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Osgood, Wings are three wins away from Cup

Monday, 05.26.2008 / 11:47 AM ET / Features
By John Kreiser  - NHL.com Columnist
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Osgood, Wings are three wins away from Cup

Chris Osgood may be close to finally getting the recognition he deserves as the Detroit goaltender is just three wins away from backstopping the Red Wings to their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years. 
Maybe it's his size – he's listed generously at 5-foot-10 and 178 pounds. Maybe it's his mild-mannered demeanor, or the fact that he's been overshadowed by players like sure-fire Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek for much of his career.

Whatever the reason, Chris Osgood rarely gets his due.

But that could be about to change.
 
Osgood is three wins away from leading the Detroit Red Wings to their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years. He didn't have to be great in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Pittsburgh, but he was flawless, making 19 saves in the Wings' 4-0 victory.
 
Though the Wings gradually ground down the inexperienced Penguins, it was Osgood's early heroics that gave them the chance. The 35-year-old stopped all 12 first-period shots he faced and kept the Penguins off the scoreboard even though Pittsburgh had three straight power plays, forcing Osgood to make a handful of key saves.
 
"They were huge, especially in those shorthanded situations," team captain Nicklas Lidstrom said of Osgood's stops on the Penguins' power plays. "They had three or four power-play situations early, and he really shut the door."
 
Osgood rarely faces a barrage of shots. Playing for a team like the Red Wings, he's more often called upon to make a few key stops, rather than a bundle of brilliant ones, or keep his team in the game until it can take control, as he did on Saturday night.

RED WINGS lead 1-0

Sat, May 24: Red Wings 4, Penguins 0
Game Highlights |  Photo Gallery
Mon, May 26: Penguins @ Red Wings
8:00pm ET - VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Wed, May 28: Red Wings @ Penguins
8:00pm ET - NBC, CBC, RDS
Sat, May 31: Red Wings @ Penguins
8:00pm ET - NBC, CBC, RDS
 
*Mon, June 2: Penguins @ Red Wings
8:00pm ET - NBC, CBC, RDS
*Wed, June 4: Red Wings @ Penguins
8:00pm ET - NBC, CBC, RDS
*Sat, June 7: Penguins @ Red Wings
8:00pm ET - NBC, CBC, RDS
All games on NHL RADIO

 * if necessary
Oh shoot! Samuelsson’s the Game 1 star
The Stanley Cup Final was supposed to be about stars like Sidney Crosby and Pavel Datsyuk. But in Game 1, it was little-hyped Mikael Samuelsson that stole the show. …more

Back to the drawing board
After getting outplayed over the final 40 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Detroit in the opener of the Stanley Cup Final, the Pittsburgh Penguins know they must make some fixes before Game 2 Monday. …more


Related Links:

Blogs: Cup Final | Pens | Wings | Game 1
 

"Ozzie was the difference, he and the penalty killers," said forward Daniel Cleary, who scored a shorthanded goal late in the third period that gave the Wings a 3-0 lead.
 
Osgood enters Game 2 on Monday night (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio) three wins away from leading the Wings to a Stanley Cup in a year in which he began the playoffs on the bench. Though Osgood played slightly more than Hasek in the regular season, it was “The Dominator” who got the call in the playoffs. Osgood didn't get off the bench until early in the second period in Game 4 of the opening round, after the Nashville Predators had rallied to beat Hasek in Game 3 and scored three quick goals in Game 4.
 
Though Osgood was perfect the rest of the way, Nashville held on for a series-tying 3-2 win in Game 4. But Osgood won his next nine decisions as he led the Wings past the Predators, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars to reach the Final for the first time since 2002.
 
"Ozzie's been overlooked all year," Cleary said following Game 1. "He made some huge saves when we needed him to. Tonight he got rewarded with a shutout. He made some huge saves early in the game on their power play and kept us alive. One we got up by one or two goals, he was good."
 
He's been good – actually far better than good – for most of his career. Osgood went 27-9-4 during the regular season with a 2.09 goals-against average, giving him 363 regular-season victories. He owns two Stanley Cup rings, one from 1998, when he equaled the League record with 16 playoff wins while leading the Wings to their second straight title. Saturday's win was his 49th playoff victory as a Red Wing – he broke Terry Sawchuk's franchise mark in the previous round against Dallas.
 
He did it with performances like Saturday's – coming up big when his team needed him most.
 
"If it wasn't for Ozzie, it could have been a different game," center Kris Draper said. "We were back on our heels a little bit. We got into penalty trouble … if he doesn't come up making those big saves, it's a different game."
 
Coach Mike Babcock also cited Osgood as a difference-maker.
 
"Ozzie made some real good saves, but the game can be totally different, and then we score first. Maybe if they score first, it's a different game for them,” Babcock said.
 
One thing that Osgood doesn't expect is an easy night in Game 2. He knows that the Penguins will come out even harder after losing the series opener.
 
"They're everything we expected," he said. "They made some beautiful plays, some nice plays, not only in front of me, but coming out of their zone – so we've got to be on top of our game. We had to play very, very well the last two periods and give it everything we've got just to win that game."

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59