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Red Wings' repeat squelched

Friday, 06.12.2009 / 11:17 PM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - 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."


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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