Penguins 3, Red Wings 2
He’s not yet old enough to drink champagne from the Stanley Cup in these parts but leave it to Sid The Kid to rekindle the battle for hockey’s most cherished trophy.
In a game the Penguins absolutely had to win, in a series in which they’d yet to score a goal, Cole Harbour’s Sidney Crosby scored twice to lead Pittsburgh to a 3-2 victory over Detroit in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
The Wings still lead the series 2-1 but, at least, it’s a series again.
Coming into the game, Crosby has struggled noticeably for open ice and could get very little done while constantly facing the checking of the Henrik Zetterberg line and the defensive pair of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski.
But Crosby never lost confidence.
When asked before last night’s game what he would have done differently in the first two contests, Crosby refused to concede that things had gone poorly.
“I wouldn’t change a whole lot to be honest,” he said. “I feel like I’m moving my feet. It’s tight-checking. I want to make sure when I get opportunities I capitalize on my chances and execute well. But I wouldn’t change a whole lot.”
Turns out he didn’t need to. In a game that finally lived up to the billing that this would be an exciting Stanley Cup final — the third period was frenetic and included an incredible save by Marc-Andre Fleury who got the tip of his stick on a Thomas Holmstrom shot while reaching across an open net — Crosby shone brightest with the first goals.
Adam Hall, banking a shot from behind the net off Chris Osgood, made it 3-1 in the third. But Mikael Samuelsson made it 3-2 with just over six minutes remaining to set up a nail-biting finish.
But Pittsburgh held on and the win gives the Penguins a perfect 9-0 record on home ice during the playoffs. It was the team’s 17 consecutive victory at Mellon Arena.