second.

But only a second.

Osgood wasn’t going to let the chance to possibly clinch his third Stanley Cup on home ice slip away.

“Not just on that 5-on-3, but throughout the whole game I thought he made some key saves,” captain Nicklas Lidstorm said. “He got the rebounds too. And on the 5-on-3, I thought he made two or three huge saves for us. He had point blank chances.

“We tried to be in the lanes, and take away the passing lanes as well. But it's tough when you're down a couple players, but he did a tremendous job for us, especially on the 5-on-3.  But (he) really carried the game for us.”

The game? Some of his best work came in the second, before Jiri Hudler scored the game-winner just over two minutes into the third.

Osgood made back-to-back-to-back saves on Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa with just over six minutes left in the middle frame.

Sure, Osgood can’t get all the credit for the late kill or holding Pittsburgh to one goal. But he gets a lot — even from the opposing dressing room.

“They’ve had one of the best PK’s in the regular-season, so as much as you want to point fingers at our guys, they gotta give them credit for what they’re doing,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “Osgood’s seeing the puck pretty well, and for the most part in the series, he makes saves on challenges, those guys do a great job of taking care of guys’ sticks and second chances.”

Since taking over for Dominik Hasek in Game 4 of the opening round against Nashville, Osgood has lost just three times.

No goofy goals. No crazy rebounds. No flashy saves.

Just the best goals-against average (1.45) and save percentage (.936) in the playoffs. And three shutouts.

How unearthly is his state of mind?

“It's fun playing against this team, because they skate well and it's end to end action,” Osgood said. “There's a lot of passing. There's not a lot of stoppages in play. So I enjoy it.”

Enjoy facing Crosby, Hossa, Malkin?

“I'm so focused on the puck itself sometimes I don't know who it is,” Osgood said.

That’s the Zen master talking. The game is slow, the game is easy.

Osgood watched former Red Wings goalie Mike Vernon parade around with not only the Stanley Cup, but also the Conn Smythe in 1997.

Don’t be surprised if this 35-year-old repeats the feat as early as Monday.

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