NHL Playoffs: Red Wings 3, Penguins 1: Detroit up 2-0 in series
DETROIT ó The Red Wings found a perfect way to move halfway to a repeat ó beat the Pittsburgh Penguins back-to-back.
So much for Detroit being old, beaten down and needing a break. The Red Wings topped the Penguins 3-1 in Game 2 of the finals Sunday night and are two wins from holding onto the Stanley Cup.
Just as they did a year ago in winning the title for the 11th time and fourth in 11 seasons, the Red Wings took the first two games from the Penguins at home. This year posed a new challenge, sweeping a pair on consecutive nights three days after finishing the Western Conference finals.
Rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who watched that series clincher Wednesday night in the dressing room hours after having his appendix removed, scored the tying goal for Detroit in the second period.
Valtteri Filppula added the go-ahead tally 6:08 later, and Justin Abdelkader scored his second of the series in the third. The Red Wings left the ice in front of their cheering, towel-waving fans and headed for Pittsburgh with another commanding lead.
Game 3 is Tuesday night, and the odds favor the Red Wings’ quest to become the NHL’s first repeat champion since they did it in 1997 and ’98. .
Frustration boiled over for Pittsburgh with 18.2 seconds left, when Max Talbot stuck his stick in goalie Chris Osgood’s midsection after he made his 31st save. That led to a fight between Evgeni Malkin and Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg that left both players’ jerseys torn on the ice.
Malkin had a strong first period and staked Pittsburgh to an early 1-0 lead. It just wasn’t enough as Detroit ó especially Zetterberg ó bottled up captain Sidney Crosby and kept him pointless for the second straight night.