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Red Wings' repeat squelched

Friday, 06.12.2009 / 11:17 PM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - DetroitRedWings.com Special Writer
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Red Wings\' repeat squelched
DETROIT — Last season, there were two enduring images of the finals — one of a jubilant Nicklas Lidstrom, hoisting his fourth Stanley Cup in a silenced Mellon Arena, punctured only by the joyous cries of his teammates. The other of a dejected veteran — head sunk down, sitting against the boards, watching his dream turn into a reality for someone else for the 10th straight season.

That was Marian Hossa last year. This year, he was convinced it would be different, signing a one-year, $7.45 million deal with Detroit in July.

But it yielded the same result — watching the other team parade the Stanley Cup around his home ice after Pittsburgh beat Detroit, 2-1, in Game 7 on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

"That's life,” Hossa said. “Sometimes you make choices. I still have a great year in this organization, they're great guys, great people around. It could go both ways. One goal could make a difference. If you score one more, you can celebrate, but if not, they're celebrating. that's life. You just have to move on. It's a great life experience. Sometimes it's a tough pill to swallow."

This year the images were different, just as painful as Hossa’s, but decked in red jerseys. Johan Franzen taking a knee in the Red Wings' zone. Tomas Holmstrom halved over the bench, choosing not to look down at the Penguins' celebration. Henrik Zetterberg patting Hossa on the back as he watched the team he left line up at center ice for the final postseason handshake.

“He was probably feeling the pressure a little bit,” Brad Stuart said of Hossa. “It's one of the storylines of the series, I guess, the fact we ended up playing them again. Obviously I feel bad for the guy. He's part of our team and feels the same way all of us do."

Last year, Hossa had the shot that rolled through the Red Wings’ crease in the final seconds, only goaltender Chris Osgood knowing it hadn’t crossed the line to tie the game. Hossa had one of the last shots on net for the Wings this year too, but Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, nor destiny, would buckle. Niklas Kronwall rang the post. Even Lidstrom, staring at an open net with seconds clicking down, couldn’t force a different result.

"Last year we won it,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “This year we came close."

Nothing was too much to overcome for the Penguins on this night.

A devastating hit by Franzen on Sidney Crosby early in the second period seemed only to encourage the Penguins to fight harder. Franzen nailed Crosby in the knee, riding him along the boards as Crosby faced cringed in pain. The Penguins’ captain couldn’t even stand up straight as he skated straight to the dressing room, carried off by the trainers, as the fans cheered. He only returned for one shift in the final period, a period where the Penguins didn’t even register a shot until 15:45.

It didn’t matter.

A two-goal effort by Maxime Talbot had already sealed the victory midway through the second. With six minutes left in the third, Jonathan Ericsson sent a slapshot high over Fleury's glove. In a millisecond, the arena erupted — a roaring sigh of a relief as its team fought back to cut the score in half.

That would be the last stand. There was no comeback, no repeat championship. Another terrific season, but no ultimate reward. No relief for a city that had lost so much since the Lidstrom hoisted the Stanley Cup a year ago.
"It's difficult to win," Osgood said."People take it for granted."


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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