Wed, May 28, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Red Wings down Penguins to lead 2-0 in Stanley Cup

OSCAR PERFORMANCE? Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien had some harsh words for Pittsburgh netminder Chris Osgood, saying he is a 'good actor'

AP , DETROIT

With first-period goals from Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom and another lockdown defensive effort, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals on Monday.

The puck-possessing Red Wings held onto it again all night and registered 34 shots. They put the clamps on the Penguins, who have yet to score in the finals. After a 19-save effort in a 4-0 series-opening win on Saturday, Chris Osgood stopped 22 shots in a rocking-chair game and earned his third shutout of the playoffs — 13th in his career.

The often-overlooked Osgood owns the Red Wings record with 50 postseason victories, ahead of Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk, and is closing in on his third Cup with Detroit — two as the starting netminder.

Osgood is the first to post shutouts in the first two games of the finals since New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2003 against Anaheim.

“All it means to me is that I’m just confident, and I’m going to try to do it for as long as I can,” Osgood said. “It’s as simple as it gets.”

win needed

Of the 31 teams to win the first two games of the finals at home, 30 have captured the Cup. Game 3 is today in Pittsburgh, and the Penguins will have to win one of the next two to force a trip back to Motown.

The Penguins are 8-0 at Mellon Arena in the playoffs and have a 16-game winning streak inside the Igloo, dating to Feb. 24. Detroit needs two wins to lock up its 11th Stanley Cup title and fourth in 11 seasons.

“We just have to execute,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.

“Did they really get that many scoring chances on us? I don’t think they did. They got a few and put them in. We hit a post, and pucks go through us by the net that we don’t put in. That’s the difference.”

Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien complained about obstruction by the Red Wings and diving by Osgood. The Penguins were uncharacteristically whistled for two goalie interference penalties, one quickly negated a Pittsburgh power play.

“He’s a good actor,” Therrien said. “I know our players are frustrated right now. It’s tough to play the game, but Osgood did the same thing against Dallas.”

“Our team never goes to the goalie. We never did it, and we don’t target the goalie. You want to talk about experience, he goes to players, and he knows what to do, I guess,” he said.

no nerves

Unlike Game 1 when the teams played a scoreless first period, the Red Wings came out flying. Showing none of the nerves Detroit coach Mike Babcock said his team had in the opener, the Red Wings got goals from Stuart and Holmstrom 4:23 apart.

Valtteri Filppula scored his fourth playoff goal 8:48 into the third, streaking to the net around defenseman Kris Letang with the teams skating 4-on-4.

Pittsburgh managed only six shots in the first period, despite four revamped lines, and none came at even strength. The Penguins didn’t get much of a lift with hard-hitting, 42-year-old Gary Roberts back in the lineup after a four-game absence, and Detroit again shut down young scorers Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Osgood hasn’t allowed a goal in 137 minutes and 33 seconds, dating to Game 6 against Dallas in the Western Conference finals.

For the second straight game he heard adoring chants of “Oz-zie, Oz-zie” that easily drowned out the large pockets of cheering Penguins fans who made the four-hour trip from Pittsburgh.

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