2:26 of the Third Period- Jiri Hudler scores his 5th goal of the postseason when Pittsburgh fails to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. Detroit takes a 2-1 lead early in the third period and silences the Mellon Arena Crowd.
Writer’s Note: Pittsburgh really had that coming. They had two opportunities to clear the puck there and did a horrible job of getting the biscuit out of their end. Brooks Orpik shot the puck blindly around the boards as two Pens failed to get to the puck. Detroit has enough skilled forwards that will eat those types of turnovers for dinner.
4:08 of the Third Period- Pens goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury gets a delay of game penalty when he bats the puck over the glass.
Writer’s Note: The Delay-of-Game penalty given to goalies who shoot the puck over the glass is so stupid IMHO. It is especially idiotic when the goalie is forced to play the puck out of the air in front of his net.
9:36 of the Third Period- Kirk Maltby takes a hooking penalty.
10:10 of the Third Period- Andreas Lilja takes an interference penalty.
Writer’s Note: Pittsburgh gets a 5-on-3 here. This is a must-score situation for Pittsburgh.
Pens head coach Michel Therrien calls a time-out with 27 seconds left in Maltby’s penalty.
Detroit kills off both penalties.
Writer’s Note: WOW. So much pressure but very frustrating. Pittsburgh has a couple of decent shots but still fails to score a goal. That two-man advantage may be the turning point in the series.
15:40 into the Third period- M.-A Fleury makes a spectacular pad save on Wings forward Daniel Cleary.
3:16 Left in the Third Period- Brooks Orpik goes back to touch the puck for an icing touch-up. Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock calls a timeout.
Writer’s Note: This is the series right here. Pittsburgh is all but done if they go back to Detroit down 3 games to 1. Malkin is on the ice still even though he has no points in this series.
A final flurry in the Wings zone but Pittsburgh fails to score.
The game ends. Detroit wins 2-1 and takes a commanding 3-1 series lead in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.
Writer’s Post Game Analysis: Detroit wins Game 4 and makes it very difficult for Pittsburgh to come back and win their first Stanley Cup since 1992…. One clear observation: Pittsburgh did not play well with the man advantage tonight and struggled to gain possession in the Detroit zone. Defensemen Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar (their best offensive blueliners) were not good catalysts on the PP and were consistently stood up at the blueline by defensive aces Draper, Maltby and Samuelsson….. Pittsburgh loses their first game in over two months at Mellon Arena and now has to deal with the fact that no team has come back from a 3-1 series deficit since 1975……
For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.