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– Hockey Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman drops the puck at Center Ice and the start of Game 3 is minutes away.

0:15 into the First Period- Detroit’s Top 5 (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Lidstrom, Rafalski) starts the game with more jump than Tyler Kennedy’s line.

1:04 into the First Peiod- An obstruction holding penalty is called on Johan Franzen, as his back check on Pens forward Marian Hossa is a tad over-zealous.

1:39 into the First Period- 35 seconds into the power play, Ryan Malone has a great chance to score when he moves in on Osgood and finesses a half-decent forehand shot that is thwarted into the corner. Malone has another great chance to score when he one-times a shot in the slot.

3:05 into the First Period- Jordan Staal takes a holding penalty that looks like something you would see in an instructional video for NHL officials. He puts his arm around the Detroit player and clearly impeded his progress in the neutral zone. Not a very good penalty to take.

Writer’s Note: Pittsburgh had some excellent scoring chances on their first power play and appeared to be on the verge of more pressure. Pittsburgh really needed a good start to this game and they must kill this penalty off quickly so they can sustain more pressure in their home rink.

6:59 into the First Period- After killing off Staal’s penalty, Detroit continues to control the pace of the game by using their speed and smarts.

Niklas Lidstrom turns the puck over in the Detroit zone to Sidney Crosby but the Penguins fail to get a clear shot on net when they get too fancy.

Wings Super-Grinder Tomas Holmstrom wires a hard slap shot on Marc-Andre Fleury which he stops handily.

Writer’s Note: The Penguins defensemen need to do a better shop of standing the Wings up at the blueline, because their modus operandi is clearly to get as many rebounds as possible. If the Pens continue to let Detroit’s speedy forwards walk in over the blueline, someone will eventually get a juicy rebound. You cannot give players like Datsyuk, Holmstrom and Franzen the autonomy to walk in and fire 30-foot slappers. This is where Darryl Sydor and his Stanley Cup experience come into play.

CBC shows Lays spokesman Mark Messier and NHL Scoring Champion Alexander Ovechkin
9:15 into the Period -Press box. Messier and Ovechkin appear to be more interested in who’s texting their Blackberry than Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

11:00 into the First Period- The Red Wings are shooting from all over the ice at Marc-Andre Fleury as they continue to frustrate the scrambly hometown Penguins.

12:07 into the First Period- Sergei Gonchar takes a tripping penalty.

Writer’s Note: The Penguins have one shot on net. I repeat. The Penguins have ONE SHOT on net. Is Pittsburgh for real? Are they purposely trying to play like the 1980’81 Winnipeg Jets?

16:10 into the First Period- Marian Hoosa registers Pittsburgh’s second shot on net, after he tips a Sergei Gonchar point shot.

17:25 into the First Period- Pittsburgh breaks the scoreless draw when Brad Stuart coughs the puck up to Sidney Crosby after his clearing pass hits the back of Henrik Zetterbeg’s skate. Crosby takes the puck, drops it to Hossa, then takes the return feed off of a Detroit skate and buries his 5th goal past Chris Osgood. A nice goal, which always looks better when it comes off the stick of Sid the Kid.

Writer’s Note: Crosby’s goal was a true double-whammy as he pops his personal Stanley Cup Finals cherry and the team’s as well. It is nice to see the Crosby show back on air. It is about time.

19:19 of the First Period- Former New Jersey Devils Defenseman Brian Rafalski takes a minor tripping penalty.

19:53 of the First Period- Marian Hossa misses the net on a one-timer and the Penguins end the period with pressure and on a high note.

Writer’s Note: Wow. Hossa had a great opportunity to put the Pens up by 2 on a beautiful feed from Malone. Hossa still hasn’t found his comfort zone. Don’t look now but Hossa and Crosby are really clicking together.

First Period Notes: The Wings outshoot the Penguins 9-6 in the period…..

Please stay tuned for Period 2……

For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.