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Wings unable to close out series

Detroit has gone 10 straight playoff series without clinching at home

Tuesday, 06.3.2008 / 1:00 AM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Wings unable to close out series
DETROIT -- Clinching at home continues to be a problem for the Red Wings, who failed to wrap up the Stanley Cup at Joe Louis Arena in Game 5 -- the second longest game in Red Wings’ Cup finals history.

Pittsburgh right wing Petr Sykora scored at the 10:03 mark of the third overtime to send the series back to the Steel City for Game 6 on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT.

The Red Wings mounted a third period comeback on goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Brian Rafalski, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Penguins, who forced overtime on Maxime Talbot’s goal with 35-seconds left in regulation.

“You know, we really battled our way back,” said coach Mike Babcock, who’s Wings were behind 2-0 after the first. “We had every opportunity. And we had it twice, one at the red line and one on the half wall. And we didn't get it deep, and we never got it out. In the end, they scored, and we never scored on our chances in overtime. So that's the game.”

The Red Wings have not clinched a playoff series at Joe Louis Arena since they captured the Stanley Cup on home ice in 2002.

“Well, I mean, I thought we, we had every opportunity to win the game, obviously,” Babcock said.  “I thought we were really nervous. We never made a play in the first period, for whatever reason. And whether that's focusing on outcome rather than just process and doing what you always do.”

After losing two straight in Nashville to let the Predators climb back into the opening round, the Wings were not able to clinch until Game 6 on the road. Detroit proceeded to sweep Colorado, which meant another road-clinching game.

With an opportunity to secure a trip to the Stanley Cup finals, the Wings dropped a 2-1 decision in Game 5 to Dallas at JLA in the conference finals. They bounced back, however, and beat the Stars, 4-1, in Game 6.

Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said that his team never underestimated the Penguins.

“No one thought they were out of it,” Kronwall said. “Obviously they battled hard. They played well and (Marc-Andre) Fleury in particular had a good game. And we just have to do better from the start, I think, and hopefully we can execute a little more on our chances.”

The Red Wings out-shot Pittsburgh, 58-32, on Monday, but with Jiri Hudler in the box serving a four-minute high sticking call, Sykora beat goalie Chris Osgood from the top of the right circle. The winger took a feed from Evgeni Malkin, and ripped a shot over Osgood’s left shoulder.

Sykora said that during one of the overtime intermissions, he told his teammates that he was going to score the winner.

“Between the periods, something stupid I said, ‘I'm just going to get one,’ ” Sykora said. “So just don't worry about the game. I'm going to get a goal. And luckily, I got a great pass from (Malkin). I missed it one time before, probably by 20 feet. And it was kind of a lucky play. It hit the ref and went behind the net and (Malkin) got it, made a beautiful pass. I tried to put it upstairs, and the puck went in.”

When asked about what his team showed him in the overtime victory, Pens coach Michel Therrien said it was nothing he hadn’t seen before.

“They didn't have to show me,” he said. “I know my team. I know the character of those guys.”


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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